General Information

The Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati offers the opportunity for rigorous study in the languages and literatures of ancient Greece and Rome within an innovative and interdisciplinary environment, blending the best of philological education with new methods and approaches. In addition to our curriculum's broad coverage of ancient literature from Homer to late Antiquity, particular departmental strengths include (but are not limited to) philosophical literature, Hellenistic poetry, ancient literary criticism, drama, cultural history, science and medicine, historiography, gender studies, early imperial Latin literature, imperial Greek literature, religion, papyrology and textual criticism.

We currently have five philologists associated with the department:

Lauren Donovan Ginsberg
, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Classics. Early Imperial Latin literature (especially drama, epic, and historiography), intertextuality, cultural memory.
Kathryn J. Gutzwiller, Ph.D., Professor of Classics, Affiliated Faculty with Women's Studies. Greek and Latin poetry, Hellenistic literature, literary theory, feminist studies.
Mirjam Kotwick, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Classics. Greek philosophy, science, Homer. 
Daniel Markovich, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics. Greek and Roman rhetorical and philosophical education, didactic literature, stylistics 
Susan H. Prince, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics. Ancient Greek thought and literature, Socratic traditions.

Students work closely with faculty members in philology as well as in ancient history and archaeology to create innovative research projects that advance our knowledge of ancient literature and culture. 

At the center of our department is the Burnam Classical Library, known to be the best Classics library in North America. It contains over 270,000 volumes, and the collection in philology is particularly remarkable. The core collection includes many early editions, going back to the sixteenth century, and a special paleography section. Our librarians continue to acquire, to the degree possible, all publications relating to ancient Greece and Rome, and some of our serial holdings are rarely found in other major university collections. As a result, students are able to take on projects that would be impossible at many other institutions.

There are currently 14 active students in Philology at UC and we take pride in the diversity of our graduate student population which recruits and admits students from all over the world. In fact, we particularly encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups and from international students. Students interested in applying for admission to the graduate program should contact the Graduate Advisor for Philology and History, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for more information or in order to visit UC's campus (which we encourage interested students to do!). 

Program Overview

The department offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Classics with a specialization in Greek and Latin Philology. The Ph.D. degree offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary training in ancient languages and cultures with the primary goal of preparing for academic employment at colleges and universities. The M.A. degree is often used as a bridge to our Ph.D. program, as preparation for a degree program in other related disciplines, or as additional preparation for K-12 teachers. Both degrees, moreover, include training in highly transferable skills, and graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers both inside academia and in alt-ac fields like secondary education, academic publishing, etc.

Classical philology is the scholarly study and interpretation of ancient Greek and Latin literature. More broadly, we use texts as a lens through which to understand ancient Greek and Roman cultures. At the core of our courses are several interrelated questions: What did these texts mean to their ancient audiences? Why are these texts still meaningful in the modern world? How does a text reflect and shape the values and experiences of ancient cultures? What questions did the ancients ask of literary texts? What questions do modern interpreters ask?

The practice of philology requires strong linguistics skills as well as theoretical and interpretative knowledge. Our students obtain a high degree of proficiency in Greek and Latin through course work, independent reading with the aid of a reading list, and sight examinations. They also master reading knowledge of at least two modern languages including German and either French or Italian, unless another modern language is more suitable for their specialization.

Our curriculum features a four-year cycle of in-depth reading courses focused on individual authors, genres, or eras and standard works of scholarship (course list). We also teach seminars on cutting edge topics in ancient literature which train students in research involving ancient texts and modern interpretation. Recent seminars include:  Greek prose fiction, Roman Imperial drama, Homeric language, travel literature, ancient education, ancient literary criticism, as well as many courses on specific authors and works, such as Menander, Caesar, and Martianus Capella. Students also take courses in Greek and Latin prose composition, ancient history, and archaeology. Through these courses, departmental electives (e.g. paleography, literary theory), or through coursework taken in conjunction with other departments, students of philology become acquainted with the breadth and diversity of ancient literature and are able to tailor their education towards their research goals. We also encourage interested students to participate in other interdisciplinary courses and take courses in such topics as Early Christian or Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College, which is located within easy walking distance of the UC campus.
 

