The Graduate Program in Classics is designed to prepare students for vigorous academic careers in Classics and associated fields. The program provides rigorous training in the fundamentals of classical scholarship with a view to the demands of both teaching and research. Successful students develop both a broad understanding of classical languages and culture, and special expertise in diverse areas of classical studies. Our doctorates are capable of teaching both Greek and Latin up to the intermediate level, one of the languages at advanced levels, undergraduate courses in classical civilization, and graduate courses in one or more special areas.
Our faculty is among the largest and most diverse in the nation, and its interests and expertise encompass a wide spectrum of fields and approaches. A continually evolving menu of seminars and supporting courses helps students develop essential skills and gain familiarity with multiple areas of classical studies; directed reading enables them to acquire broad competence and also to explore special interests; and supervised research provides training and guidance in the scholarly methods required for the dissertation and academic publication.
The size of our graduate program has significant advantages, not least of which is the wide range of academic interests and backgrounds among our 25-30 students. The cozy environment of Waggener Hall promotes lively interaction and exchange among graduate students and faculty working in multiple disciplines. Other special attractions include a superb inhouse library, abundant electronic resources, and opportunities to teach in a large and diverse undergraduate program. A steady stream of visiting scholars, frequent lectures and colloquia, yearly conferences, and various informal reading and discussion groups further enrich the department’s intellectual life. Our graduate students regularly present papers at academic conferences, submit articles to classical journals, participate in archaeological fieldwork, assist in editorial projects, and organize academic events on campus.
The Department maintains close ties with several other graduate programs, including Art History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, History, Comparative Literature, and English. A cooperative arrangement with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University permits students to take courses there for UT credit. The Department also supports students interested in pursuing study abroad. The faculty has close ties with the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and the American Academy in Rome. In recent years, students have studied in Britain, Germany, Greece, and Italy on Fulbright, DAAD, and other fellowships.
Our graduate program offers the MA and the PhD in Classics. Requirements for both degrees are strict enough to ensure that every student acquires broad general knowledge of classical culture, and yet flexible enough to enable students to acquire research expertise in areas of special interest. Students with special interests in ancient philosophy or classical archaeology may pursue special doctoral concentrations in those areas.
The program is designed to be completed in 6 years (5 years by well prepared students): 2-3 years to complete preliminary doctoral requirements (including the MA), and 2 years to write a dissertation. Students entering with an MA may complete the program more quickly; students who need time to solidify their languages or to pursue study abroad, or who take up appointments elsewhere before finishing, naturally take longer.
Note to prospective Latin teachers
An MA in is not required for teaching certification in Latin, and students interested in proceeding directly from the BA to certification in Latin should contact the Undergraduate Advisor.
Qualified students may pursue the MA in Classics together with teaching certification in Latin, which requires completing an additional 18 credit-hours in the College of Education; 9 of these additional hours involve supervised practice teaching in a secondary school.
Collections — The Classics Library, located within the department in Waggener Hall and managed by its own dedicated staff, houses over thirty thousand volumes spanning all areas of classical studies. Supporting collections and staff are located in the Perry-Castañeda Library, the Architecture and Planning Library, the Fine Arts Library, and other branch units. Holdings of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center include a collection of Greek papyri from Egypt and numerous Renaissance editions of classical texts. The Battle Collection of Plaster Casts and a collection of ancient pottery are housed in the Blanton Museum of Art. Graduate students also have access to the Swenson Coin Collection; the Meritt and Reinmuth squeeze collections; a collection of drawings, photographs, and notes on ancient architecture by Lucy Shoe Meritt; and a substantial study collection of material objects from around the ancient Mediterranean, Egypt and the Near East included. Additional collections within the Department include a comprehensive photographic archive of prehistoric Aegean and Cypriot inscriptions and related research materials maintained by the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP); visual media including over fifteen thousand digital images (all indexed through DASE) and over seventy thousand slides; a continually updated computer laboratory linked to major classical databases and equipped with scanners, GIS, and other tools; and our own full-time instructional technology and media staff.
Fieldwork — The department sponsors archaeological fieldwork at Morgantina in Sicily (the Contrada Agnese Project) and at Histria in Romania (the Histria Multiscalar Archaeological Project), as well as ongoing work on the Aqua Traiana aqueduct near Rome and publication of excavations as Chersonesus in Crimea.
As the state’s flagship institution of higher education, UT Austin attracts a large and diverse body of undergraduate students (about 38,000). The great majority are Texas residents, but many others come from around the country and the globe. Undergraduate admission is competitive, and undergraduate teaching is a top priority both across the campus and in Classics. Graduate students in Classics make vital contributions to undergraduate teaching in Classical Civilization, Latin, and occasionally Greek.
Consistently ranked among the nation’s top public research universities, UT Austin is also home to about 11,000 graduate students, the great majority from other states and many other countries. Graduate students in Classics number around 30, usually including some studying overseas. Another 20 or so students specializing in classical subjects pursue degrees in other programs, mainly Art History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Current graduate students have come to us from Arizona State, Case Western, Chicago, Dickinson, Florida, Haverford, Indiana, Johns Hopkins, Middlebury, Northwestern, Oberlin, Ohio State, Penn, Utah State, Washington & Lee, as well as Britain, Canada, Greece, and New Zealand. The balance of women and men is roughly even.