The PhD in classical languages and literatures is founded on mastery of Greek and Latin, develops the student's ability to pursue independent scholarly research through seminars and advanced work on special topics, and culminates with the dissertation.
Students take courses and seminars on major ancient authors and genres, Greek and/or Latin prose composition, and such special topics as literary criticism, epigraphy, paleography and numismatics.
In addition to Greek and Latin language and literature, the department has strengths in ancient history and historiography, late Antiquity, philosophy, and Greek and Roman archaeology.
For more information, visit the department's Doctor of Philosophy in Classics webpage.
Candidates for the PhD in classics must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of 42 credit hours of coursework at the 5000 level or above (excluding thesis and accelerated courses). Coursework completed in the MA program at the University of Colorado, or up to 21 credit hours of graduate credit transferred from another institution, may be applied toward this requirement. Courses should be distributed as follows:
- Four 7000-level graduate seminars (at least one each in Greek and Latin).
- Two courses in ancient history and/or classical archaeology.
- One course in either Greek or Latin prose composition.
- Two courses in special fields such as epigraphy, law, linguistics, literary theory, medieval studies, palaeography, papyrology, philosophy or religion, as approved by the associate chair for graduate studies.
- A minimum of 30 credit hours of doctoral dissertation with no more than 10 of these credit hours in any one semester. No more than 10 dissertation credit hours may be taken preceding the semester of taking the oral comprehensive examination. Up to 10 credit hours may be taken during the semester in which the student passes the comprehensive examination.
- A reading knowledge of German and one other modern foreign language (normally Italian or French). Proficiency is tested by a one-hour written translation test using a dictionary. Students may take a foreign language exam at any time by arrangement with the associate chair for graduate studies. Students are encouraged to pass both modern language exams before the end of the second semester in the PhD program.
- Preliminary Examinations in Greek and Latin. Two written examinations of four hours each, each consisting of translation and analysis of texts. The translation portion of each exam will consist of two out of three prose passages and two out of three verse passages for a total of about 100 lines. All passages will be drawn from the PhD reading list. Each written examination will be followed by a one-hour oral examination that covers the range of Greek or Latin literature represented by the reading list and tests the candidate's general knowledge of the primary sources and literary history. There will be two administrations of each exam per year, in the fall and spring. Students are encouraged to pass both exams by the end of the second semester in the PhD program (or the second semester beyond the MA).
- Comprehensive Examination. Two written examinations of three hours each on two topics or authors, chosen in consultation with faculty members selected by the student and approved by the graduate committee, to be chosen from the following broad areas: language and literature, ancient history, archaeology, philosophy or religion. In selecting the topics for these examinations, students are required to demonstrate balance in the fields of Greek and Roman culture, as determined by the graduate committee. The written comprehensive examinations will be administered twice per year, typically during the last two weeks of the term. Successful completion of the written examination is followed by a two-hour oral exam on Greek and Roman culture within the area of the student's chosen specialization, which should coincide with the student's intended dissertation topic. Students are encouraged to complete these exams by the end of their fourth semester in the PhD program.
- Dissertation Prospectus. To be approved as described in the PhD requirements, preferably by the end of the fifth semester in the PhD program.
- Dissertation. To be completed by the end of the tenth semester in the PhD program.
- Final Examination (upon submission of dissertation). Two hours of oral defense of the dissertation.