Support and Travel

We offer guaranteed fellowship packages (with tiers between $20,000 to $22,000 per year in addition to annual tuition remission) for up to seven years for Ph.D. students entering with a relevant BA degree or up to six years for students entering with a relevant M.A. degree. This makes our funding package among the most generous in the country so that our students can focus on honing research skills and crafting innovative projects. Additional funds are available for independent study during the summer for students in residence in Cincinnati or traveling to study abroad.


Our students are encouraged to spend their fourth or fifth year studying abroad, and fellowship money may be used for this purpose. In recent years students have chosen to study in Italy, Greece, Germany, and the Netherlands. Our students are also often successful in winning Fulbright Fellowships or Fellowships at the American School in Athens or the American Academy in Rome.

We also regularly fund students to supplement their education with us via intensive programs both domestically and internationally. Within the past five years, students from the Philology program have attended the TLL Summer School, the ASCSA Summer Session, the Classical Summer School at the American Academy of Rome, the Winter School in Greek and Latin Paleography at the American Academy of Rome, and more. 
 

Teaching and Professional Training

All philology students are given opportunities to teach as part of their training. Generally, students do not teach in their first year, but in later years students normally spend some, but not all, semesters teaching one course. Philologists in their 3rd and 4th year often teach introductory or intermediate Latin or Greek courses under the supervision of a departmental language teaching mentor; more advanced students may also teach undergraduate lecture courses, such as Classical Civilization, Classics and Cinema, etc. There is also an annual pedagogy seminar run by a faculty pedagogy mentor which introduces graduate students to best practices in Classics teaching. We consider this experience in teaching and other service to which students may be assigned (such as library research, work on departmental publications and databases, or research assistantships) essential forms of preparation for careers in the academic world.

Throughout a student's time at UC, faculty work closely with them to train them in professional activities, such as writing abstracts, delivering papers at conferences, and publishing articles. Students may also participate in UC's Preparing Future Faculty Program or in the numerous programs offered by our Center for Teaching and Learning (CETL). 

Our department boasts a robust placement record. Recent graduates of the Philology program have obtained tenure track positions at Hamilton College, St. Olaf College, and the College of William and Mary.
 

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Philology:

    1. Course work (graduate courses in Philology, Ancient History, and Archaeology)
    2. Sight examinations in Greek and Latin
    3. Sight examinations in German and French or Italian
    4. Comprehensive examinations in Greek literature, Latin Literature, Ancient History
    5. Dissertation
M.A. students may choose to specialize in Classical Philology (both Greek and Latin), or Greek or Latin Philology. All M.A. students are required to complete 30 credit hours of course work, including one seminar in the field of primary interest, one course in Archaeology, and one course in Ancient History. The M.A. degree normally requires a two-year course of study.
 
 

Admission

The Department receives many applications each year from students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Philology. We are highly selective in our admissions policy. To be seriously considered for admission, a student should hold a B.A. in Classics or the equivalent.

In making our decision we consider the following factors:
*samples of written work including the statement of purpose
*preparation in Greek and Latin language and literature
*preparation in modern languages, especially German, French or Italian
*letters of recommendations from teachers who know the applicant well
*undergraduate GPA and GRE scores

All candidates for admission are required to take the Graduate Record Examination and submit their scores with their application.

We are particularly eager to receive applications from students at foreign institutions and regularly award international students full funding packages. A number of foreign students are currently in residence from such countries as Italy, Greece, and Brazil.

Students interested in applying for admission to the graduate program should contact the Graduate Advisor for Philology and History, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applicants are strongly encouraged to arrange to visit the department.

For application guidelines click here.