Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Administrators

Graduate Advisor:  Helma DikWieboldt 222, helmadik@uchicago.edu
Chair of Graduate Admissions: Mark Payne, Classics 24, mpayne@uchicago.edu
Department Administrator: Kathy Fox, Classics 22B, 773-702-8514, kfox@uchicago.edu

The Program

The Graduate Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World is designed to allow students to custom build an interdisciplinary course of study that satisfies their own intellectual interests while remaining true to the rigorous and thorough training that is expected of University of Chicago graduates.

The first two years of study towards the Ph.D. are spent engaged in coursework. In consultation with the PAMW Graduate Advisor, students will devise a program of courses that range across the Mediterranean and/or Near Eastern worlds. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with various aspects of the ancient world (literature, philosophy, history, art and archaeology, and religion) and are encouraged to explore various methodological and theoretical approaches derived from other disciplines, especially the social sciences. The centerpiece of the program in these first two years is the two-quarter Ancient Mediterranean Seminar, co-taught by two PAMW Faculty members, which is designed to introduce students to issues of historical method while studying a topic that changes annually.

At the end of the second year of study, students choose two Faculty members who will advise them as they prepare for the two Field Examinations, which are sat in the course of the third year. The Field Examinations are intended to test requisite research skills in connection with specialized topics. Students are also expected to demonstrate competence in two modern languages (normally French and German) and two ancient languages before the end of their third year.

Once the Field Examinations are completed, the student assembles a Dissertation Committee of three faculty members. The Committee will assist the student in preparing a Dissertation Proposal, which must be presented before the end of the fourth year. Students are also required to enroll in the two-quarter dissertation proposal workshop. The final Dissertation is defended before members of the Department and interested members of other Departments. The curriculum is designed so that all requirements can be fulfilled within six years.

Requirements (2006 and later)

A.M. Degree in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Candidates for the Ph.D. Degree in the Ancient Mediterranean World are required to pass translation examinations in two ancient languages by the end of their third year of study. Accordingly, they must have chosen these languages before registering for the Autumn Quarter of their first year. Candidates who intend to offer Greek and/or Latin for their translation examinations should sit the relevant diagnostic examinations set by the Classics Department in the week before the first week of Autumn Quarter.

During their first year, candidates must take a total of nine courses for quality grades (B or higher), including:

  1. The two-quarter Ancient Mediterranean World seminar.
  2. At least ONE quarter of the language and literature survey in Greek or Latin, if they intend to offer one of these languages for their translation examination. Please note: If PAMW doctoral students wish to serve as assistants in the Greek or Latin language sequences offered by the Department of Classics, they must have passed (with an average grade of B or higher) TWO quarters of the language and literature sequence in the relevant language. To be eligible to serve as an instructor in the Greek or Latin language sequences offered by the Department of Classics, they must have previously served as an assistant and passed the PAMW translation examination in the relevant language.
  3. TWO additional courses distributed across TWO of the following disciplinary fields: literature; philosophy/religion; art/archaeology; social sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology, political science).
  4. In addition, candidates must pass the university examination in one modern language (French or German, except by approval of the chair).

Once these requirements have been fulfilled, candidates will be awarded the A.M. Degree in the Ancient Mediterranean World.

Ph.D. Degree in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Candidates for the Ph.D. Degree in the Ancient Mediterranean World are required to pass translation examinations in two ancient languages by the end of their third year of study. Accordingly, they must have chosen these languages before registering for the Autumn Quarter of their first year. Candidates who intend to offer either Greek or Latin for their translation examinations should sit the diagnostic examinations set by the Classics Department in the week before the first week of Autumn Quarter.

Scholastic Residence Year 1

During their first year, candidates must take a total of nine courses for quality grades (B or higher), including:

  • The two-quarter Ancient Mediterranean World seminar.
  • At least ONE quarter of the language and literature survey in Greek or Latin, if they intend to offer one of these languages for their translation examination.
  • TWO additional courses distributed across two of the following disciplinary fields: literature; philosophy/religion; art/archaeology; social sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology, political science).

In addition, candidates must pass the University Examination in one modern language (French or German, except by approval of the chair). Once these requirements have been fulfilled, candidates will be awarded the A.M. Degree in the Ancient Mediterranean World.

Scholastic Residence Year 2

To be advanced to the Ph.D. program, candidates must complete course work as specified for the A.M. in the Ancient Mediterranean World, above. These requirements should be fulfilled preferably before the end of the first year of residence. In any case, all requirements from the first year, including incompletes, must be completed no later than the first Monday of Autumn Quarter. Students who do not meet this deadline will be placed on academic probation until the requirements are met (see below).

