Policies and Procedures
This page highlights selected departmental policies. For more information, please go here.
Format of Exams
The M.A. translation examinations will have the following format: two passages of verse, each of 20-25 lines, and two passages of prose, an average of 180 words each in length.
The Ph.D. translation examinations will have the following format: six passages (or their equivalent), evenly divided between prose and verse, of which students must translate five. Verse passages will be approximately 20 lines in length, and prose passages will have an average of about 180 words each. These passages will be drawn from the Common List.
The Greek and Latin Prose Composition Exams (for which most students substitute course work) will use English passages of 275-325 words.
1. All written exams, both MA and PhD, except the the Prose Composition exams (see 5 below), will be prescheduled to be given on the four weekdays preceding the first day of class of each semester, following a fixed order that will be modified only in unusual circumstances. Namely, modification of the standard template will be contemplated only when a candidate is also a first-time GSI and thus is obligated to attend the GSI training on a specific day. The standard template will not be modified to suit travel plans or personal preferences. In general, a student should make any travel plans to ensure being back in Berkeley the day before Day 1 on the schedule, since there may be times when an adjustment is needed.
2. Signup for exams will have a deadline of May 1 for August exams and December 1 for January exams. The Graduate SAO will solicit signups with an initial email and with a reminder in April and November. Students will be reminded that if they will be teaching for the first time during the coming semester (and thus must attend GSI training), they should mention this fact when signing up for the exam.
3. As soon as possible after May 1 or December 1 the Graduate SAO will inform the exam committee chairs which exams are needed, and the committees will draft and approve exams by the end of the semester in May or December.
4. The upcoming schedule is:
- August (the first class of fall semester is on Wednesday: Aug. 27, 2020)
- Day 1 = Tuesday of preceding week = Aug. 18, 2020
- Day 2 = Wednesday of preceding week = Aug. 19, 2020
- Day 3 = Thursday of preceding week = Aug. 20, 2020
- Day 4 = Friday of preceding week = Aug. 21, 2020
- January (the first class of spring semester, following MLK holiday, is on Tuesday: Jan. 19, 2021)
- Day 1 = Tuesday of preceding week = Jan. 12, 2021
- Day 2 = Wednesday of preceding week = Jan. 13, 2021
- Day 3 = Thursday of preceding week = Jan. 14, 2021
- Day 4 = Friday of preceding week = Jan. 15, 2021
5. Prose Composition Exams are take-home exams picked up at noon on Friday and due at noon on Monday and thus cannot be administered on a three-day weekend. They are therefore scheduled as follows: Fall: weekend following first week of classes: August 28 - 31, 2020 [NOTE: if first weekend turns out to be Labor Day Weekend, these exams will be delayed to the second weekend following the beginning of classes. Spring: weekend following first week of classes: January 22-25, 2021
6. Late signup: (1) if an exam has already been created, a student who has not signed up for that exam by the usual deadline may sign up late. The late signup must be submitted to the Graduate SAO no later than two days before the scheduled time of that exam. If an exam has not been scheduled because no one signed up by the deadline, that exam will not be available for late signup. Furthermore, a student who signs up late must be able to take the exam at the previously scheduled time and cannot request any modification to avoid a conflict. (2) Upon arrival, and after consultation with the Graduate Adviser, entering students may sign up late for one Modern Language in August (if they feel well qualified in two languages, they may take the second one in January). If the requested exam has not yet been prepared, the request must be made at least 7 calendar days before the scheduled time of the exam. If the requested exam has already been prepared, the late signup should occur no later than two days before the scheduled time of that exam.
7. Withdrawal from exam after signing up: should circumstances not work out the way a student expects, a student may withdraw from the exam up to the day before the exam.
8. Restrictions on simultaneous exams: (1) In normal circumstances it will not be possible to take two Modern Language exams in one term. (2) A student doing a Greek MA may not attempt any PhD Greek Translation exam until the semester after passing the Greek MA Translation exam. A student doing a Latin MA may not attempt any PhD Latin Translation exam until the semester after passing the Latin MA Translation exam.
8. Unused exams: an exam that has been prepared and turns out not to be used will be retained securely by the Graduate SAO for use on the next relevant occasion.
9. Changes of exam committee personnel: As the exam committees change from year to year (sometimes from semester to semester), they have the right to review exams composed and approved by a previous committee (retained unused exams, or regularly the August exams prepared the previous May) and to modify or replace them, but they are under no obligation to do so. Any such modification is to be completed one full week before the beginning of the exam schedule. It is recommended that the outgoing committee chair remind the incoming committee chair of this provision.
