Graduate Program

The Graduate Program

The department offers graduate work in Classics; a degree of M.A. is available for students already working toward the Ph.D. in cognate programs at Brown. The department also offers graduate work in Sanskrit leading to a Ph.D. in Classics and Sanskrit, and with the Department of History, sponsors a joint Ph.D. program in Ancient History. The director of graduate studies is Jay Reed. The Program Directors of the Ph.D. programs in Sanskrit and Ancient History are, respectively, James Fitzgerald and Graham Oliver. The work of the department is carried on in formal courses, seminars, and guided research, with considerable flexibility in the case of students' special interests and programs. Emphasis is placed on an overall command of the languages, literatures, and histories of ancient Greece and Rome or of ancient India. Students are encouraged to select their courses from a reasonably wide area of interest, and to take account of appropriate study in related departments and programs, such as Comparative Literature, Egyptology and Western Asian Studies, History, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.

Applying to Graduate School

Applications for the Classics doctoral program are due by January 1 of each year. All applicants to the program must submit a personal statement, a writing sample, the results from the GRE General Test, and three letters of recommendation (submitted directly by the letter writers). Foreign applicants must also submit the results from the TOEFL exam (some exceptions apply).

Applying: All applicants must apply on-line through the Graduate School Admissions Office

Contact for applicants: Jay Reed (for Classics), James Fitzgerald (for Sanskrit), and Graham Oliver (for Ancient History).

Funding and Financial Aid

Doctoral students in the Department of Classics are eligible for a range of funding and stipends from Brown University. General information on funding is available from the Graduate School.

Types of Support

In the first year, fellowship support means that the student may concentrate entirely on coursework and preparation for the translation exams. In the second year, the student usually begins work as a teaching assistant, with a work expectation of  not more than 20 hours per week. The stipend is obtained through this type of work, or by working as a teaching fellow, normally through the fourth year. Upon completion of the oral preliminary examination the student may apply for a dissertation fellowship from the University.

Stipends and Funding

Beginning July 1, 2017, graduate student stipends have been increased to $30,000/year ($25,010 for the acaemic year, plus $4,990 for the summer). Students who are admitted to any of Brown's doctoral programs are guaranteed five years of support, including a stipend, tuition remission, health-services fee, and health-insurance subsidy. Students in the Classics Department are commonly awarded further funding for their sixth year.

Support for Attending Conferences

Graduate students are eligible for financial support to defray the cost of presenting at academic conferences.

Related Studies

Graduate facilities at Brown are particularly rich in the fields of Greek and Latin literature, philosophy, history, epigraphy, and archaeology. Students may take related courses offered in the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Comparative Literature, Early Cultures, Egyptology and Assyriology, History, History of Art and Architecture, Medieval Studies, Modern Greek, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.

Study Abroad

Brown University is a supporting institution of both the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the American Academy in Rome. Periods of study at one of these institutions are regularly undertaken by graduate students in the department. Substantial financial assistance to attend these programs is available for qualified graduate students. Opportunities also exist for students to spend a summer, semester, or year at other institutions abroad. 

Student Life