Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ancient Mediterranean Languages

Increase font size
Decrease font size

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ancient Mediterranean Languages

Director: Robert Babcock, Department of Classics

The Post-Baccalaureate Program in Ancient Mediterranean Languages at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a collaborative program between the Departments of Classics and Religious Studies.  It is intended for students who have an undergraduate degree and who wish to pursue an intensive course of study in the ancient languages for their own education or to prepare themselves for a graduate program. It is designed to be as flexible as possible in order to allow students to take the courses that suit their needs and interests. Students should consider the UNC Post-Baccalaureate Program if:

• they want to prepare themselves for graduate study in Classics, Classical Archaeology, Ancient History, Early Christianity, Early Judaism, Biblical Studies, or related fields, but have had only a limited number of courses in the ancient languages as an undergraduate student, or

• they wish to study the ancient languages for their personal intellectual growth and satisfaction.

Please note that this program is not a graduate program, and admission to the Post-Baccalaureate Program does not constitute admission to the Graduate School of The University of North Carolina. Successful completion of the Post-Baccalaureate program does not guarantee admission to the Graduate School of The University of North Carolina or to any other graduate program.

Nevertheless, a number of our post-baccalaureate students continue their studies in various fields. For example, from 2011 to the present, ten post-baccalaureate students have enrolled in graduate programs in Classics (Berkeley, Penn, Iowa, Columbia, UNC), Classical Archaeology (Michigan, Penn, Florida State), Ancient History (Indiana), and Philosophy (Yale).

All post-baccalaureate students are encouraged to participate in the life of the Classics and/or Religious Studies departments. They will have a mailbox and access to the department’s library and computer lab in Classics. They may use the facilities of both the House Undergraduate Library and Davis Graduate Library.  In addition, post-baccalaureate students are welcome to attend departmental events in Classics and/or Religious Studies.  For instance, the Classics department organizes a series of weekly teas and research talks, formal lectures, and an annual department picnic. The Religious Studies department holds a regular set of colloquia, lectures, roundtable discussions on graduate student topics, as well as social gatherings.

Detailed Description and Requirements

Course of Study

The Post-Baccalaureate Program has two distinct tracks, one in Classics and one in Religious Studies, with slightly different requirements for admission and for earning the certificate. The track in Classics is designed for students who wish to apply to graduate programs in Classics, Classical Archaeology, or Ancient History; the track in Religious Studies is for students who wish to apply to graduate programs in Early Christianity, Early Judaism, or Biblical Studies. All entering post-baccalaureate students work with the Program Director or other advisor, depending on their track, in order to design a coherent course of study. This will normally involve two to three years of course work, depending on the student’s needs and previous training. Students may register for two courses (up to eight credit hours) per semester and may audit one additional course. They choose from among the undergraduate and graduate courses offered each semester by Classics or Religious Studies. The only courses in these departments for which post-baccalaureate students may not register are individual special or directed readings courses, such as GREK or LATN 396. Enrollment in courses offered by other departments is also possible, but depends on the policies of the department in question.

Because post-baccalaureate students register for two courses and only audit a third, they are considered part-time students by the University. Students are responsible for knowing what the consequences of this will be in terms of visa status or the repayment of student loans.

Requirements for Admission

All applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree when they enter the program. In addition, those applying to the track in Classics must have completed at least three years of ancient languages at the college level; this requirement may be fulfilled by any combination of Greek and Latin classes, but admission priority will be given to those who have at least a year (and preferably two) of each language. Students applying to the track in Religious Studies must have completed at least one year of ancient Greek or biblical Hebrew.

Applicants may be enrolled in the language(s) at the time of their application, but acceptance into the program in this instance will be contingent upon successful completion of the relevant courses. Students interested in the program who have not taken a sufficient amount of the relevant ancient languages or whose language experience is weak from a significant lapse of time should take courses to meet the minimum requirements before applying to the Post-Baccalaureate program. These courses can be taken through the University’s Friday Center for Continuing Education, through an intensive summer program, or at any conveniently located school.

Requirements for the Certificate

To qualify for a certificate in the Classics track, a student must:

1. Complete at least two courses at the 300 level or higher in either Greek or Latin (LATN 601 and 602 do not count towards this requirement).

2. Complete at least two courses numbered 200 or higher in the language not used to satisfy the first requirement (LATN 601 does not count towards this requirement).

To qualify for a certificate in the Religious Studies track, a student must:

1. Complete at least two courses in Greek numbered 221 or higher, or two upper-level biblical Hebrew reading courses (e.g., RELI 504 or equivalent, with program approval).

