Classical Philology, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Classical Philology

head of department: Craig Williams

director of graduate studies: Brian Walters

department website:

college website:

overview of graduate college admissions & requirements: Graduate Admissions

overview of college admissions & requirements:

department office: 4080 Foreign Languages Building, 707 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

phone: (217) 333-1008


The Doctor of Philosophy is offered only in classical philology, which requires advanced work in both Greek and Latin. Candidates for the Ph.D. program are eligible for acceptance upon completion of the master's degree in classics or its equivalent. Once admitted, they must complete at least 64 additional graduate hours of coursework. Admission to Stage III requires passing examinations in the translation of Greek and Latin into English, the history of Greek and Latin literature, and a special author, as well as a preliminary oral examination (dissertation prospectus).

Graduate Degree Programs in Classics

Classics, MA

concentrations: Greek | Latin | Medieval Studies

Teaching of Latin, MA

Classical Philology, PhD

concentration: Medieval Studies


Applicants for admission to the MA in Classics (Greek and Latin) must ordinarily present a minimum of 20 semester hours in one of the two languages (Greek or Latin) and 15 semester hours in the other language; candidates for admission to the MA with specialization in either Greek or Latin, or the MAT in Latin, must ordinarily present at least 20 semester hours in the relevant language. Previous work in ancient history, ancient art and archaeology, philosophy, literary criticism, or linguistics is desirable.

Applicants should apply online ( and submit a personal statement of 2-3 pages, a resume or CV, transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate work completed, and a writing sample of approximately 20 pages (one or two papers) that showcases the applicant's ability to work in the original classical languages and incorporates relevant scholarship as appropriate. Three letters of recommendation are also required. 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required and should be submitted to institution code 1836. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must score at least 79 on the internet-based test (iBT); they must also pass the speaking sub-section of the iBT with a minimum score of 24 (see Applications are accepted for fall admission only. Application questions may be directed to SLCL Graduate Student Services at


Students wishing to add teacher certification in Latin to an MAT, M.A. in Latin, or Ph.D. must apply to the Foreign Language Teacher Education Program (

In order to receive certification, students must complete an M.A. in Classics with a concentration in Latin, an M.A. in Classics with a concentration in Greek and Latin, or an M.A. in the Teaching of Latin.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program, and almost all students teach. Non-native English speakers must first pass a test of their oral English ability (see

Faculty Research Interests

Greek and Latin literature of all periods; gender and sexuality; Latin poetry of the imperial period; Greek historiography and ethnography; Greek and Roman drama; reception of Classics, especially in film; animal studies; pedagogy. For further details see

Facilities and Resources

We have a renowned university library which boasts the second largest number of volumes among US university libraries after Harvard. Housed within the main library building is our first-rate Classics collection (see with over 60,000 volumes on open shelves. The University of Illinois Library's Rare Book Room houses the Turyn Archive of Greek manuscript photographs and the American Center of the International Photographic Archive of Papyri. The Department of the Classics also publishes the widely circulating peer-reviewed journal Illinois Classical Studies and its Supplements. The Krannert Art Museum and the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures have outstanding collections of ancient vases and other artifacts.

Financial Aid

University fellowships are available for the academic year. Teaching assistantships are available for both the academic year and Summer Session II.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Classical Philology

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate program requirements and the Graduate College Handbook 

CLCV 550Intro to Teaching of Classics (if not taken previously)0 or 4
24 hours of Greek and Latin, with at least eight hours in each language and at least twenty at the 500 level, including:24
Intro to Classical Studies (if not taken previously)
Intro to Classical Studies
Advanced Prose Composition (if not taken previously)
Advanced Composition (if not taken previously)
Latin Seminar
Greek Seminar
Language Requirement: Reading knowledge of two ancillary languages: German, and either French or Italian. Knowledge of one of these languages must be demonstrated at the time of admission to Stage II and the second before the start of the second year at Stage II.
GRK/LAT 599Thesis Research12-32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD?: Yes
Qualifying Exam Required: Yes
Preliminary Exam Required: Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required: Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required: Yes
Minimum GPA: 2.75