10. Extraordinary third offering of exams: while the Modern Language exams will continue to offered for a third time toward the end of each Spring semester (usually during RRR week), other exams are offered only twice per year (as above) except in specific urgent situations related to timely advancement to candidacy for normative time or timely completion of the MA.
- 1. A PhD student in the 10th semester who has not yet passed all PhD translation exams may, no later than April 1, petition the Graduate Adviser for a special administration of the remaining one or two exams. If more than two exams are undone, no petition will be allowed. Before granting the petition, the Graduate Adviser must discuss the student’s dossier and previous exams with the chair of the PhD committee and both must agree that the student appears to have been close enough on previous attempts, or has shown other evidence of progress (such as strong work in a survey course or in a seriously pursued reading tutorial) that the student can be judged to have a significant likelihood of passing on the next attempt. If the petition is granted, the committee will prepare an exam and administer it only to the student(s) approved by petition. No other student may join in the sitting for a May exam.
- 2. An MA student in the 4th semester who has passed all MA exams except one may, no later than April 1, petition the Graduate Adviser for a special administration of the remaining exam. If more than one exam is undone, no petition will be allowed. Before granting the petition, the Graduate Adviser must discuss the student’s dossier and previous exams with the chair of the MA committee and both must agree that the student appears to have been close enough on previous attempts, or has shown other evidence of progress (such as strong work in a survey course or in a seriously pursued reading tutorial) that the student can be judged to have a significant likelihood of passing on the next attempt. If the petition is granted, the committee will prepare an exam and administer it only to the student(s) approved by petition. No other student may join in the sitting for a May exam.
Common Reading List - Greek
Homer: Iliad 1, 6, 9, 16-24; Odyssey 6-13, 16-17, 19, 23
Homeric Hymns: To Demeter, To Aphrodite
Hesiod: Theogony 1-210, 453-616; Works and Days 1-380
Pindar: Olympian 1, 7; Pythian 1, 10, 11; Nemean 5; Isthmian 6
Archaic Lyric: As in Campbell, Greek Lyric Poetry (Revised ed., 2002, including appendix)
Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, Antigone, Philoctetes
Euripides: Medea, Hippolytus, Bacchae
Aristophanes: Clouds, Lysistrata, Frogs
Herodotus: 1, 3.27-66, 3.76-138, 7
Thucydides: 1, 2.1-24, 2.34-65, 3.36-68, 3.81-85, 5.84-116, 6.15-19, 6.26-32, 7.46-50, 7.69-87, 8.1-2, 8.64-77, 8.81-82, 8.86-97
Lysias: Against Eratosthenes, On the Murder of Eratosthenes
Plato: Gorgias, Symposium, Republic 5
Isocrates: Helen, Panegyricus
Xenophon: Hiero, Spartan Constitution, Hellenica 2
Demosthenes: De Corona
Ps.-Demosthenes [=Apollodorus]: Against Neaera
Aeschines: Against Ctesiphon
Aristotle: Ethica Nicomachea 1.1-5, 1.7-13, 2, 3. 1-5, Rhetoric 1, Poetics
Apollonius Rhodius: Book 3
Callimachus: Hymns 2, 5, 6; Aetia fr. 1-2, Iambus 1
Theocritus: 1-3, 7, 11, 13, 15
Hero(n)das: 1, 6
Plutarch: Moralia 1-14C (On the Education of Children), Life of Theseus, Life of Antony
New Testament: Gospel according to John, First Epistle to the Corinthians, Epistle to the Hebrews
Lucian: The Death of Peregrinus, True History
Longus: Daphnis and Chloe 1
Epigrams: As in Hopkinson, A Hellenistic Anthology (1988), pp.68-79
Musaeus, Hero and Leander
Common Reading List - Latin
Plautus: Miles, Menaechmi
Lucretius: 1.1-482, 1.921-950; 2.1-380; 3; 4.1037-1287; 5.783-1457; 6.1138-1286
Caesar: De bello civili 1
Cicero: Pro Caelio, Philippics 2, Brutus, Selected Letters (Shackleton Bailey), De officiis 3
Vergil: Eclogues; Georgics 1; 2.1-176, 2.458-542; 3.1-48; 4; Aeneid 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12.791-952
Horace: Odes, Satires 1, Satires 2.6-8, Epistles 1
Propertius: 1, 3.1-5, 4
Augustus: Res Gestae
Ovid: Amores 1, Metamorphoses 1, 6, 13.623-14.157, 15.745-879, Tristia 1
Livy: 1, 5, 21, 22
Seneca the Elder: Contr. 2.2, Suas. 6
Seneca the Younger: Thyestes, De Ira 1, Epist. Mor. 1-12, 77, 88
Statius: Thebaid 1, Silvae 2.2, 2.7, 4.3
Martial: Epigrams 1
Quintilian: Institutio Oratoria10.1
Pliny the Younger: As in Sherwin-White Fifty Letters
Tacitus: Annals 1, 4; Histories 1, Dialogus
Juvenal: 1, 3, 10
Apuleius: Met. 1.1-20 and 4.28-6.24
Gellius: Noctes Atticae 3.1-6
Claudian: De raptu Proserpinae, Praef. and Book 1
Jerome: Letter 14
Augustine: Confessions 1
Assignment of Funding
The department aims to fund all students at the same level. In practice, this means that except for those students who enter without an offer of funding, or with specially generous packages (not controlled at the departmental level), all students receive the same level of annual support, whether they are teaching or on fellowship. The level of summer funding fluctuates depending on whether students are teaching (more lucrative) or receiving stipend.