Once advanced to the Ph.D. program, candidates must take a further total of nine courses for quality grades (B or higher), including:

  1. At least ONE quarter of the language and literature survey in Greek or Latin, if they intend to offer the second of these languages for their translation examination. Please note: If PAMW doctoral students wish to serve as assistants in the Greek or Latin language sequences offered by the Department of Classics, they must have passed (with an average grade of B or higher) TWO quarters of the language and literature sequence in the relevant language. To be eligible to serve as an instructor in the Greek or Latin language sequences offered by the Department of Classics, they must have previously served as an assistant and passed the PAMW translation examination in the relevant language.
  2. At least TWO courses to be chosen from the remaining TWO of the four disciplinary fields (literature; philosophy/religion; art/archaeology; social sciences) NOT selected for the first-year requirements.
  3. During the Spring Quarter of their second year, candidates must pick two field examination topics (see below), for which they have secured the prior assent of a PAMW faculty examiner for each topic, and submit their proposed topics for the consideration of the PAMW Executive Committee before the end of Spring Quarter.

Advancement to Scholastic Residence Year 3

To be advanced to Scholastic Residence Year 3, candidates must complete course work as specified for the Scholastic Residence Year 2 requirements, above. These requirements should be fulfilled preferably before the end of the second year of residence. In any case, all requirements from the second year, including incompletes, must be completed no later than the first Monday of Autumn Quarter. Students who do not meet this deadline will be placed on academic probation until the requirements are met (see below).

Scholastic Residence Year 3

Third-year candidates must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Candidates must pass two two-hour field examinations in the course of their third year, the first no later than the end of Autumn Quarter and the second no later than the end of Spring Quarter. Each field examination is designed to test more specialized methods with a view to dissertation research and will be based on a reading list agreed with the faculty examiner. At least TWO different culture areas (Greek; Roman; Near Eastern; Egyptian) need to be covered between the two field exams. Candidates who fail either field exam will be given one further chance to pass it in the week prior to the commencement of the following Autumn Quarter. Possible field examination topics include, but are not limited to: Ptolemaic Egypt; Greek epigraphy; Hellenistic Greek coinage; the ancient economy; Bronze Age Greece; Early Rome; Greek sanctuaries; the Eastern Roman Provinces; ancient law; Greeks, Romans, and Celts; or the Arab conquests.
  2. Candidates must also have passed translation examinations in TWO ancient languages no later than the end of their third year. Examinations in Greek or Latin will be based on the PAMW Language Translation Examination Reading List. Dictionaries (LSJ or OLD only) will be allowed during the examination. Examinations in other ancient languages will normally be administered by PAMW faculty members in the relevant departments. Candidates may sit the translation exams in earlier years and there is no limit on the number of times they may retake them. However, if candidates have still not passed one or both of the translation examinations by the end of the third year, they will have only one further chance to pass in the week prior to the commencement of the following Autumn Quarter.
  3. In addition, candidates must pass the university examination in a second modern language (French or German, except by approval of the chair) before the end of their third year.

In the Spring Quarter of their third year, candidates must assemble a dissertation committee (normally three faculty members, of whom at least two must hold appointments in the Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World, with the chair or co-chair holding a full appointment in the Department of Classics).

Academic Probation

Students placed on academic probation are ineligible for teaching and assistantship positions and for any forms of additional fellowship money, such as an increase in their annual stipend or a departmental fellowship. Any student who remains on academic probation by the beginning of the fourth week of Spring Quarter will be discontinued from the program at the end of the academic year.

Candidacy for the Ph.D. in the Ancient Mediterranean World

To be admitted to candidacy, students must:

  1. Enroll in the two-quarter dissertation proposal workshop.
  2. Submit a dissertation proposal at the end of the dissertation proposal workshop and in no case later than the end of the fourth year. The proposal should consist of a prospectus of approximately 20–25 pages, including bibliography. While the prospectus is necessarily provisional and dissertations will evolve in different directions with further research and writing, the dissertation prospectus should present: (i) a succinct statement of the problem or topic to be addressed; (ii) a brief overview of the most important previous scholarship on the question; (iii) a clear articulation of the scholarly contribution that the dissertation will make; (iv) a brief account of the methodology or methodologies to be applied, with relevant examples; (v) a provisional outline of the dissertation’s contents and chapter organization; and (vi) a preliminary, working bibliography. The faculty will vote electronically whether to approve the proposal within two weeks of submission.
  3. Pass the university examination in a second modern language (if not done already).

After completing these requirements, the candidate is formally admitted to Ph.D. candidacy (ABD).

The Ph.D. in the Ancient Mediterranean World

To graduate with the degree of Ph.D. in the Ancient Mediterranean World, a candidate must:

  1. Be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.
  2. Complete the dissertation and defend it before the gathered members of the department and interested faculty and students from other departments. Candidates will not be able to schedule defenses until the dissertation is approved by all members of their dissertation committee. A final, clean copy of the dissertation must be submitted to the departmental office at least one month prior to the scheduled date of the defense. Dissertations should not exceed 100,000 words (including references but excluding bibliography and appendices) and candidates should append a signed letter declaring the word-count.
  3. Satisfy any other divisional or university requirements.

Please note: If PAMW doctoral students wish to serve as assistants in the Greek or Latin language sequences offered by the Department of Classics, they must have passed (with an average grade of B or higher) TWO quarters of the language and literature sequence in the relevant language. To be eligible to serve as an instructor in the Greek or Latin language sequences offered by the Department of Classics, they must have previously served as an assistant and passed the PAMW translation examination in the relevant language.