M.A. in ancient history

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by andrekuz, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I came across this site several times in search of answer to questions related to online degree and I thought the discussions were pretty helpful. I still cannot find an answer to my question, so I will ask it myself.

    I graduated from the University of South Carolina in History with a B.A. in 2013. I have no experience with online degrees, I prefer an on-campus education. But that is not an option in my situation now. First of all, USC does not offer a graduate degree in ancient history; secondly, other schools do, but I don't want to move because of that. If online is not an option, than graduate school is not an option.

    I have speen some time trying to find a graduate school with a degree in ancient history, I know this field is probably not very popular, but I love it and most of my history classes at USC were in this.

    There are plenty of online M.A. degrees in American history, military history, world history, european history, public history... but I was only able to find one program in ancient history from American Public University.

    I am not very fond of online-only universities, APU is exactly that. Plus, I don't like the name, it sounds a little cheesy, kind of like "University of the United States" or "World's best University." :) The name is also deceiving, they are a private, for-profit university. Although it is accredited.

    Does anybody know of an online program in ancient history, besides the one I mentioned?

    I don't mind if it overlaps with classical studies, church/Christian history... I just don't want it to be a classical lit. degree or a seminary program in Bible.
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    No, I don't know of a program besides the one you mentioned. An alternative to APU would be AMU which is still in the APUS system but sounds a little better, IMO.

    As for misleading...

    APUS is for-profit, this is true. APUS is also incredibly low cost and regionally accredited. I have never seen them caught up in the bad press against for-profits likely because their tuition is so significantly lower than even some ostensibly non-profits it is hard to argue that it provides some value.

    That said, it depends greatly on your desired outcome. However, I'd put my money on someone with an MA from APUS succeeding ahead of someone who has no MA because they thought APUS's name was cheesy sounding (assuming they were after a role that required or preferred an MA in History). I was enrolled in the Ancient History program very briefly. I completed two courses at AMU (Ancient Greeks and Byzantium). I liked it. My professors were knowledgeable and themselves had pretty solid academic pedigrees. I enrolled at the same time as two friends and former shipmates of mine. One specialized in American History and the other I don't recall. Both used their MAs to earn teaching credentials through alternative pathways for folks with graduate degrees and are presently working teachers. So...there's that.

    More importantly than that is the fact that you've been done a disservice by being led to believe your diploma needs to reflect your specific area of studies. It does not. As an undergrad I had two professors in my psychology program whose PhDs, for example, were not in psychology. One was in CJ and one was in Counseling. You can earn an MA in History and specialize your studies in Ancient. The lines around graduate studies are rather murky like that. It's the same reason you can find someone with a PhD in Medieval Studies teaching in a language department, a history department, a philosophy department, an art department etc. Their degree may say "medieval studies" but what, exactly, they studied and what they wrote their dissertation on is what matters over the precise wording of their diploma.

    As such, you need to look at degree plans and course offerings and not just title of the program. An MA in World History, for example, may allow for ample study of ancient history. Look at the degree plans and see how flexible they are. What is required versus what is available as elective. Then look at the courses being offered.

    To illustrate this point, let's look at the MA in World History at Norwich University....


    It's true...only a portion of this is dedicated to ancient history. However, I imagine it quite possible (check with them) that the directed reading seminar (6 credits) you could direct to ancient history. You could also likely write your thesis (6 credits) on an ancient topic. Plus you have the first seminar after historiography that covers the ancient period. Norwich has a decent reputation. It's no USC but it's also no APUS. This is also just an example.

    Look beyond the title at the curriculum. Look at the exact courses being offered. Look also at Interdisciplinary programs that might not confer an MA in History but might allow you to graduate with an MA that is self-designed and heavy on the coursework you're after.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  3. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

  4. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    andrekuz and Jonathan Whatley like this.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I went on UFL's website this morning to search for an MA in Classics because I was aware of the Ph.D. program. However, I noticed that the closest thing they offered was a master's in Latin. Good suggestion though. I had a colleague who was pursuing an MA in Classics (Latin track) at Villanova. She was our Latin teacher but left at the end of the 2019 fall semester to work in a feel unrelated to education. I wonder if she dropped the program.
    andrekuz likes this.
  7. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    I cannot reply.
  8. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

    :) All the best for your decision!!
  9. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Braindeis University has a Masters's in Ancient Greek & Roman Classical Studies.
  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I think the autocorrect played one on you. It's Brandeis* Anyway, the OP is looking for an online program.
  11. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    Sorry for the late response. My computer is setup to only access the internet through a vpn, this is done for work related purposes, but this site doesn't like it, I guess. Any response that I typed, would not go through, it would say that I wrote spam. So frustrating! I just went in and manually turned off the vpn.
  12. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    Wow! I didn't expect to find somebody that actually went to APU, let alone be in the same program that I want to enroll in. You bring up some good points. I actually looked that Norwich before you mentioned it. I know you said it is just an example. There are only a few colleges that even have one or two courses at grad level in ancient history. I guess it isn't a very popular topic. :( I ran across a university that had six professors specializing in Egyptology, but that is too narrow.

    Still searching. I have looked to a lot of programs now.

    Fort Hays State University has some good ancient history courses, it is a non-thesis M.A. in History. But you have to multiply the tuition by 3 for out of state students. I don't understand why that would even apply if you are going there online?
  13. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    Thanks. I noticed that there were several colleges in the UK that offered options, South Africa too, but I don't know how fafsa would work with abroad colleges. Do you know?
  14. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    I have looked at that program and didn't like it. Half of the program is on classical languages. I took a year of ancient Greek. I didn't do Latin. You need a good working knowledge of the languages to go into the program, because there are prerequisites for the languages, that would make the program even longer...
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  15. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    Thanks, I saw that program too.
  16. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    I also contacted my history professor for ancient studies in undergrad about an online degree in ancient history from APU. Here is his reply:

    "A lot depends on what you want to do with your degree. I am not familiar with this online program. But I would strongly recommend against signing up with an all online university for a degree in something as academic and small-scale as ancient history.

    In general, this would be a really hard thing to study all online. There are just some quirks about studying ancient history that are difficult to convey online.

    The main issue with ancient history is that if you are interested in pursuing any research in the field, the first thing that you need is competency in the original languages necessary to read primary documents, For early Christian studies (which is what it sounds like is the field of greatest interest to you), those languages would be Ancient Greek and Latin (at minimum). If you do not have competency in both languages (and near fluency in one of them) there is not much point in taking a masters degree in ancient history. And program that does not require competency in these languages for a degree specifically in ancient history is not a serious program.

    That said, if what you want is extra training for "comparative" or "world" history, or a masters degree to raise one's pay as a secondary school teacher, the reasoning is different. In this case, though, I might consider finding a way to study ancient history as part of a broader field -- something "comparative" or "thematic" (such as history of religion, or longer term church history, or world history, environmental history, etc.)"
  17. andrekuz

    andrekuz New Member

    Theoretically speaking, my professor is right, but practice shows something a little different. Most if not all of the primary sources in ancient Greek and Latin now have translations. I remember that my professor said that he reads the translations, it is much easier and faster. He only checks key words in the original here and there. You probably don't need near fluency in the classical languages for that. :)
  18. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member

    No, sorry.
  19. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    FAFSA is not available for online programs abroad. However, it is available for face-to-face.
  20. AlK11

    AlK11 Member

    You might want to check that tuition at FHSU again. I graduated from there last year and the whole degree was around 8500. When I started the program it was something like 245 per credit, dirt cheap.

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