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How to Keep Up with Classics between Undergrad & Grad Study?


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So, aside from Coursera and other similar MOOCs, what is the best way to keep up/up to date/refresh Classics information if you have a decently sized gap between your undergraduate degree and when you pursue your MA? I am currently getting my Master of Arts in Museum Studies, so aside from MOOCs or the University of Georgia Post-Bacc (which I would like to do but can't afford at the moment), what can I do to show my potential as a graduate student and show that I have not left the Classics/Classical Studies behind while I studied museum work and worked in a museum that is more history based with natural history and state history rather than a Classical collection. 

I have taken the free online courses from Coursera, Udemy, and so on, always related to the ancient world or Jewish folk in antiquity. I have recently began to work my way through my old Latin textbook and bought the workbook for it (since I did not have that in undergrad), and will soon do the same with my ancient Greek book. I don't have many opportunities in taking courses in person, as Las Vegas does not have any kind of Classics program and I don't have a lot of money that I can pay out of pocket for online courses. Is keeping up through self study and MOOCs enough for a three and a half year gap between when I graduated with my undergrad degree and when I plan on applying to my graduate degree? Or is it advised that I find a way to retake courses to brush up and get better grades than what I had previously?  

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  • 8 months later...

I see this was posted a while ago, but I figured I'd share my advice in case anyone in the future comes across this and wants some guidance. I'm currently in my second year of my gap between undergrad and grad school and I'm starting a masters program in the fall, so I'll tell you what I've been doing.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with them, but the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study has online Latin and Greek reading courses you can look into. They're not free ($200 per semester  for a regular reading class, $1000 for an intensive course), but they would be much cheaper than a post-bacc would be and they've served me rather well. Class sizes are 5 people maximum, so you'll get a lot of attention from the instructor, and the reading courses meet once a week for an hour, usually during the evenings, so it shouldn't interfere with work too much. 

If there are any Catholic high schools that teach Latin nearby, reach out to some teachers about tutoring. It's good teaching-related experience, it'll help solidify any beginner Latin concepts that you've managed to avoid fully understanding, and it can be good money on the side of whatever else you're doing.

I know OP said they don't have any universities with Classics departments nearby, but if anyone else does, but doesn't want to pay to audit, just email a professor and ask if you can sit in on their class. Some professors might not go for it, but, in my experience, Classics professors love having students in their classes who actually want to be there and who will freely participate. Just give the undergrads a shot at answering before you raise your hand and you shouldn't run into any problems. You won't get a transcript, but you can talk about it in your SOP. Who knows, if you do it for long enough you might even get a LOR out of it. 

I was also encouraged by one of my professors to attend any conferences in my area I could and, if you have a paper from undergrad that's particularly good, you could try submitting it to journals that accept papers from people not currently enrolled in a program (there are a few I think, I forgot which ones they are though)

I hope this helps!

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