Ph.D. Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

Administrators

Graduate Advisor: Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, Classics 26, sbartsch@uchicago.edu
Chair of Graduate Admissions: Sarah Nooter, Wieboldt 115, nooter@uchicago.edu
Department Administrator: Kathy Fox, Classics 22B, 773-702-8514, kfox@uchicago.edu

The Program

The study of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy is inherently interdisciplinary.  Scholars must be able to situate philosophical texts in their broader cultural context.  They must also be alive to the way a given text engages with and contributes to its philosophical tradition. Finally, they must be able to communicate effectively with scholars trained in either classics or philosophy. Thus, students who plan to specialize in ancient philosophy ought to receive an interdisciplinary training.  Since both classics and philosophy have exacting and distinct standards of disciplinary training, we decided to establish a program in which students will enroll in either the doctoral program in Classics or in the doctoral program in Philosophy but will be required to take certain courses in both departments. The program is a joint program, in the sense that the faculty of both departments are committed to training students in the other department in the ways specified below, and in that the students will develop a working relationship with each other, both through participation in seminars and in the Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Workshop.

Students enrolled in the Ph.D. degree in the Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy in the Classics Department are required to pass a total of 18 courses, of which 16 must be passed in the first and second years. At the end of the second year, students choose two faculty members to advise them on the oral examination, which must be taken by the end of the Winter Quarter of the third year of the Program. Once the examination is completed, students assemble a dissertation committee of three members. The committee will assist the student in preparing a dissertation proposal, which must be presented to the Classics Department faculty by the end of the Autumn Quarter of the fourth year. Students are expected to attend the Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Workshop throughout their enrollment in the program.

 

Students must fulfill the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts before proceeding to the Ph.D. 

The Degree of Master of Arts

Candidates who do not already possess an M.A. in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy must:

  1. Take diagnostic examinations in Greek and Latin in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter. On the basis of these results, the Graduate Adviser will discuss individual candidates' specific linguistic needs and suggest a program of study designed to enable the student to pass the first language competency examination at the end of the first year.
  2. Complete, with an average grade no lower than B, one two-quarter sequence devoted to rapid reading of Greek or Latin texts. A competency examination in the language of the survey will be set at the end of the Spring Quarter. The passages for translation will be drawn from a reading list; the use of a dictionary is permitted. Candidates who fail this examination will be given one further chance to pass it in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter.
  3. Complete, with a grade no lower than B, two quarters of seminar work (400-level courses in Greek, Latin, or Classics, or 500-level courses in the Philosophy Department). One of the seminars must be on Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. Two seminar research papers, selected by the student, are to be placed in his or her file. One two-quarter seminar resulting in a single paper fulfills this requirement. (One of the required seminars may be deferred to the third year, provided that a total of 8 courses is completed in the first year.)
  4. Complete, with a grade no lower than B, one course in the Philosophy Department, dealing with a topic other than ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. (This requirement may likewise be deferred to the third year.)
  5. Pass the prose composition course in Greek or Latin.
  6. Demonstrate competence in the reading of either French or German.

Once these requirements have been fulfilled, candidates will be awarded the M.A. Degree in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy.

Students coming to the Department with an M.A. in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy from another university must:

  1. Take diagnostic examinations in Greek and Latin in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter. Should the student not demonstrate sufficient fluency on the diagnostics, he or she will be required to take both quarters of both survey courses; the student will in any case be required to take both quarters of one survey course. Competency examinations in the language of the survey will be set at the end of the Spring Quarter and should be taken by candidates, even if they have been exempted from two quarters of the survey.
  2. Either satisfy the seminar requirement for the M.A. (see item 3 under M.A. Degree, above) or be exempted from the requirement. To be exempted a student must submit two seminar research papers to the Graduate Advisor, who will decide whether or not they satisfy the requirement.
  3. Complete, with a grade no lower than B, one course in the Philosophy Department, dealing with a topic other than ancient Greek and Roman philosophy (see item 4 under M.A. Degree, above)
  4. Pass the prose composition course in Greek or Latin.
  5. Demonstrate competence in the reading of either French or German.

The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Advancement to the Ph.D. in Classical Languages and Literatures

To be advanced to the Ph.D. program, candidates must:

  1. Complete course work as specified for the M.A. in the Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, 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 requirement is met (see below).
  2. Pass the first language competency examination in Greek or Latin set at the end of the Spring Quarter of their first year. Candidates who fail the language competency examination will be given one further chance to pass it in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter. Failure to pass a second time will result in the termination of the student's enrolment at the end of the second year.

