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Administrative Unit:Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:M.A., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.A., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Professors Aylward, McClure, McKeown, Rosenmeyer, Troxel; Associate Professors Beneker (department chair), Hutton; Assistant Professors Brockliss, Dressler, Nelsestuen, Pandey. Affiliated faculty: Professors Cahill (Art History), Gottlieb (Philosophy), Kleijwegt (History); Associate Professor Neville (History); Assistant Professors Fletcher (Philosophy), Taylor (History).


As an active part of a distinguished research university, the Department of Classics offers the master of arts in Greek, Latin and classics, and the doctor of philosophy in classics (with primary concentration in either Greek or Latin and a secondary concentration in the other language).

The initial goals of the program in classics are for students to develop familiarity with the ancient languages and literatures, and to acquire a firm background in the related fields of ancient history, art, and archaeology. The next stage of training is to apply these skills to the acquisition of specific knowledge and research experience in selected areas.

In addition to course work, students also participate in directed readings with individual faculty members in their areas of specialty, and gain valuable professional experience teaching sections of language and culture courses. Additional work may be done in allied fields such as archaeology, art history, linguistics, comparative literature, history, philosophy, political science, and biblical Hebrew. Faculty from art history, history, political science, and philosophy offer cross-listed courses regularly.

Opportunities for graduate students are enhanced considerably by the wide range of expertise and contacts (at home and abroad) offered by the faculty. In addition to individual connections of various kinds, the department has formal affiliations with both the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

Wisconsin has a long tradition of excellence in philological scholarship, literary criticism, archaeology, and ancient history. The Pillinger Library (located within the department) provides convenient access to a large number of basic texts, and the larger Greek and Latin Reading Room in the Memorial Library contains an extensive, non-circulating research collection for those studying the ancient world. The Memorial Library itself maintains an excellent research collection of books and periodicals in the field of classics. The Pillinger Library also houses state-of-the-art hardware and software for conducting searches on Greek and Latin literature.

(See also Greek and Latin in this catalog.)

Joint Master's Degree

The Department of Classics cooperates with the graduate program in the Hebrew Bible to offer an M.A. in classics with a concentration in biblical studies. Candidates must have an undergraduate major in either Greek or Hebrew and at least two years of work in the other language. They must take at least 12 credits of course work in the one language and 6 in the other; they must also take 6 credits that may be in language or in other work recommended by the departments.

Doctoral Minor 

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in other departments may select as a minor either Greek or Latin alone; 10 credits are required in courses beyond the elementary level. Students who select a minor in classics (course work required in both Greek and Latin) must have 12 credits beyond the elementary level.

Financial Aid

The department annually offers fellowship support and teaching assistantships. In order for incoming students to be considered for fellowships, applications and all other materials should reach the department by January 5.


Applicants for graduate study may enter the program with either a B.A. or an M.A. Candidates with a B.A. are expected to have covered the equivalent of an undergraduate major in classics, Greek, or Latin. In classics, this consists of at least three years of both Greek and Latin; in Greek, it consists of 24 credits beyond the first year; in Latin, it consists of 26 credits beyond the first year. (See also Greek and Latin).

Candidates whose preparation falls short of the minimum requirements may be admitted with deficiencies at the discretion of the department, but will be required to do additional work within the first year of the program.

Applications are evaluated on the basis of previous academic record, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation, the writing sample and the personal statement.

For more information: Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, 910 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-2041; fax 608-262-8570; classics@mhub.facstaff.wisc.edu; classics.lss.wisc.edu.