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languages... and just freaking out in general!


mg86

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Hi guys,

(I apologize for the length of this post!)

Hoping you can offer me some advice. I will be graduating in Spring 2011 with a BA in Classics/Anthropology. I would like to go to grad school in Fall 2011 for Classical Archaeology. I am actually a 6th year senior... In 2005 I started out as an Elementary Education major at a small private college. Once I realized this wasn't my true interest, I took some time off, got my AA, and then transferred to a university. So needless to say, I'm a little behind - I didn't begin my ancient language study until I was a junior (technically speaking).

This semester I am taking Ancient Greek 1, to take Ancient Greek 2 in Spring 2011. Last Spring I completed Latin 3. I had enrolled in an upper-level Latin course this semester (Cicero), but I ended up dropping it because I had to look up every single word. I know that it would take awhile to become familiar with Latin again after a summer off, but I felt like I had forgotten EVERYTHING and just wanted to cry. I enrolled in a Greek Art class instead, while keeping the Ancient Greek. I am planning on brushing up on Latin in my free time an attempting another course in the Spring (upper level hopefully).

I feel an MA in Classical Arch. would be best for me, as I plan on doing museum work. However, I don't know if I can get into any programs with my level of languages. I had planned on taking 2 semesters of upper-level Latin, but since I dropped Cicero it will only be 1 semester. I am guessing my options are to apply to Post Bac, or a less selective MA program. Do you know of any MA programs for Classical Arch. that aren't as strict with language requirements? FSU seems feasible and is actually on my list as they have a Museum Studies certificate. Any thoughts on this program?

On another note.. I am feeling grossly unprepared. I am a good student, have gotten A's in most classes and B's in others, but I feel like I have forgotten everything I've learned. I'm worried the Latin and other Classics info won't come back to me. Is this a normal feeling?! Or do I just need some refreshing?

Sorry this is so long... I really appreciate any advice you can offer to alleviate my nervous breakdown! :)

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What do you actually want to *do*? I think in the current state of things, even "less selective" programs are pretty selective. For an MA in Classical Arch, you should probably add Tufts to your list with FSU. I know a few people who have gone to FSU, you can message me for more personal information. Any post bac would be good for you, I'm sure.

As far as your general feeling goes, I don't think that it is too strange. If you don't read anything over your break, of course you will feel some rust. I'll be honest that it doesn't bode well that you didn't stick with your Cicero class. That kind of challenge is pretty small fry compared to what you could face later in your academic career. In the US, even archaeology programs are pretty heavy on the languages. You should definitely brush up--any program will want to see that experience.

It sounds like you'll basically have 1.5 years of Latin and 1 year of Greek by the time of your enrollment in your next program. While it isn't ideal, some MA programs admit students with this level of experience. I would apply for MAs but keep post bacs open as a viable and fairly likely alternative. If you want more detailed information about post bacs, feel free to message me. I think it depends largely on where you are located/where you are coming from as to what program makes the most sense.

On the whole, though, don't fret. Things will work out like they are supposed to for sure!

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No need to freak out! If you're going to be applying, you need to find a way now to de-stress. For me, it was exercising and heading to the campus gardens. For others, it may be a strong drink. :lol:

If you plan on doing museum work, you may also want to consider a MA in art history. There are several good ones with strong concentrations in classical art/archaeology. NYU's IFA is the best known, of course, but there are other good ones - Missouri, UNC, and UT Austin, for example.

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I would look into a MA program in Humanities as well.

I went to a classics department that had a very strong philosophy focus and so most of the MA students had less language experience. When most finished their MA, they went on to apply to Phd programs in Philosophy and Humanities, but only a handful with excessive experience in Latin and Greek went onto Classics phd programs. Many of the undergrads in my department went on to pursue M.Divs.

If archaeology is what you want to do, you need to get yourself to a dig. ASAP. A buddy of mine got into the Classical Arch at UBC. She had 4 years of Latin, barely there Greek, and a learning disability, but she made up for it by having stellar recs and quite a few archaeology digs to her name in Italy.

