Graduate Program

Overview

The Columbia Univeristy Classics Department offers MA, MPhil, and Ph. D. degrees in Classics. For detailed information, click the links for Classics. Information regarding admissions and degree requirements for Classics is available at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

In the Middle of It All

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Columbia University is at the center of the cultural and classical life of the Northeast Corridor.  Countless universities, libraries, museums, galleries, theaters, and other cultural institutions are a simple walk or bus or subway ride away.  In addition, situated at the travel hub for air and train traffic on the east coast, Columbia is within easy distance of many other classics departments in the Northeast Corridor (from Penn to Harvard), and frequently hosts classics-related events and countless scholars who teach or travel in the area.  Indeed, Columbia's location in New York City offers an unrivaled cornucopia of resources to its curious and savvy students.  

Classics Department Facilities

The home of Columbia's Classics department is on the 6th floor of Hamilton Hall.  The departmental facilities include a computer room, a dedicated departmental library, a graduate student lounge, and an office for Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows.  Although the campus libraries maintain limited hours during weekday nights and weekends, Teaching Fellows have access to the Classics department facilities 24 hours a day. In addition, the newly-renovated graduate lounge offers a cozy and productive place to work and socialize.  Fellow graduate students are almost always there, and the communal fridge is often full of goodies from the numerous department events.  Books. Coffee.  Snacks.  Nearly everything a student could need, the department can offer.  In sum, the Classics department truly functions as a second (sometimes the primary) happy home for its graduate students.  

Morningside Heights

Columbia's neighborhood, Morningside Heights, is bounded by 110th St. to the south, 125th St. to the north, Riverside Park to the west, and Morningside Park to the east, perched at the top of the Upper West Side. Many academic institutions aside from Columbia and Barnard College call Morningside Heights home -- two theological seminaries, the Manhattan School of Music, Teachers College, and others -- all of which keep the neighborhood student-centered and entirely affordable. There are several restaurants and bars that cater to student budgets, including local favorites like Kitchenette, P & W Sandwich Shop, and Max Cafe, and the Columbia Greenmarket sells local produce twice a week. Three parks surround the neighborhood -- Riverside and Morningside Parks are just steps from Columbia's campus, and Central Park is only a brief walk away -- and they offer scenic escapes from the hustle and bustle of New York streets. Morningside Heights also boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the city, and its residential character keeps the streets quiet when students finally decide to call it a night. 

Students find that Morningside Heights offers everything that an autonomous college town would, but it is also part of the larger cultural world of New York. Columbia's position on the 1 Subway line offers quick and easy access to Lincoln Center, the West Village, Times Square, and the vast number of restaurants throughout the city. And since the subway runs 24 hours a day, getting back to Columbia is always easy. 
See more about the amenities in Morningside Heights at Yelp!

Housing

Subsidized apartments in Morningside Heights are guaranteed to Columbia PhD students for 6 years of their study and are available in limited quantity for stand alone MA students for up to two full time semesters. Nearly all Classics PhD students live in these apartments, create a sense of community since everyone lives within a 10 minute walk of one other and of the Classics Department and the university library. Students have a choice of sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate or a studio apartment. Students with partners will get couples’ housing (a 1-bedroom apartment). Precise details of who qualifies for couples housing (it’s very easy to apply) can be found on the University Housing webpage, as well as a general price guide for housing.  

Funding

Classics PhD students are normally offered 5 years of fellowship support (tuition plus (currently) 22,500 dollars a year with additional summer funding of 3,000 dollars a year). Opportunities also exist for graduate students to teach intensive Latin and Greek courses over the summer session (6-weeks) for 9,000 dollars. Students may also apply for internal and external fellowships paying comparable stipends.  

Extra Funding

Not only are Columbia students eligible for various external fellowships for funding their dissertation research, Columbia offers its own fellowships. Scholarships like the Thompson Fellowship or the Columbia University Travel Fellowships provide an extra year of funding beyond the fifth year, and are designed to give students the chance to work on their dissertations overseas, most commonly in places like Rome or Athens, though they can be used anywhere. 

Teaching

The normal terms of fellowship funding at Columbia provide support for the first year of courses and the fifth year for working on the dissertation; they require teaching in the second, third and fourth years. Classics students serve as teaching assistants in the second year, either in translation courses or assisting faculty in first and second year language courses. Classics students will then teach their own sections of first or second year Greek or Latin. Beyond the fifth year, students are eligible to teach in the Core Curriculum (Contemporary Civilization, Literature Humanities, and Art Humanities) for up to two years.

The excellent teaching opportunities not only in language courses but those taught in translation have brought our recent graduates success in the job market. For a list of recent placements click here.

Classics Ph. D. Plan of Study:

First Year: Course work including Greek or Latin Survey, Greek or Latin Prose Composition, Graduate Seminars.First Modern Language Qualification.

Second Year: Course work including Greek or Latin Survey, Greek or Latin Prose Composition, Graduate Seminars.Second Modern Language Qualification. Latin or Greek Qualification Exam (see New Reading Lists, from which Greek and Latin Survey's coursework is drawn).  

Third Year: Latin or Greek Qualification Exam (see New Reading Lists, from which Greek and Latin Survey's coursework is drawn). MPhil Papers (one in Greek and one in Latin).  

Fourth Year: Dissertation Prospectus.  

Fifth Year: Fellowship Year to work on dissertation.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Policy on Academic Progress

In order to comply with guidelines governing the disbursement of federal financial aid, GSAS has updated its policy regarding satisfactory academic progress. Students must now maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to be considered making satisfactory academic progress, and to remain in good academic standing with the Graduate School. This policy applies to all GSAS students regardless of their receipt of federal aid.

  • Contact Info

  • Department of Classics
    1130 Amsterdam Avenue
    617 Hamilton Hall, MC 2861
    New York, NY 10027

  • Phone: (212) 854-3902
    Fax: (212) 854-7856
    Email: classics@columbia.edu