The Bridge MA in Classics: An Initiative in Support of Diversity

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The Cornell Department of Classics is pleased to invite applications to a new Bridge MA program, which is intended to support talented young scholars in Classics and to enhance the diversity of the discipline. We plan to admit one student per year to the program with full fellowship support. This fellow will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and doctoral students in Classics, while simultaneously developing a program of independent research. The fellowship is specifically tailored for students with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent who may wish to pursue doctoral study in Classics or a related discipline. Applications from current seniors scheduled to graduate in the spring are most welcome, as are those from recent graduates. The deadline for the first round of applications is March 1, 2021.

The program will offer two summers and two semesters of funding, with a summer matriculation (June 1). Housing on campus will be provided for the first summer (June 1-August 15). Students who demonstrate exceptional potential for doctoral study may be invited to transfer to the PhD program upon completion of the second semester.

Applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  •  First-generation college student
  •  Member of an ethnic or racial group historically underrepresented in graduate education (Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Native Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latinx)
  • McNair or Mellon Mays Undergraduate Scholar (the Graduate School will verify an applicant’s status as a McNair Scholar or Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow while pursuing a baccalaureate degree at a U.S. institution)
  • Experiences overcoming significant challenges in their path toward graduate school. Examples include but are not limited to
    • Managing a disability
    • Being of a gender or orientation identity historically underrepresented in their graduate field of study
    • Veteran status
    • Single parent
    • Holding DACA status

How to Apply

First step: please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Benjamin Anderson, to obtain a waiver to the application fee (bwa32@cornell.edu).

Second step: the online application will ask if applicants wish to be considered for university assistantships and fellowships, including diversity fellowships. Please be sure to reply “yes”!

Third step: please submit the online application, including transcripts detailing previous coursework, three letters of recommendation, and the two required statements. The academic statement of purpose provides an opportunity to reflect on your plans for future research. The personal statement provides an opportunity to describe your aspirations for the discipline of Classics, and how your background will help you to achieve them.

GRE scores are neither required nor accepted.

Program Goals and Requirements

The successful fellow will have gained some familiarity with both Greek and Latin, at least four semesters in one and two in the other. We are happy to consider students who have studied one of the languages outside of normal coursework (for example, through self-study or informal tutoring).

The first summer will be dedicated to foundational work in the two languages, with tutoring from advanced PhD students or other instructors. The fellow will then focus on coursework and develop a thesis proposal during the fall and spring semesters. During the second summer, the fellow will write and defend the thesis and receive an MA upon completion. Alternatively, students who demonstrate exceptional potential for doctoral study may be invited to transfer to the PhD program upon completion of the second semester.

Degree requirements

  • a minimum of 32 credits;
  • a minimum of 6 courses at the 6000 level or higher (see distribution requirement below);
  • a thesis;
  • successful completion of the MA oral exam;
  • a minimum of 2 semesters of full-time study in residence.

Distribution requirements

The 6 courses at the 6000 level or higher must include the following:

  • 1 course at the 6000 level or higher in Latin Language
  • 1 course at the 6000 level or higher in Greek Language
  • 2 courses at the 6000 level or higher in Classics

Special Committee

Entering students receive guidance from the Director of Graduate Studies. Students should form a Special Committee of 2 members (a Chair and a Minor Member) by the end of the first semester.

MA Thesis

The final thesis for the MA in Classics should present a piece of original research. It should not exceed 30 pages including tables, figures, bibliography and notes (using standard formatting in accordance with graduate school requirements). It should aim to be similar in quality and scale to articles published in professional journals.

No later than the first day of spring semester, students must submit to their Special Committee a short (maximum 4 pages) proposal detailing the focus of their thesis.