Prospective Students

From the Director of Graduate Studies

We are not a very large department, but the interests of our faculty range widely, from Aegean prehistory to the medieval period. Our students have the opportunity to explore dirt archaeology, social, cultural, political, intellectual, and economic history, textual criticism and palaeography, philosophy and political theory, gender, ethnicity, and identity, papyrology and epigraphy, historiography and literary theory, digital Classics, the many aspects of ancient material culture, and of course the rich harvest of Greek and Latin. Here, then, is a department where you can discover not only the things that excite you, but also their many and even unexpected points of contact with other subjects and disciplines. Many of our faculty and students enjoy strong intellectual ties with other units such as Art, Art History and Visual Studies, History, Literature, Medieval Studies, Political Science, Religion, and the Library, as well as with colleagues just down the road at UNC-Chapel Hill. This is an exciting place, where ideas flourish and good things happen.

For us, diversity is as essential to the creation of that environment as interdisciplinarity is; in the students and faculty colleagues whom we endeavor to recruit, in the subjects that we research, in the material and outlook that we bring to the classroom. “Collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging” are not only the watchwords of Duke University’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion but crucial animating principles of our intellectual community.

With roughly three students admitted per year, that community is as tight as it is varied. Students work closely with faculty from the start, navigating one of two flexible tracks within the PhD program, one that emphasizes robust, broad training in Classical Studies, and a new track that offers specialized training in Archaeology broadly defined. Students are admitted with generous financial support for five years; this includes full tuition, fees, health coverage, and an annual stipend of about $24,000. Students may also apply for additional scholarships and fellowships, university and departmental travel awards, support for modern foreign-language study, and funding beyond the fifth year.

Teaching and research are two sides of a coin, and here you will have the opportunity to TA twice in your second and/or third year and then, in your fourth and fifth, to take the reins and teach courses on your own (one per semester), to some of the brightest and most accomplished undergraduates in the world. That is a lot of responsibility, but it comes with enormous support: a generous financial package, a top-notch graduate school, a world-class library, unparalleled campus amenities, a collegial group of excellent graduate students, a faculty devoted to excellence in teaching, research, and service, but most of all: a warm community of scholars who are excited to share what we have built and to welcome new colleagues—that means you.

You could say that Duke Classical Studies offers the best of two worlds. We are a small, tight group such as you might find in a liberal arts college, and yet we are part of a high-powered research institution. Durham, which surrounds our beautiful campus, is much the same. It is a small city, where people know each other and feel at home, but its restaurants and breweries and music and arts scene put those of many bigger cities to shame. Durham is just exploding with life and ideas and opportunities, just the way we aim to be in Classical Studies.

To learn more about our program and decide whether Duke Classical Studies is a place where you can see yourself growing and thriving, please feel free to email me, or any of our faculty.

With every good wish for your future career,

Lauren D. Ginsberg
Associate Professor, Classical Studies
Director of Graduate Studies


Financial Support

The Department of Classical Studies supports for five years all students to whom we have offered admission and who are making satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. Read more

How to Apply

Students seeking to do graduate work at Duke University for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the dean. Read more

Living in Durham

Durham is a great place for graduate study: affordable, green, rich in art & culture, vibrant, welcoming, family-friendly and smart--with the highest concentration of Ph.D’s in the nation. Read more