Classics, PhD

Program Category: PhD Programs
Chair: John Ma
Director of Graduate Studies: Katharina Volk
Email Address: [email protected]
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA, MPhil, PhD

The graduate program in the Department of Classics offers a holistic approach to the study of Greco-Roman antiquity, with a special focus on Greek and Latin literature.

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

  • Greek and Latin literature
  • Ancient history
  • The philosophy, intellectual history, and critical theory of the ancient world
  • The technical discipline of classical philology (paleography, textual criticism, epigraphy, papyrology, numismatics)
  • The reception of Greco-Roman antiquity

Students may also take courses in ancient history, ancient art and archaeology, and ancient philosophy (given in the Department of History, the Department of Art History and Archaeology, and the Department of Philosophy). 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 first an MA, then complete an MPhil in Classics, entailing study of both languages and their literatures. Students must also demonstrate reading knowledge of two modern modern languages. See the Classics website for more information. The doctoral program culminates with the defense and submission of the dissertation.

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.

Special Admissions Requirements 

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a personal statement, and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.


*GSAS will accept up to four recommendations, regardless of the number required by your program of interest. However, to be eligible for admission at GSAS, at least TWO letters must be submitted by academic recommenders.