Graduate Program

Helen Magill (White), the first woman to receive a PhD in the United States. Courtesy of Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College
Helen Magill (White) received her PhD in Greek  from BU in 1877, making her the first woman to receive a PhD in the United States. Photo courtesy of Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

The MA/PhD in Classical Studies prepares students to be effective and inspiring teachers and insightful professional scholars of classical antiquity. The program centers on structured study of the classical languages, Greco-Roman culture, and the perspectives and methods of research available for the classical world. As teachers, mentors, and evaluators, the faculty provide careful training and guidance of students, who are encouraged to show independent initiative in pursuing their own interests, goals, and intellectual identities.

The Department of Classical Studies promotes interdisciplinary and comparative literary, historical, and cultural studies embracing a wide range of areas, and has particular strength in Greek drama, Greek and Roman epic, Greek and Roman history, Roman rhetoric, translation and interpretation of classical literature, Indo-European/historical linguistics, and the classical tradition in Europe and America. The program is designed to prepare students primarily for college and university careers in classics.

We seek students of outstanding accomplishment, originality, and imagination who wish to communicate their enthusiasm to others, both as teachers and scholars. Typically, successful applicants have a minimum of three years (or the equivalent) of Greek and Latin.

Prospective students should click on the sidebar menu to find out more about our MA, our MA/PHD and PhD Program, and our Dual-Degree Program, MA in Classical Studies and PhD in Philosophy.  For those interested in more information, please contact our Director of Graduate Admissions, James Uden at or 617-358-1765.

The Department of Classical Studies works closely with faculty and students from across the Humanities, including the Departments of Art History, Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Religion, and Philosophy, and the School of Theology.  Affiliated areas of specialties include:

Ancient Studies

BU Literary Translation Seminar: Prof. Karl Kirchwey (Creative Writing)
Akkadian, Hebrew Bible, Assyriology and Egyptology: Assoc. Professor Alejandro Botta (School of Theology)
Classical Archaeology, Bronze and Iron Age Anatolia Archaeology: Assoc. Professor Christopher Roosevelt (Department of Archaeology)
Classical Archaeology, Hellenistic and Roman East: Professor Andrea Berlin, James R. Wiseman Emeritus in Classical Archaeology
Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean: Professor Curtis Runnels (Department of Archaeology)
Ancient Egyptian Archaeology: Professor Kathryn Bard (Department of Archaeology)
Greek Art: Asst. Professor S. Rebecca Martin (Department of History of Art and Architecture)
Etruscan and Roman Art: Professor Fred Kleiner (Department of History of Art and Architecture
Ancient Mediterranean Religions: Professor David Frankfurter, William Goodwin Aurelio Chair (Department of Religion)
Ancient Philosophy: Professor Charles Griswold, Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy (Department of Philosophy)
Ancient Philosophy: Professor David Roochnik (Department of Philosophy)
Ancient Political Science: Assoc. Prof. Judith Swanson (Department of Political Science)
Comparative Studies of Ancient China, Japan, and Greco-Roman Comparisons: Assoc. Professor Wiebke Denecke (Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature)
Ancient Judaism: Assoc. Professor Jonathan Klawans (Department of Religion)
Early Christianity, Gender Studies: Assoc. Professor Jennifer Knust (School of Theology, Department of Religion)


Classical and Medieval Jewish Studies: Assoc. Professor Diana Lobel (Department of Religion)
Literature and History of Ancient Christianity: Assoc. Professor Jennifer Knust (Department of Religion)
Dante, Petrarch: Prof. Dennis Costa (Department of Romance Languages)
Medieval and Renaissance French: Assoc. Professor Irit Kleiman (Department of Romance Languages)
Historical Linguistics: Assoc. Professor Jonathan Barnes (Deparment of Roman Studies/ Linguistics Program)


Renaissance Art: Professor Jodi Cranston (Department of History of Art and Architecture)
Middle English Poetry: Asst. Professor Amy Appleford (Department of English)
English and European Renaissance: Professor Christopher Martin (Department of English)
Dryden and Pope: Professor James Winn (Department of English)
Milton: Assoc. Professor Erin Murphy (Department of English)