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Current and Prospective Students

Welcome! These pages are designed to introduce you to our Interdepartmental Program in Ancient History, a community of scholars dedicated to exploring the full expanse of Greek and Roman antiquity, broadly defined in geographical and chronological terms. You can find more detailed information in our Graduate Handbook. If you have further questions, please contact the Director, Rafe Neis. You are also welcome to visit us. 


What the Admissions Committee Looks for in Applicants

We welcome applications from all students with a commitment to pursing advanced work on the ancient Greco-Roman world, broadly defined. The Admissions Committee is particularly interested in applicants with (1) a strong background in ancient languages (keep reading for more details), (2) broad historical interests, (3) an ability to write clear, strong prose, (4) an interest in interdisciplinary approaches, and (5) a sense of why the University of Michigan and IPGRH are the right place for them. Most of our students come to us with advanced competence in two ancient languages – usually ancient Greek and Latin – but our program also allows students to pair one of those with another language that will be useful for the research they envision, such as Biblical Hebrew, Demotic Egyptian, Coptic, Syriac, and classical Arabic. We recognize that you may have to acquire one of these while you are here. Course work in at least one modern language relevant to historical scholarship (especially German, French, or Italian) is an asset for your U-M application, but is not a prerequisite.

Overview of the PhD Program

The program is designed to take five years: two years of coursework, one year of exams, and two years of research and writing a dissertation. There are two sets of exams. Qualifying Exams, done over the course of your first two years in the program, test your abilities in ancient and modern languages. Preliminary Exams are taken in the third year and cover a range of topics you and your advisors design. Students typically spend the fourth and fifth years researching and writing their dissertations. A detailed overview of the program is provided in the Handbook.


Since IPAH's founding in 2001, our graduates have continued to find permanent employment in the field of ancient history in both Departments of History and of Classical Studies. For a list of recent graduates and their placement click here.

Recent Course Titles

Classical Archaeology 821: Bronze Age Economy & Trade (Natalie Abell)

Classical Archaeology 855: Problems in Roman Archaeology (Nic Terrenato)

Greek 592: History of Greek Literature II (Ruth Scodel)

Greek 638: Paleography of Papyri (Arthur Verhoogt)

Greek 830: Topics in Post-Aristotelian Philosophy – The Platonic Commentary Tradition (Sara Ahbel-Rappe)

History 630: Introduction to Greek & Roman Studies (Ian Moyer)

Latin 576: Readings in Roman Society – city & Country in Roman Literature (Ruth Caston)

Latin 606: Latin Inscriptions (David Potter)

Classical Archaeology 823: Archaeology of the Black Sea (Chris Ratte)

Classical Archaeology 844: Theoretical Issues – Domestic Space in Classical Antiquity (Lisa Nevett)

Greek 591: History of Greek Literature I (Richard Janko)

Greek 804: Greek Historiography (Sara Forsdyke)

History 615: Introduction to the Comparative Study of History (Joel Howell)

Latin 529: Livy (David Potter)

Latin 870: Topics in Roman Lit – Roman Love elegy (Ruth Caston)

Classical Archeology 536: Hellenistic & Roman Sculpture (Elaine Gazda)

Classical Archeology 841: Topography of Rome (Nic Terrenato)

Greek 602: Classics as a Profession (Ruth Scodel)

Greek 669: Ancient Literary Criticism (Richard Janko)

Histart 689: Special Topics – Romans on Display (Elaine Gazda)

Latin 592: History of Roman Literature II (Basil Dufallo)

Latin 834: Tacitus (David Potter)

Latin 860: Ancient Religion (Celia Schultz and Rafe Neis)

Classical Archaeology 831: Theoretical Approaches in Classical Archeology (Lisa Nevett & Natalie Abell)

Classical Linguistics 635: Comparative Grammar (Benjamin Fortson)

Greek 801: Epic – Hesiod (Ruth Scodel)

History 615: Introduction to the Comparative Study of History (Valerie Kivelson)

History 698: Topics in History – Premodern Empires: Comparative Studies (Ray Van Dam)

Latin 591: History of Roman Literature I (Celia Schultz)

Latin 870: Lucretius and Catullus (Basil Dufallo)