Apply to Our PhD Program

October 1, 2018

Check our page How to Apply

Join a vibrant community of scholars who promote an interdisciplinary approach to the ancient world and work on a wide range of topics! 

  • Ancient Philosophy from Plato to Plotinus and Augustine
  • Ancient Religion from Classical Greece to Roman Egypt and Late Antiquity
  • Ancient Science and Technology
  • Archaeological Science
  • Mediterranean and Near Eastern Archaeology from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity and Byzantium
  • Military History
  • Roman Law
  • Textual and Visual Forms of Expression in the Ancient World


We offer a PhD program with six concentrations:

  • Ancient History
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Classical Archaeology
  • Classical Philology and Literature
  • Greek and Latin Languages and Linguistics
  • Interdisciplinary Classics

and welcome and encourage interdisciplinary research in a diverse learning environment.


We guarantee SIX years of generous funding

  • two years of Sage fellowships (first and fifth year)
  • a combination of fellowships and teaching assistantships for the other years
  • no competition for funding

and offer more funding opportunities:

  • Conference grants
  • Summer support for special projects (modern language courses, field schools, etc.)


Our students win prestigious fellowships:

  • American Academy in Rome:The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize
  • American School of Classical Studies at Athens: The Thomas Day Seymour Fellowship in history and literature, The Martin Ostwald Fellowship
  • American School of Oriental Research:Platt Excavation Fellowship
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program
  • Wenner-Gren Foundation: Dissertation Fieldwork Grant


Our students get great jobs at institutions of excellence. Look at our job placement for 2015-2019:

  • Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
  • Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
  • Assistant Professor, University of Belgrade
  • Assistant Professor, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Purdue University


This is what students say about the program:

"One of the best things about the Classics PhD program at Cornell is the strong spirit of collaboration on research that challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries between humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences. As a student on the archaeology track working on the applications of chemistry to archaeology, I've found a warm welcome and strong support from faculty, staff, and students across multiple departments in a diverse range of STEM fields. I haven't encountered another university where the opportunities to do something new and innovative in the Classics are so clearly right at your fingertips, ready to be explored." Rebecca Gerdes, third year student in Classical Archaeology.

"What I value the most about the PHD program here is the rigor.  From precision in translation to probing new ideas, every professor has challenged my thinking and forced me to continually challenge my own assumptions. The program makes you the best scholar you can be." Colin Behrens, third year in Ancient History.

"When I left Italy to pursue my studies in the USA, I did not know what to expect. Here at Cornell, not only have I found a challenging program and inspiring mentors, but also an academic community in which I feel at home.” Mathieu Real, third year in Classical Philology and Literature.

“The department here is a friendly, helpful environment that encourages cooperation rather than competition between grad students.” Emily Shanahan, first year in Classical Philology and Literature.

Klarman Hall at sunset