Program Category: PhD Programs
Chair: John Ma
Director of Graduate Studies: Nancy Worman
Email Address: classics [at]
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA, MPhil, PhD

The graduate program in the Department of Classics emphasizes the study of Greek and Latin language and literature.

Graduate courses and advanced seminars are given regularly on the following subjects:

  • Greek and Latin linguistics
  • Greek and Latin literature (focusing on both individual authors and literary genres; for a reading list, see the Classics website)
  • The philosophy, intellectual history, and critical theory of the ancient world
  • The technical discipline of classical philology (paleography, textual criticism, epigraphy, papyrology, numismatics)

Students may also take courses in ancient history or ancient art and archaeology (given in the Departments of History and the Department of Art History and Archaeology), but students whose primary interest is in ancient history or ancient art and archaeology should apply to those programs. The department also participates in the interdisciplinary graduate program in Classical Studies and offers, in conjunction with the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, a certificate in Comparative Literature and Society.

Program of Study

Students admitted to the doctoral program earn the MA by specializing in either Greek or Latin, then complete the MPhil in Classics, entailing study of both languages and their literatures. Students must also demonstrate reading knowledge of a modern language. See the Classics website for more information. The doctoral program culminates with the defense and submission of the dissertation.

Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society

Classics doctoral students may also earn a certificate in Comparative Literature and Society through the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS); for more information, see the ICLS website.

Teaching, Research, and Funding

Teaching and research experience are important aspects of graduate training and professional development, and graduate fellowships thus include some teaching and both supervised and independent research. All Classics doctoral students receive a full funding package, which includes both the cost of tuition and a stipend.

Classical Studies

Classical Studies is an interdepartmental PhD program dedicated to integrated, interdisciplinary study of the Greek and Roman worlds. The program is committed to its traditional core fields of historical, art historical, archaeological, and literary research while also extending its range into the study of ancient thought broadly conceived: ancient philosophy, historiography, medicine, religion, and the later reception of ancient ideas. Participating departments include Art History and Archaeology, Classics, History, and Philosophy. For more information, see the Classical Studies PhD program page.

Special Admissions Requirements: 

In addition to the requirements listed below, all applicants to the Classics PhD program must submit one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a writing sample (course paper, term paper, etc.), and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.

All international applicants whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

For more information, refer to our Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Deadline for Fall Admission: Thursday, January 2, 2020
Resume Requirement: Yes
Writing Sample: Yes
Writing Sample Number of Pages: 15-20
GRE General: Recommended
Degree Programs: Full Time
Letters of Recommendation: 3


An adequate and proven reading knowledge of Greek and Latin is required for admission, together with completion of at least one year of advanced work in the other language.