The department aims to ensure that fellowship semesters are equitably distributed. To that end, early each spring the staff graduate advisor circulates a Funding Survey and Teaching Application which all continuing students are asked to complete. The number of students applying for fellowship always exceeds the number of fellowship semesters the department can fund. Decisions about the assignment of fellowships are made by the Committee on Graduate Admissions, Fellowships, GSIships (chaired by the graduate advisor) and are based on a number of different criteria, including the number of fellowship semesters vs. GSIships to date, research plans, and dissertation progress. We encourage students to apply for outside fellowships and do not penalize students who succeed in those competitions.
Assignment of Teaching
This is an overview; for full details, go here. Early each spring the staff graduate advisor circulates a Funding Survey and Teaching Application which all continuing students are asked to complete. Assignments of GSIships are made by the department chair in consultation with the graduate advisor and take a number of factors into account: student preferences, area of expertise, constraints on availability, balance of language vs. section teaching to date, range of teaching to date. Section GSIships currently outnumber language GSIships in a ratio of more than 2:1.
Summer teaching: each fall, the chair solicits applications of the Directorships of the Greek and Latin Workshop and sometimes also for Classics courses such as Classics 10A, 10B, and 28. In the spring, the chair solicits applications for Workshop GSIships. Assignments are made on the basis of experience, seniority, and fit as well as student preference. A student who already has a guaranteed summer stipend from a nondepartmental source has lower priority for summer teaching.
Academic standing and probation
For a full explanation of academic standing, see the relevant section of the Graduate Division web site (linked here).
In brief, a student is either in good standing or on some form of probation or subject to dismissal. Lapsing of candidacy is a form of probation for students who have advanced to candidacy. Barring exceptional circumstances, a student is subject to dismissal only if he or she has been given adequate written warning and a reasonable opportunity to correct any deficiencies. The written warning must include (a) the nature of the problem or deficiency; (b) steps that should be taken to correct the deficiency; (c) a reasonable period of time in which the student is expected to correct the problem or show improvement acceptable to program faculty; and (d) the approximate date at which the student’s record will next be reviewed.
Procedures for notifying students who are not in good standing: In consultation with the Chair, the student’s Personal Advisor, and (for students in Classical Archaeology) the Graduate Advisor for Classical Archaeology, the Head Graduate Advisor will compose a document specifying areas of concern and what steps the student must take to return to and remain in good standing, including a timeline for review and deadline(s) for applicable deliverable(s). This document will be shared with the student at a meeting attended by the HGA, Chair, PA, and (when relevant) Classical Archaeology GA. If the student subsequently fails to meet the terms of the document, the student will be invited to a meeting with the HGA, Chair, PA, and (when relevant) Classical Archaeology GA, where they will be informed that they have not returned to, or have not maintained, good standing. If the PA is unavailable (e.g., on leave), the student has the right to designate a replacement faculty member to attend either or both of these meetings. If the student prefers not to attend either or both of these meetings, the HGA will communicate by email, copying the Chair, Personal Advisor, and (when relevant) Classical Archaeology GA.
Students in probationary status may not be admitted to examinations (Masters’ comprehensive or Doctoral qualifying), nor be advanced to candidacy, nor hold an academic appointment, nor receive a graduate fellowship, nor be eligible to receive an advanced degree.
