Classical Studies

The 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, Latin poetry, Roman rhetoric, translation and interpretation of classical literature, Indo-European/historical linguistics, and the classical tradition in Europe and America. In addition, Classical Studies maintains a close working relationship with the Departments of Archaeology, History of Art & Architecture, Philosophy, Modern Languages & Comparative Literature, and Religion. The program is designed to prepare students primarily for college and university careers in Classics.

The faculty of the Department of Classical Studies have expertise in a wide array of research areas. There are significant opportunities for students to gain research experience in authors and fields such as Homer, Hesiod, Archaic Poetry, Greek Tragedy and Comedy, Thucydides, Plato, Cicero, Vergil, Ovid, Livy, Juvenal, Seneca, and Tacitus and topics such as Gender and Sexuality, Ancient Myth and Religion, Greek History and Historiography, Roman Rhetoric, Roman Social and Cultural History, the Ancient Novel, Film, Reception, Textual Criticism, and Indo-European Linguistics.

Department facilities include the following:


Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics and The Journal of Field Archaeology are edited at Boston University.

Arrowsmith/Lindsay Library

The department maintains a reading-room library that includes a collection of texts from the estate of Professor William Arrowsmith. The collection is made up of Greek and Latin texts, basic reference works, and a variety of related materials. The remainder of the classical collection is housed in the University’s Mugar Library.

Computer Resources

Students have access to a broad range of online classics and humanities resources through Mugar Library.

Museum of Fine Arts

Qualified students may apply for admission to courses of study at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. For further information, consult the Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Classical Studies.