The most important elements in your choice of a graduate school should be the program and the faculty. The basic rules and procedures of our program are outlined here as well as in the Graduate School Announcement. A more complete statement of these and of departmental custom -- the so-called "Twelve Tables" -- is sent to all admitted applicants.
Graduate study at Princeton has the twin goals of preparing students to become teachers of the classical heritage and of equipping them with the skills and critical methods required for creative and worthwhile scholarship.
The Princeton Classics Ph.D. Program fully recognizes the importance of the diverse aspects of the discipline and aims to offer all students an opportunity to develop a comprehensive and varied course of study. The Department currently offers four curricular options:
- Literature and Philology
- History (Program in the Ancient World)
- Classical Philosophy
- Classical and Hellenic Studies
Students concentrating on History are normally members of the Program in the Ancient World (PAW); those concentrating on Philosophy, of the Program in Classical Philosophy (PCP); and those concentrating also on Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, of the joint program in Classical and Hellenic Studies (CHS).
Students select their curricular option at the beginning of the program, though later changes are possible in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee. Membership in PAW is open also to students concentrating on Literature and Philology (LP), who must normally declare their decision to join PAW no later than January of their first year.
All students, irrespective of their curricular option, are required to acquire a broad knowledge of classical literature and history by the time they complete their general examinations. They also prepare for special examinations on authors or topics of their choice (the type of these examinations varies with the curricular option chosen).
Students make steady progress toward the completion of examinations and dissertation at a pace that takes account of their preparation at entrance, and their progress while in residence. Students regularly complete the general examinations by May of their third year, and complete the dissertation by the end of the fifth. In any case, we believe graduate training should lay the groundwork for future self-education. Hence we believe that students should progress as steadily and rapidly as possible.