The following examples of justifications for probation should be noted, as stated in the Policies and Procedures section of the Graduate Division web site (this list is not exhaustive):
(1) Failure to maintain an adequate level of performance (e.g., as measured by GPA or the quality of written work) in courses central to the student’s program of study;
(2) Failure on departmental “preliminary” or “permission to proceed” examinations, or failure to stand for such examinations in a timely manner;
(3) Failure to proceed to the comprehensive or qualifying examination within a reasonable period of time;
(4) Failure to make adequate progress in meeting other stated program requirements (e.g., submission of an acceptable dissertation prospectus, passage of required languages examinations, etc.);
(5) Failure to make adequate progress in thesis or dissertation research and/or writing.
The purpose of this procedure is to afford graduate students in the Department of Classics an opportunity to resolve complaints about dismissal from graduate standing, placement on probationary status, denial of readmission, and other administrative or academic decisions that terminate or otherwise impede progress toward academic or professional degree goals.
The scope of this procedure is limited to the matters listed above, and excludes complaints regarding denial of admission, student records, grades in courses of instruction, student employment, student discipline, and auxiliary student services (such as housing, child care, etc.). This procedure may not be used for complaints regarding actions based solely on faculty evaluation of the academic quality of a student's performance, or decanal evaluations of a student's appropriate academic progress, unless the complaint alleges that the actions may have been influenced by non-academic criteria.
I. Informal Resolution Procedures
A student may pursue informal resolution of a complaint by scheduling a meeting with the Head Graduate Advisor to discuss the complaint and explore possible avenues of resolution. (If the complaint is about an action taken by the Head Graduate Advisor, the complainant may instead take the complaint to the Department Chair.) Attempts to resolve a complaint informally should be completed within thirty days. At any point in this process, if a satisfactory solution cannot be reached, the student may initiate formal resolution by putting the complaint in writing.
II. Formal Resolution
A written complaint must include information regarding the action being complained of and the date it occurred, the grounds upon which the appeal is based, and the relief requested. The complaint must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
1. Procedural error or violation of official policy by academic or administrative personnel;
2. Judgments improperly based upon non-academic criteria including, but not limited to, discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability;
3. Specific mitigating circumstances beyond the student's control not properly taken into account in a decision affecting the student's academic progress.
A written complaint must be received by the Head Graduate Advisor within thirty days from the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. (If the complaint is about an action taken by the Head Graduate Advisor, the complainant should instead direct the complaint to the Department Chair.) The department should complete its investigation and notify the student of the outcome of the complaint within sixty days of the date it was received.
The time frame for filing a written complaint may be extended by the department if the student has been involved in continuing efforts toward informal resolution, and the informal resolution process was initiated within thirty days of the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. All time frames referred to in this procedure refer to calendar days. Summer and inter-semester recesses are not included within these time frames.
Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Head Graduate Advisor (or the Department Chair, if the complaint is against the Head Graduate Advisor and addressed to the Chair) will assign an individual who is to investigate the complaint and to make a recommendation to the Department Chair regarding the outcome of the complaint. Generally, the investigation will include an interview with the complainant, a review of any relevant written materials, and an effort to obtain information from available witnesses (i.e., interviews or written statements or documents). The Head Graduate Advisor (or Department Chair) will notify the student in writing of the outcome of the complaint. A written complaint under this procedure satisfies the requirement of a unit level resolution process pursuant to the Graduate Appeals Procedure.
III. Appeal to Graduate Division
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint under the department procedure, he or she may bring the complaint to the Formal Appeal Procedure of the Graduate Appeals Procedure. The formal appeal must be received in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate Division, 424 Sproul Hall, within fifteen days of the date of the written notification of the result of the department level procedure. The Graduate Appeals Procedure is downloadable (http://www.grad.berkeley.edu/policies/pdf/gradappeal.pdf), as is the Graduate Appeal Form (http://www.grad.berkeley.edu/policies/pdf/appealform.pdf).
IV. Complaints Involving Discrimination
If the complaint involves allegations of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, the Department should consult the appropriate campus compliance officers prior to commencing informal or formal resolution. For more information contact the Campus Climate and Compliance Office (510-642-2795; http://ccac.berkeley.edu/).
V. Other Complaint Procedures
Graduate students may contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Students, the Title IX Compliance Officer, or the 504/ADA Compliance Officer for assistance with complaint resolution. There also are other complaint resolution procedures available to graduate students for complaints that do not fall under this procedure; these other procedures are listed in the Graduate Appeals Procedure.