No matter what, apply for 6 programs.

2 MA like Tufts and FSU. Your best bet would be FSU because Florida always seems to have extra money to spare.

2 Post Baccs - The best are UPenn and Berkeley. You'll get great recs if you do well, but you might destroy your finances in the process. I don't know of any Post Baccs that are more specifically geared towards Archaeology, maybe Ohio State or U of Cincinatti?

1 or 2 in Humanities or Art History

Or you could do something completely crazy and get an MAT, a Master of Arts in Teaching in Latin or Greek. I wish I had known about that program before I started my MA. I probably would have chosen it. You do all the requirements for a normal MA in Classics, but you also get Teacher Certification in your state, so that you can teach Latin. It's a win win!

kittie

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Thanks guys for your replies!

spozik - to answer your question about what I want to do, I'm not exactly 100% sure, but I think I see myself in a museum setting. I would like to work in close proximity with the collections. I currently have an internship at the local art museum, and am also working in the Herpetology collection at the natural history museum (completely unrelated, I know). I actually go to UF, so FSU appeals to me because it is close by (no residency complications), funds most of its students, and has a museum certificate program. They appear to be less focused on languages than any other program I've seen. I'm not sure what my other options are in Classical Archaeology, besides teaching, which I don't see myself doing, at least not immediately. I appreciate your honesty about me dropping the Cicero class. I'm sure I could have passed if I stuck with it, but I was just in total panic mode and needed to make a decision during drop/add. I may have done myself a disservice, but nothing I can do about it now I suppose. Tufts is actually on my list, as well as UNC, but I feel I wouldn't be able to get into any of those schools based on my language experience... I may message you with more info about post bac. It seems practical, but I'm over my head in debt already and just can't afford it.

kemet - thanks for your reply! I definitely need to de-stress! :) I haven't looked too much into Art History programs, basically because its time consuming to weed through them all to find ones with focuses in Classics. I will check out the ones you mentioned.

kittie - Hmm.. I have not considered an MA in Humanities.. do you have any suggestions? I actually have been on one dig, it was last summer. It would be nice if I could do another one next summer or something before grad school, but that doesn't seem feasible. I am definitely going to consider Post Bacs, but you're right, they would destroy my finances. I worry that I won't do well, and looking at some of the programs, I don't even have enough language experience to get into them! Sigh.

I'm trying not to panic too much, but since I need to apply within the next few months it's difficult to stay calm. This week I am going to try to meet with a few faculty members for advice, and go from there. Hopefully a few years from now I'll look back at this post and laugh, with my MA in hand. Or maybe I'll become a massage therapist in 9 months. Who knows! :)

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ps -

any thoughts on the AAMW program at UPenn?

http://www.arthistory.upenn.edu/aamw/admissions.html

They offer both an MA and a PhD.

I might die if I ever got into that program. It is technically through the art history, but it does say this about languages:

"If Classical art and archaeology is your principal area of construction, you should be aware that AAMW does not normally admit candidates unless they have begun instruction in both Greek and Latin, and taken at least one language to an intermediate-advanced level. Students who have not yet begun instruction in an ancient language, or have studied only one of them, will have difficulty securing admission to the program. "

Would it even be worth applying? I plan on taking an advanced Latin course in the Spring, but that's all I have room for.

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ps -

any thoughts on the AAMW program at UPenn?

http://www.arthistory.upenn.edu/aamw/admissions.html

They offer both an MA and a PhD.

I might die if I ever got into that program. It is technically through the art history, but it does say this about languages:

"If Classical art and archaeology is your principal area of construction, you should be aware that AAMW does not normally admit candidates unless they have begun instruction in both Greek and Latin, and taken at least one language to an intermediate-advanced level. Students who have not yet begun instruction in an ancient language, or have studied only one of them, will have difficulty securing admission to the program. "

Would it even be worth applying? I plan on taking an advanced Latin course in the Spring, but that's all I have room for.

