Master of Arts in Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity (MA)
Our students explore the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean and the Near East. Our programs, which can be individually tailored to fit specific interests, foster interdisciplinary study and help students develop relevant skill sets for future study and employment.
The MA in Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity is suitable for students with an interdisciplinary background in the humanities, with an undergraduate degree that included significant coursework in our areas of specialization. It is also suitable for those who wish to undertake more advanced coursework, including ancient language training, in preparation for a doctoral program in Classics, Classical or Near Eastern Archaeology, or Religious Studies.
What makes the program unique?
The department offers students a unique opportunity to engage in a broad range of coursework and learning opportunities and to pursue interdisciplinary research on the material culture, religious beliefs, languages and histories of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. We are a small but engaged department and are able to provide students with programs tailored to individual interests. Students will have frequent interaction with faculty and the academic community.
The M.A. program requires 24 credits of coursework and the writing of an MA thesis worth 6 credits (CNRS 549). The 24 credits of coursework must include CNRS 500, and 18 must be numbered 500 or higher. The remaining 6 credits may, at the discretion of the program, be at the 300- or 400-level.
Contact the program
Meet a UBC representative
UBC Graduate School Information SessionDate: Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Time: 11:00 to 12:00
Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Graduate and Postdoctoral Office for this online webinar. They will provide an overview of UBC and our graduate programs, as well as application advice and more!Register
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity (MA)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
• Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments Project (KAMBE). Faculty: Kevin Fisher.
• The Apulum Roman Villas Project. Faculty: Matthew McCarty.
• Excavations at Bestansur, Iraqi Kurdistan. Faculty: Lisa Cooper.
• From Stone to Screen, a graduate student-led initiative to digitize the Department’s squeeze collection and other artefacts. There are still opportunities for new students to work with the collections. Contact: Lisa Cooper.
• SFU/UBC Digital Salon, a research community for digital humanities. Faculty: Siobhán McElduff.
• Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (CRANE). Faculty: Kevin Fisher.
• Ancient Commentator Series. Faculty: Michael Griffin.
We have faculty focusing on aspects of gender, law, economy, politics, urbanism, performance, ethnicity, and social status in ancient Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman civilization. Many of our faculty are interested in historiography, receptions of the ancient world, and digital approaches to the past. Our research strengths in Religious Studies include Hebrew Bible studies, Jewish studies, and early Christian history and literature. In archaeology, our faculty specialize in the material culture of Greater Mesopotamia, the Bronze Age Mediterranean, Palestine, Sicily, and the Roman Empire. In Classical Studies, our strengths include Greek and Roman culture, Greek philosophy, Greek and Latin literature (especially drama and poetry), and Greek mythology.
Additionally, our faculty have expertise in a large range of ancient languages and we are offer rigorous training in Ancient Greek, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, and Classical Arabic as well as introductory courses in Akkadian, Middle Egyptian, and Coptic.
MA students complete coursework, two comprehensive exams, and a thesis. Students may also complete ancient language courses at the undergraduate level.
Our students have access to work space in the Graduate Reading Room with exclusive access to a library of ancient texts and seminal scholarship relating to Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and a computer lab for research and teaching equipped with eight powerful desktop PC computers with dual monitors and a variety of software packages (including ArcGIS, Adobe Creative Suite and Agisoft Photoscan) as well as a 3D printer.
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date01 September 2020
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
We aim to support all of our graduate students, with the vast majority receiving funding. Well qualified PhD applicants (with a completed MA) receive approximately $25,000 per year over four years (including scholarships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships; contingent upon academic performance). Students who are successful in major external competitions may receive over $40,000 per year. Typical support for MA students is around $16,000 per year for two years (contingent upon academic performance). In addition, the Department provides support for student travel and research abroad.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Bablitz, Leanne (Roman history, Roman law, Roman courtrooms, , Roman social history and law, Roman topography, Roman legal procedure)
Cooper, Elisabeth (Archaeology of greater Mesopotamia)
Cousland, Robert (classical Greek mythology, Jewish-Hellenistic litereature, Greek mythology and religion, religion and comporary music, film and literature)
De Angelis, Franco (Ancient Greek world history, environment, urbanism, developmnet of societies, colonization, economics, ancient literature)
Fisher, Kevin (Archeological Data Analysis, Archeological Excavation Methods and Techniques, Dynamics of Social Transformations, Urban Spaces and Urbanity, Social Life / Societal Life, Near Eastern archaeology, Mediterranean archaeology, built environments, architecture, urbanism, digital archaeology, social interaction, power)
Gardner, Gregg (Judaism, Rabbinic Literature, Rabbinic Judaism, Mishnah, Talmud, Jewish Studies, Jewish Law, Jewish Ethics, Charity, Jewish Ethics, Archaeology of Israel, Archaeology and Hebrew Bible, Archaeology of Jerusalemn )
Griffin, Michael (Greek philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Neoplatonism, Ancient logic )
Huemoeller, Katharine (Roman social history, Slavery (ancient and comparative), Documentary texts, Gender and sexuality, Ancient law (in theory and in practice), Non-urban life in antiquity)
Keddie, George Anthony (Religion, Ethnicity, and Economy in the Roman East; Apocalypticism in Judaism and Christianity; Jewish and Christian Material Culture and Epigraphy; Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; Archaeology of Roman Palestine; Urban Contexts of Christian Origins; Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez) Language and Literature; Theory and Method for Religious Studies and Social History)
Marshall, Christopher Warren (Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Performance and Theatrical Productions)
McCarty, Matthew (archaeology and art of the Roman Empire and Iron Age Europe/North Africa; ancient religion and ritual practice; interplays between texts, practices, and objects; imperialism, colonialism, and identity in the ancient world; interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, comparative (especially comparison with Qin/Han China), and theoretical approaches; historiography of archaeology)
McElduff, Siobhan (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Popular Cultures Produced and Broadcasted by Media, Translation History (pre-modern), Translation and gesture, Cheap literature and classical reception, Book history (18th, 19th centuries), Ballads)
Milstein, Sara (Religious Contexts, Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies, literary history of the Bible, Near Eastern scribal culture, Mesopotamian literature, biblical and cuneiform law)
Schneider, Thomas (Egyptian history and phonoly)
Yoon, Florence (heralds and the representation of the absent; anonymity and naming, particularly in Greek Tragedy; props and silent characters in Greek drama)
Further Program Information
The focus of Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity is on the history, literature, archaeology and religious traditions of the ancient Mediterranean. Research strengths include:
- Mediterranean and Near Eastern Archaeology,
- Hebrew Bible Studies,
- Early Christianity and Judaism,
- Languages and Literature of Greece, Rome and the Near East,
- Reception Studies,
- Digital Humanities, and
- Cultural History.