Graduate Programs

The Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies offers four MA programs and four PhD programs.

MA in Ancient Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity (ACRE)

The ACRE program is an interdisciplinary program housed within the department that allows students to craft a program that best suits their academic goals. The following rubrics offer possible ways students might best prepare themselves for future work in specific fields, and are offered for example only. Every ACRE student’s program is unique and designed to suit their academic aims. The degree is also suitable for students wishing to pursue Classics or Religious Studies, but lacking the required undergraduate preparation.

MA in Classics (CLAS)

The MA in Classics is a two-year degree that allows students to gain the necessary proficiency in Greek and Latin to proceed to a PhD. It is designed to provide core skills in philology, and to be flexible enough to allow for specialization in Ancient History, Literature, or Philosophy.

MA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology (CNAR)

The MA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology is a two-year degree that allows students to specialize in the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Coursework can survey from the Bronze Age civilizations of the Near East and Egypt to Roman provincial archaeology, providing a broadly based foundation for further archaeological training. The degree balances research with fieldwork to best prepare students for a career in archaeology.

MA in Religious Studies (RELG)

The MA in Religious Studies provides a foundation in the history and study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and in the variety of methodologies that are used to study them. Students also have the opportunity to explore other religious traditions and texts within a comprehensive worldview that seeks to understand the place of religion in society in antiquity and today.

PhD in Classics

Our program is designed to develop candidates’ skills to the highest level by developing competence in Greek and Latin and the relevant modern languages and by exposing candidates to a very wide range of academic approaches to the ancient world, thus taking advantage of the unique combination of disciplines in this department. Students’ progress is monitored constantly stage by stage to ensure that no aspect of their development is neglected. Up until the Comprehensive Examination the emphasis is on range and breadth; after that, students will be encouraged and enabled to narrow their focus so that they become world experts in their chosen dissertation topic. Our aim is to equip our graduating PhD students with all the professional skills they may need to attain a tenure-track teaching position and to carry out the varied responsibilities which such a position brings.

Under normal circumstances a student will be able to complete this program in 5 years.

PhD in Classics (Ancient History)

This program gives candidates an opportunity to build a PhD in Ancient History that is multidisciplinary with its sister-fields of Archaeology and Philology, taking maximum advantage of the range of expertise available in and beyond CNERS. While the candidates will focus their various course projects on historical topics, it is envisaged that as much as half of this work will be undertaken in courses that are primarily archaeological or philological in nature. The faculty teaching those courses will make every effort to support the candidates’ selection of historically focused research projects.

The Ancient History option provides students with a unique opportunity to combine the study of Ancient history with a second historical field. The Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies envisages that those who successfully complete this program will be able to enter the job-market confident in their ability to teach both Greek and Roman history, an additional field complementary to their major field (determined by the student early in the program), either Greek or Latin at an advanced level, with graduate-level proficiency in the other. The department believes that this program will make graduates attractive to History departments as well as those teaching Classics.

Under normal circumstances a student will be able to complete this program in 5 years.

PhD in Classics (Classical Archaeology)

This program gives candidates an opportunity to build a PhD in Classical Archaeology that is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, and taking maximum advantage of the range of expertise available in and beyond CNERS. Candidates will focus their various course projects on archaeological topics, but it is envisaged that courses may be also undertaken in areas that are primarily historical or philological in nature; cognate courses in Near Eastern archaeology and Egyptology may also be taken. The teaching faculty will make every effort to support the candidates’ selection of archaeologically focused research projects.

The Classical Archaeology option provides students with an opportunity to combine the study of Classical Archaeology with other branches of Classical and Near Eastern studies, not only to contextualize their own archaeological work, but also to equip them to enter the job-market confident of their ability to teach both Greek and Roman archaeology as well as a related field in ancient studies and Greek or Latin to at least entry level.

Under normal circumstances a student will be able to complete this program in 5 years.

PhD in Religious Studies

The PhD program in Religious Studies at present provides training in Early Judaism, Christian Origins, and Religions of the Late Antique Mediterranean. The level of achievement reached will provide the successful candidates with the professional equipment to conduct original research in their chosen fields and to teach at the college or university level.