AAMW is one of the best programs, along with AHMA at Berkeley and IPCAA at Michigan, and is highly selective (think 1 in 40 admits...). I'd be VERY surprised if an applicant with only a year or two of Latin and Greek made it past the first round. I would drop that chance to almost zero if you don't have both French and German as well.

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AAMW is one of the best programs, along with AHMA at Berkeley and IPCAA at Michigan, and is highly selective (think 1 in 40 admits...). I'd be VERY surprised if an applicant with only a year or two of Latin and Greek made it past the first round. I would drop that chance to almost zero if you don't have both French and German as well.

Thanks for your honesty, kemet.. I'd have to agree with you ;). I doubt I'll apply, but it sure would be amazing to be admitted. Looking at their list of current graduate students, it appears most of them earned a terminal MA before applying.

As for the French and German, I'm a little worried about that as well. In art history programs, there is not emphasis on Greek or Latin, but instead on modern languages with which I have no experience (I took French in high school, but that's it). <_<

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Hi guys,

(I apologize for the length of this post!)

Hoping you can offer me some advice. I will be graduating in Spring 2011 with a BA in Classics/Anthropology. I would like to go to grad school in Fall 2011 for Classical Archaeology. I am actually a 6th year senior... In 2005 I started out as an Elementary Education major at a small private college. Once I realized this wasn't my true interest, I took some time off, got my AA, and then transferred to a university. So needless to say, I'm a little behind - I didn't begin my ancient language study until I was a junior (technically speaking).

This semester I am taking Ancient Greek 1, to take Ancient Greek 2 in Spring 2011. Last Spring I completed Latin 3. I had enrolled in an upper-level Latin course this semester (Cicero), but I ended up dropping it because I had to look up every single word. I know that it would take awhile to become familiar with Latin again after a summer off, but I felt like I had forgotten EVERYTHING and just wanted to cry. I enrolled in a Greek Art class instead, while keeping the Ancient Greek. I am planning on brushing up on Latin in my free time an attempting another course in the Spring (upper level hopefully).

I feel an MA in Classical Arch. would be best for me, as I plan on doing museum work. However, I don't know if I can get into any programs with my level of languages. I had planned on taking 2 semesters of upper-level Latin, but since I dropped Cicero it will only be 1 semester. I am guessing my options are to apply to Post Bac, or a less selective MA program. Do you know of any MA programs for Classical Arch. that aren't as strict with language requirements? FSU seems feasible and is actually on my list as they have a Museum Studies certificate. Any thoughts on this program?

On another note.. I am feeling grossly unprepared. I am a good student, have gotten A's in most classes and B's in others, but I feel like I have forgotten everything I've learned. I'm worried the Latin and other Classics info won't come back to me. Is this a normal feeling?! Or do I just need some refreshing?

Sorry this is so long... I really appreciate any advice you can offer to alleviate my nervous breakdown! :)

I understand your freakout but to me it seems like you're in fine shape - and that we are in a very similar boat.

I am also applying for Classical Art/Archaeology degrees, though I'm going for the PhD. I've been out of school since 2008 and am seriously insecure about my Latin, (which I had taken for years), but I had never taken any Greek. And my modern languages are not the best, only one year of college Italian (yeah, not really what programs are looking for). So, it seems to me like you having a sampling of both Greek and Latin in college is a good thing. And most programs wont be testing you on your languages right away, but rather over the first two years, so you should have some time to get yourself a tutor / rosetta stone (my plan anyway). And if in interviews they don't bring it up, don't bring it up either.

And I am also interested in going into museum work! Do any of your programs have worthwhile on-campus museums? That's definitely something to look at. Ask about museum internships that are built into the program.

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University of Arizona offers TA and RA assistantship if you get into their program.

Tufts University would be the desired program for a MA in Classical Archaeology, but they lack funding, you may have to take up loans to go there.

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