The PhD in Classics
The primary goal of doctoral study is to prepare students for vigorous careers in teaching and research by helping them to develop both general competence in classical studies and special expertise in specific areas of one or more disciplines. Continuous with the MA program, where the emphasis is on securing command of the classical languages and essential methods of classical scholarship, the doctoral program enables qualified students to develop the critical skills and professional expertise required for sustained research and teaching in higher education. Students normally continue coursework into their second year of doctoral study (or third for students admitted with the MA). At that point, they begin to concentrate their energies on a narrower range of material and a coherent range of scholarly questions. The culmination of this process is the dissertation, which establishes at once the student's mastery of a clearly defined body of material and promising directions for future research and scholarship.
The Department offers the PhD in Classics. The majority of students pursue their degree under the rubric of Classical Languages, a program which embraces all areas of text-based studies, including literature, history, and religion. Students with special interests in ancient philosophy or classical archaeology may pursue doctoral concentrations in those areas; they too receive the PhD in Classics.
The program in Classical Languages forms the nucleus of our doctoral program. Embracing textual studies in all their range and diversity, the program unites under a single rubric multiple overlapping fields and disciplines, not only Greek and Latin literature but also Greek and Roman history, ancient religions, traditional sub-disciplines (such as epigraphy and papyrology), and a host of special fields and areas from Linear B to late antiquity. This union of multiple fields encourages students to combine related areas and approaches in creative ways, and to pursue programs of research that cross or merge standard disciplinary boundaries. At the same time, students are free to concentrate their program of study within a single traditional field, such as Greek literature or Roman history. Many of the requirements for this program also serve as requirements for the special concentrations in ancient philosophy and classical archaeology: Greek and Latin language, Greek and Roman history, and Greek and Latin literature, along with proficiency in modern languages essential for classical scholarship.
Students with a special interest in ancient philosophy and science may take advantage of close ties between the Departments of Classics and Philosophy. Housed together in Waggener Hall, the departments sponsor a Joint Program that oversees special concentrations in each department. Program requirements for students in Classics are largely the same as for the program in classical languages, with two exceptions. First, they must take a comprehensive exam in Ancient Philosophy (which replaces one of the Ancient History exams). Second, they must complete two Philosophy courses, either in the history of post-classical philosophy or in a philosophical field such as ethics, epistemology, or metaphysics; courses at either the graduate or advanced undergraduate level qualify, and coursework completed at other institutions may be counted toward fulfillment of this requirement.
The core teaching faculty in ancient philosophy and science includes Lesley Dean-Jones, Michael Gagarin, Jim Hankinson, Alex Mourelatos, Stephen White, and Paul Woodruff.
The graduate program in Classical Archaeology combines rigorous language training with interdisciplinary study of material culture, ancient history, and archaeological method and theory. In addition to developing broad competence in classical languages and other areas of classical studies, students in the program work with the department's innovative archaeological faculty in the classroom and in the field, and often with faculty in other departments, including Anthropology and Art History. The program prepares students to succeed both as generalists in Classics and as active archaeologists. Most procedures and requirements are therefore the same as for the program in classical languages; but the archaeology program also has some special requirements. A faculty member serving as Archaeology Advisor helps each student develop an individualized plan of coursework to prepare for these requirements efficiently.
The core teaching faculty in classical archaeology includes Joseph Carter, Adam Rabinowitz, Rabun Taylor, and Alex Walthall, along with John Clarke, Penelope Davies, Nassos Papalexandrou, and Glenn Peers in Art History.