Classics, Ph.D. (Ithaca)
Field of Study
The Ph.D. degree requires six semesters in residence and the successful completion of one of the programs listed below (the M.A. is not a prerequisite for the Ph.D.).
Ancient History at Cornell can be studied either in the Field of History or in the Field of Classics. The concentration aims to train students both as historians and as classicists. It is designed differently for students in the two Fields, but strongly encourages those in one Field to strengthen their preparation by relevant work in the other.
The study of ancient philosophy at Cornell is administered jointly by the Fields of Classics and Philosophy, and members of the two Fields cooperate in teaching and supervising graduate students. The program aims at training productive scholars and effective teachers of ancient philosophy who will also be well-rounded classicists and philosophers. The concentration is designed differently for students in the two Fields, but it strongly encourages those in one Field to strengthen their preparation by relevant work in the other.
The Concentration in Classical Archaeology aims to provide the training and context to produce scholars ready to engage in cutting-edge archaeological research and teaching about the Greek and Roman worlds (including Cyprus and the wider Mediterranean area) in any period from prehistory through to Late Antiquity. Candidates are trained to be qualified for academic positions with an archaeological focus in Departments of Classics, History of Art, or Anthropology, as well as in interdisciplinary Archaeology Programs concerned with the ancient world and complex societies. The Cornell program offers a strong institutional setting, combining a long pedigree in outstanding Classical scholarship, cognate departments and courses in History of Art, Near Eastern Studies, and Anthropology, and world-leading science departments for those seeking to develop inter-disciplinary projects.
Classical Literature and Philology
This concentration, focusing on Greek and Latin languages and literature, is the most frequently chosen Ph.D. program in the Field of Classics, and provides students with the opportunity to follow a traditional training in philology and textual criticism, to explore Classical literature in the light of modern literary critical methodology, or to do both. The Graduate Faculty offers seminars and other graduate-level courses, taught from a wide range of critical perspectives, on ancient authors from Homer to Boethius and on topics such as textual criticism, epigraphy, and Greek and Roman Religion, to name but a few.
Greek and Latin Languages and Linguistics
Graduate applicants to the Field of Classics whose primary interest is in the Greek and Latin languages per se may choose to pursue the Concentration in Greek and Latin Languages and Linguistics. The aim of this concentration is to acquire a broad background in general linguistics; Greek, Latin, and Indo-European linguistics; and Greek and Latin philology.
Concentrations by Subject
- ancient history
- ancient philosophy
- classical archaeology
- classical literature and philology
- classical myth (minor)
- classical rhetoric (minor)
- Greek and Latin language and linguistics
- Indo-European linguistics (minor)
- medieval and Renaissance Latin literature
Application Requirements and Deadlines
Fall, Jan. 5; no spring admission
Applicants must submit GRE general test scores and a writing sample.
- all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
- three recommendations
- GRE general test
- writing sample
Faculty assess student performance through a variety of direct and indirect measures; these include:
- the assignment of registration units, which record student progress semiannually;
- official milestones such as qualifying exams (Q exams), administered early in an academic program, admission to candidacy exams (A exams) which assess breadth and depth in the discipline, the defense of the thesis (B exams); and
- public presentations of scholarly work.
To learn more about Classics Assessment Plan go to Learning Outcomes and Associated Assessments.