2. Complete at least two courses in a second ancient language, normally Greek, Hebrew, or Latin; depending on availability and with program approval, students may substitute another ancient language relevant to their interests and goals (e.g., Akkadian, Coptic, Syriac, Ugaritic).

Note: In Greek and Latin, 203 and 204 are second-year courses, which students typically take before taking 221 and 222 in their third year of study. 300-level courses are generally for students who have completed six semesters of college Latin or Greek, although talented and well-motivated students may sometimes succeed in 300-level courses after four good semesters of college work. For full course descriptions, see our Greek and Latin course listings. LATN 601 and 602 are courses in introductory Latin for graduate students. RELI 211 and 212 constitute the introductory sequence of classical Hebrew and are taught every year; introductory Coptic (RELI 413) is taught every two years, with a second semester course offered periodically. Students interested in Hellenistic/Biblical Greek (RELI 807), Patristic Greek, Patristic Latin, intermediate Hebrew (RELI 403-404), Aramaic/Rabbinic Hebrew (RELI 410), Syriac (RELI 414), Akkadian (RELI 411), or Ugaritic (RELI 412) should contact the relevant faculty member(s) in Religious Studies.

Tuition and Fees

Enrollment in courses in the Post-Baccalaureate Program is through the University’s Friday Center for Continuing Education, and the University’s Student Accounts Services office sets the tuition rate. Tuition is based on the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled. Post-baccalaureate students are considered “Part-Time Classroom Studies – Graduate Students” for the purposes of tuition. When researching tuition costs, make certain that you are looking at graduate tuition for 6-8.9 hrs per semester for the regular academic year — fall and spring semesters — and not at the lower summer tuition numbers. Applicants who have not already established North Carolina residency for tuition purposes will need to pay the tuition rates for non-residents, which are considerably higher; non-residents should currently expect to pay on the order of $20,000 per year in tuition. Note that tuition rates are not normally set until early August, so interested students should check the listing for estimated costs after that time. Tuition is typically rated by the semester, so the annual figure will be twice the listed amount. Also, rates usually increase each year.

Post-baccalaureate students pay only the Educational and Technology (E&T) Administrative Systems, Association of Student Governments, and Student Information System Registration Fees. However, because they do not pay other fees, they do not have privileges, such as athletic passes or access to Student Health Services. Post-baccalaureate students are not eligible to stay in University dormitories and must find their own housing within the community. However, there are many housing options in Chapel Hill or in nearby Carrboro, most of which are accessible by the extensive and free bus system. The department cannot help you find housing or part-time jobs, but we can forward your emailed inquiries to current post-baccalaureate or Ph.D. students, who are good sources of information.

There are no scholarships, fellowships, or assistantships currently available for this program. Some students may qualify for low-interest loans. Students interested in this type of aid should contact the Financial Aid Office.



The Post-Baccalaureate Program has rolling admissions. You may apply any time between Dec. 1 and May 15 to be admitted the following fall. There is no application fee. You will be notified of the department’s decision as soon as possible, but generally no sooner than a month after you submit your application. A month after you have applied, inquiries about your application status are welcome.

Students wishing to apply to the program should submit the following:

1. Complete the application to the Post-Baccalaureate Program. There is no application fee.

2. Send transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.

3. Provide two letters of recommendation from teachers familiar with your work, especially as your work relates to study of the ancient languages and your goals entering the program. Recommenders should email letters as an attachment to the Program Director at, or mail letters to

Robert Babcock, Director
Post-Baccalaureate Program
Department of Classics
212 Murphey Hall, CB 3145
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145

4. Include a personal statement, not more than two double-spaced pages, explaining your goals in entering the program and your thoughts on how you would like to design your personal program of study. Please indicate whether you are applying to the track in Classics or in Religious Studies.

5. If available, please submit your GRE scores. We use these in order to advise you rather than for admission to the program.

6. Provide a list of ancient texts you have read in the original languages (Greek, Latin, Hebrew, or others).

Finally, after the program accepts a student, he or she will need to apply separately to The Friday Center’s “Part-time Classroom Studies” in order to register for courses. Students should follow the application procedures for Part-time Classroom Studies. For additional information, please consult The Friday Center’s website.

For information please contact:

Robert Babcock, Director
Post-Baccalaureate Program
Department of Classics
212 Murphey Hall, CB 3145
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3145
Telephone: 919-962-7654

Contact person in Religious Studies:
Joseph Lam
Department of Religious Studies
125 Carolina Hall, CB 3225
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3225
Telephone: 919-962-3927