Scholastic Residence Requirements

Once advanced to the Ph.D. program, candidates must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Complete, with an average grade no lower than B, the second two-quarter sequence devoted to rapid reading of Greek or Latin texts. A second examination in the language of the survey will be set at the end of the spring quarter. The passages for translation will be drawn from a reading list;  the use of a dictionary is permitted. Candidates who fail this examination will be given one further chance to pass it in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter.
  2. Complete, with a grade no lower than B, two more quarters of seminar work. One of the seminars must be in Ancient Greek or Roman philosophy. Two seminar research papers, selected by the student, are to be placed in his or her file. One two-quarter seminar resulting in a single paper fulfills this requirement. (One of the seminars may be deferred to the third year, provided that a total of 16 courses is completed in the first and second years.)
  3. Complete, with a grade no lower than B, a third course in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy (This requirement may overlap with the seminar requirement; and it may likewise be deferred to the third year.)
  4. Complete, with a grade no lower than B, one course in the Philosophy Department, dealing with a topic other than ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. (This requirement may likewise be deferred to the third year.)
  5. Pass the second prose composition course.

Advancement to Scholastic Residence years 3 & 4

To be advanced to Scholastic Residence 3, candidates must:

  1. Complete all course work as specified for the Scholastic Residence Requirements, above. These requirements should be fulfilled preferably before the end of the second year of residence and in any case no later than the first Monday of Autumn Quarter. Students who do not meet this deadline will be placed on academic probation until the requirement is met (see below).
  2. Pass the second language competency examination in Greek or Latin set at the end of the spring quarter of their second year. Candidates who fail the language competency examination will be given one further chance to take it in the week prior to the commencement of the Autumn Quarter. Failure to pass a second time will result in the termination of the student's enrolment at the end of the following Spring Quarter.
  3. At the end of the second year, assemble a committee of two faculty members to advise the student on the oral examination that is given in the third year.

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 Boyer or Ryerson 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 Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

After advancement to Scholastic Residence years 3 & 4, candidates must:

  1. Pass, with a grade no lower than B, any remaining course requirements before the end of the third year. (Only two of the required 18 courses may be deferred to the third year.)
  2. Take, by the end of the Winter Quarter of the third year, a two-hour oral examination on the reading list, together with selected secondary sources. The examination will be administered by a panel of three faculty members. In the case of failure, a single retake is permitted, scheduled no later than the beginning of the fourth year.
  3. Demonstrate competence in the second modern language, either French or German, normally before the end of the third year.
  4. By the end of the Winter Quarter of the third year, assemble a dissertation committee (normally three faculty members, of whom at least two must hold full-time appointments in the Classics Department) and draft a dissertation proposal, consisting of a prospectus of approximately 20-25 pages, including bibliography. The committee chair should be a member of the Classics department. 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. A sketch of the proposal should be submitted to the dissertation committee by the end of the third year. A complete proposal, approved by the committee, must be submitted to the Departmental faculty by the end of the Autumn Quarter of the fourth year. The faculty will vote electronically whether to approve the proposal. Once approved, the candidate will be considered as advanced to Ph.D. candidacy.

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

The Ph.D. in the Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

To graduate with a Ph.D. in the Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, 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 from other Departments.
  3. Satisfy any other Divisional or University Requirements.

 

Summary of Requirements:

Years 1 and 2:

- pass at least 16 of the required 18 courses or seminars with a minimum grade of B.* (Two of the 18 required courses or seminars may be deferred to the third year.)

- pass translation examinations in Greek and Latin at the end of the first and second years

- pass at least one modern foreign language examinations

 

*Required courses or seminars:

- Greek and Latin poetry and prose surveys (4 courses)

- Greek and Latin prose composition (2 courses)

- 4 seminars, two of which must be on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.

- a third advanced level course on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. (This requirement may overlap with the seminar requirement.)

- 2 graduate level courses offered by the Philosophy Department on a subject other than ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.

 

Year 3:

- satisfy any remaining course requirements with a minimum grade of B

- pass the remaining modern foreign language examination

- enroll in the dissertation proposal workshop

- take an oral examination on the reading list and selected scholarship by the end of the Winter Quarter

- submit a sketch of the dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee by the end of the Spring Quarter

 

Year 4:

- submit a dissertation proposal to the Departmental faculty by the end of the Autumn Quarter

 

Years 5 and 6:

- complete dissertation