Q. What exactly is an "interdepartmental program" and how is it different from a department offering graduate instruction?
A. In IPCAA’s case, it is a structured sequence of coursework, examinations, and dissertation research, leading to the Ph.D. in Classical Art & Archaeology. IPCAA is not “part of” any other department, but it is formally sponsored and supported by two existing academic departments (Classical Studies and The History of Art), and faculty from several other cognate departments are actively involved. IPCAA receives its own funding from the Graduate School and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts; it has its own Director, Graduate Advisor, and Student Services Assistant; it is governed by an Executive Committee; but it has no faculty lines of its own, so that the Program draws upon the teaching, examining, advising, and mentoring of faculty based in the various co-operating departments. Such an arrangement is necessary, where relevant resources are spread widely among different units (thus at Michigan, e.g., ancient historians are mostly based in the History Department, ancient art historians in History of Art, Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeologists in Near Eastern Studies, and so on). Unlike in certain arrangements of this kind elsewhere, for IPCAA students the intellectual center of gravity is in the Program itself, rather than in any of its collaborating departments, and the use of the Kelsey Museum as its physical “home” serves to reinforce an unusually strong sense of “belonging” and of social cohesion among its students.
Q. Can I apply to the University of Michigan for a Master of Arts degree in Classical Art & Archaeology?
A. No. Admission is for the doctoral program only, and IPCAA does not normally award a terminal M.A. Students enrolled in the doctoral program, however, earn a M.A. in Classical Art & Archaeology as an interim degree (usually after four semesters in residence and 30 credit hours).
Q. How much ancient and modern language preparation do I need before applying to your program?
A. Because a classical archaeologist needs to be competent in both of the ancient languages, and in relevant modern languages as well, all students in the program must satisfy language requirements in Greek, Latin, German, and French or Italian. Preference is normally given to applicants who have already demonstrated significant preparation and competence in at least one of the required ancient languages and one of the modern foreign languages. If your knowledge of the ancient languages is limited (or if you have only studied one of them), we often advise deferring an application to this (or, indeed, any other) graduate program in Classical Archaeology, in order to provide adequate time to improve your Greek and Latin. There exist post-baccalaureate courses designed explicitly for this purpose, for example those at the University of Pennsylvania, at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Columbia University.
Q. Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
A. Yes, since this is a requirement of the Graduate School for applicants in all subjects. We need your official GRE report in hand at the time we consider your application in January. Make sure you take the GRE in good time (i.e., well before December) in order to meet this deadline. Eligibility for certain types of Fellowship support requires that your combined GRE score and your undergraduate Grade Point Average exceed certain thresholds, but these are only two among the wide variety of factors we take into account in assessing an applicant's suitability for the program.
Q. What kind of financial aid is available?
A. IPCAA guarantees funding for five years, but in reality has been able to provide support for all its students for six years. The precise details of a multi-year financial package for any given student are rarely known at the outset, and no two students are supported in precisely the same way. Nonetheless, all first-year students are on full fellowship support, every student gains teaching experience (as a Graduate Student Instructor) for between 2 and 4 semesters, and most students work at least once in the Kelsey Museum as a Graduate Student Research Assistant. At the Candidacy stage (Years 4-6), funding from both external and Michigan-based competitive Fellowships and Travel Awards assumes greater importance. Basic health insurance coverage is provided for all IPCAA students on a continuous basis. There is no need to file a separate financial aid application to IPCAA (since we fund all students we accept); but you may wish to consider making application for certain national-level awards (e.g., Mellon, Javits).
More information about financial support and fellowship opportunities.
Q. For what sorts of jobs do IPCAA students usually apply after graduation, and how successful have they been?
A. By far the majority of our students enter the Program in hopes of eventually finding a university teaching and research position, and by far the majority of those who complete the Program have indeed been successful in fulfilling that ambition (not always with a job in the part of the country or at the type of school they had expected!). Others arrive with a strong interest in possible museum-based careers, or develop such an interest from working “behind the scenes” at the Kelsey Museum (and the new certificate in Museum Studies seems likely only to make this more popular); a number of our alumni hold jobs involving curation, conservation, and outreach work in museum settings. But a smaller number of former IPCAA students have found employment in a wide range of other contexts, including high school teaching, special education, architecture, international banking, freelance writing, data management, and film-making. For recent job placement statistics, see IPCAA Placement.
Q. How many students does IPCAA accept each year, and how difficult is it to gain admittance to the Program?
A. IPCAA’s current size is 28 students, which we think is an ideal number – large enough to sustain a diverse and vibrant community, but small enough that we can be confident that the vast majority (historically 85%) of our graduates will find tenure track teaching positions of permanent museum curatorships. This means that each year we usually accept three to five new students into the program with full funding. In an average year, we receive as many as twenty times as many applications as we have places available. Competition for acceptance is therefore fierce, but this should not deter you from applying, if you feel you measure up well against our criteria. Many well-qualified applicants for whom, regretfully, we cannot find a place at Michigan do gain admission in good programs elsewhere.
Q. Do you provide financial assistance for summer activities, if they're relevant to the Program?
A. Yes. Some students hold Fellowships that provide full support through the summer months. But every winter semester IPCAA also invites its students to state their summer plans and associated expenses, and the Program then makes awards to all deserving cases, using money provided to this end by the Graduate School, the Program’s own funds, and the newly-created John Griffiths Pedley Travel and Research Fund Endowment (established for this purpose upon Prof. Pedley’s retirement in 2001). Individual awards vary, but a minimum of $2,500 is guaranteed. Basic health insurance coverage is provided for all IPCAA students on a continuous basis.
Q. Do IPCAA students have the opportunity to study for Certificates or M.A. degrees in other subjects, alongside their work for the Ph.D. in Classical Art & Archaeology? If so, in what fields?
A. Yes. Virtually every IPCAA student broadens his or her educational experience and enhances professional qualifications by working for a Certificate or Master’s degree, in addition to the Ph.D., and this is one of the undoubted strengths of the Michigan program.
More information regarding Master's Degrees and Certificates...
Q. Do you have any suggestions on how to look for apartments in Ann Arbor?
A. Try some of the following leads:
- University of Michigan Housing Office - for on-campus and off-campus housing
- Ann Arbor Apartment Locator 1-800-356-1767
- Spectrum Apartment Search 734-677-3710
- Rent Fast - free apartment locator service, a division of Charles Reinhart Co. (large real estate company in the area) 734-669-5885
- Triangle Management Inc - 734-483-4657 - they manage a lot of housing in Ann Arbor and cater to students.
- http://www.apartmentguide.com- this is in the yellow pages
- You can call Apartment Guide-Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor for one of their guides - 248-553-8386.
The Michigan Daily, the University daily newspaper