Graduate Programs

Graduate Studies in Classics at WashU

Washington University in St. Louis offers a terminal Master of Arts in Classics (two years full-time study) and Doctor of Philosophy in Classics (six years full-time study). Graduate students benefit from a strong faculty in Classics and related fields both in the Department of Classics and beyond, an institutional openness to interdisciplinary study, resources including significant collections of ancient coins and papyri, and opportunities for a wide range of experiences in both research and teaching.

It is hoped that students in the graduate programs will find their work and the achievement of a graduate degree exciting and fulfilling in their own right, even as they prepare for life after graduation. The department supports students’ exploration of both academic and nonacademic careers and strives to make the rigorous MA and PhD programs meaningful preparation for a variety of professional paths. There are many opportunities to discuss career paths from the very first years of the program, both in and out of the classroom. MA and PhD students may also practice presentation of their research, meet professionals from outside the department, and explore career-planning resources offered at Washington University and beyond.

Our Graduate Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy in Classics

The Department of Classics at Washington University in St. Louis invites applications to its PhD program from individuals with a strong undergraduate foundation in Latin and Greek and a proven aptitude for research and teaching in Classics. The PhD degree requires completion of coursework, exams, a master’s thesis, and a PhD dissertation. Students may pursue their own areas of special interest or choose from one of four specialized tracks in ancient history, music, performance, or philosophy. To learn more about the Doctor of Philosophy in Classics requirements, please select the link below to the Department of Classics Graduate Student Handbook.

Department of Classics Graduate Student Handbook

Masters of Arts in Classics

Students in the MA program work toward increased language proficiency, a deeper knowledge of Greek and Roman culture, literature, and history, and research experience. They are mentored by faculty with diverse specialties within the field and have opportunities to take courses in affiliated fields such as Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and Art History & Archaeology. Finally, they gain valuable teaching experience through mentored teaching experiences. To learn more about the Master of Arts in Classics requirements, please select the link below to the Department of Classics Graduate Student Handbook.

Department of Classics Graduate Student Handbook

MAT in Latin

Prospective students who desire to teach Latin at the secondary level but do not wish to pursue the MA in Classics may apply to Washington University's MAT program with a concentration in Latin. This program is administered by the Department of Education, with some input and advising by Classics. It includes instruction in language pedagogy and practice in teaching. To learn more about the MAT program, follow the link below to be redirected to the Washington University Department of Education.

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in the Department of Education

Funding your studies in Classics

PhD Student Funding

PhD students receive full tuition remission plus a University Fellowship (UF) from the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences, guaranteed for six years at the time of admission as long as the student makes satisfactory academic progress. The Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences also typically awards an additional summer stipend to each student, to be used to help the student with academic travel or living expenses.

MA Student Funding

MA students typically receive full tuition remission, which is not tied to any service performed by the student; the only requirement for continuing to receive tuition remission is satisfactory academic progress. The Department of Classics is able to provide additional funding for MA students through positions as Assistants in Instruction and Research Assistants. Some Classics MA students receive support from the Cordelia M. Birch Fund or the Irma C. Schopp Fund. All MA applicants will be automatically considered for funding. For more funding opportunities, see the Graduate Resources listed below.

The Cordelia M. Birch and Irma C. Schopp Funds

How to Apply

Follow the link below to learn more about our application process.

Learn More

Study Abroad

The Department of Classics encourages both its MA and its PhD students to take advantage of opportunities to study and do research abroad. The Department of Classics and the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences have funds available to assist students in taking advantage of these and other opportunities for international study and research. Funding for study abroad is available through the department's Robert Lamberton and Susan Rotroff Fund and Kevin Herbert Memorial Fund. After completing the PhD, Washington University graduate students can apply for postdoctoral fellowships for work in Germany sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Washington University graduate students are eligible to participate in:

The American Academy in Romeincluding the American Academy's Classical Summer School and more (both the year-long and summer programs).

The American School of Classical Studies in Athens (both the year-long and summer programs).

The Exchange Program with the University of Cologne, administered through Washington University's Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.


With direction from faculty experts and the benefit of on-campus research resources, our graduate students pursue master's theses and dissertations on a wide variety of subjects. Some also expand their skills and expertise by participating in faculty research. See our overview of research in the department.

The Department of Classics is a member of the Heartland Graduate Workshop in Ancient Studies consortium, which organizes annual conferences for graduate papers by students from programs in the midwest, plains, and mountain states.