These are the degree requirements for students in the AAMW program.
The Proseminar in Archaeology
The AAMW Proseminar introduces students to the primary topics, techniques, and resources of Mediterranean Archaeology, and also provides an overview of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern collections in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The Proseminar is organized by the AAMW Chair each spring, and is team-taught by faculty from all of the departments participating in the Graduate Group. This is required of every incoming student, even those with a Master's degree from another institution.
Teaching experience is an important part of graduate training, and the School of Arts and Sciences' five-year fellowship package therefore requires that the student spend four semesters in 'service', usually as teaching assistants during the second and third years. In some cases, a mentored research assistantship may be substituted for part of the teaching requirement for one semester. Students who are granted credit for courses taken prior to matriculation at the University of Pennsylvania, and who are therefore given advanced standing, may have part of the teaching requirement waived. AAMW students teach for a range of departments and groups (e.g. Classics, History of Art, Ancient History, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Anthropology). Penn also provides graduate students with the opportunity to teach their own courses in the College of General Studies. Students may request to teach a standing course, or design a new one.
In the course of their careers, students in the program need to become familiar with the techniques used in archaeology, including chemical and physical analytical methods, computer science, GIS, environmental archaeology, material science, statistics, and surveying and technical drawing. Graduate students are therefore expected to devote the majority of their summers to fieldwork. One course in archaeological methods and/or theory is also required, although the AAMW Chair may decide to waive the requirement based on the student's fieldwork experience. Depending upon the student's academic program, the group may also encourage participation in summer seminars at learned societies or institutes, such as those at the American Numismatic Society, the American Academy in Rome, or American School in Athens.
Potential applicants should seek to aquire fieldwork experience as soon as possible in their undergraduate careers. The AIA Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin annually advertises excavations and projects that are open to volunteers and students.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology features a collection of Mediterranean/Near Eastern art and artifacts larger than any other university in North America. The collection is distinguished by the fact that all of the artifacts have been legally aquired. All AAMW students are required to spend at least one semester of their graduate career serving as an intern in the Mediterranean or Near Eastern Sections of the University Museum, beginning with students who entered in the Fall of 2005. The internship will normally take place during the student's second semester at Penn, and will entail at least four hours per week working with the Keeper of the Mediterranean or Near Eastern collections. It is timed to coincide with the AAMW Proseminar in Materials and Methods and forms a component of the Proseminar work.
If the ancient languages chosen by the student are Greek or Latin, the requirement can be fulfilled in one of several ways. For the Major Language, this means (a) passing an examination, (b) taking five semester-long courses in that language, or (c) taking at least two courses in that language at the 400 level or above. For the Minor Language, this means (a) passing an examination, (b) taking three semester-long courses in that language, or (c) taking at least one course in that language at the 400 level or above. Only final grades of "B" or better in these courses will satisfy the language requirement.
Other Ancient Languages
(Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Church Slavonic, Egyptian, Biblical Hebrew, Sumerian, Syriac, Ugaritic)
AAMW recognizes that these languages, in general, cannot be studied at most undergraduate institutions. If both ancient languages chosen by the student are from this group, then the language requirement can be fulfilled by (a) passing an examination in either language at any time, or (b) taking the requisite number of courses, not to exceed five semester-long courses for the Major Language, and three for the Minor Language. The requisite number will be determined by the student's advisor in conjunction with the AAMW Chair. If these languages are begun only upon the student's entry into the AAMW program, then introductory courses count as part of the requisite number of units. Only final grades of "B" or better in these courses will satisfy the language requirement.
Requirements for the M.A. Degree
Although the AAMW program is designed primarily for students seeking a Ph.D. degree, an M.A. can be obtained in the course of the program, or as a terminal degree. The requirements are:
Eight course units
Successful passing of an exam in one modern language
Exam in one ancient language, or the successful completion of three courses in that language
One summer of approved fieldwork
M.A. Qualifying Exam M.A. Research Paper (see below)
Students become eligible to take the M.A. Qualifying Examination upon the completion of 8 course units, and must pass the exam before proceeding to the 13th course. Students who enter with an MA are encouraged to take their MA exams during their 2nd year of coursework.
MA exams are designed to test of breadth of knowledge. MA exams are set by the student’s committee and the AAMW chair. The exam consists of a major field, a minor field, and theory and methodology. Students should consult with their committee to define their fields and identify reading lists or other indications of breadth and content. Questions in each field typically begin with 6-10 image identifications (except theory and methodology), followed by essay questions. In both identifications and essays there is a choice of questions. The exam lasts 4 hours.
The M.A. Research Paper
This is not the formal M.A. Thesis required by some other Graduate Groups. It is, however, a substantial piece of original scholarship that often begins as a research problem for a 500, 600, or 700 level course and is continued as an Independent Study (999), based on the advice of the supervising instructor and with the approval of the Graduate Chair. Alternatively, the Research Paper can originate as an independent study project. In either case, the grade recorded in the Independent Study must be certified by the advisor and the AAMW Chair as fulfilling the M.A. research requirement of the Graduate Faculties, and a final version of the Research Paper must be deposited with the Graduate Group.
Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree
Admission to Ph.D. candidacy: Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree is through formal approval of the faculty and is intended to assure that the student is able to pursue successfully the remaining requirements for the degree. While successful completion of course work forms part of the credentials for admission, it does not automatically assure such admission. Students become eligible for admission after the completion of 8 course units and must be admitted before proceeding to the 13th course. In order to be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy, students must take and pass the M.A. Qualifying Exam (described above). For the Ph. D. degree, the requirements are:
20 course units
Successful passing of two modern language examinations, German and French or Italian
Certification of fluency in two ancient languages, one major and one minor
Ph.D. comprehensive exam
Major and Minor fields
The student must take at least five graduate courses in the Major field, and at least three graduate courses in the Minor Field. The scope and structure of the Major and Minor Fields is designed by the student in conjunction with his/her advisor. The Major and Minor fields should represent distinct cultures.
Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam
Timing: The Ph.D. Final Examination covers the Major and Minor Fields chosen by the student, and consists of written and oral components. Students become eligible to take the exam upon completion of 16 course units and must take it no later than in the semester following the completion of 20 course units. Students should only plan to take their PhD Preliminary Exams once they have completed their coursework (including incompletes), ancient and modern language exams and identified a dissertation topic. Each student should write to the Graduate Group Chair, requesting specific dates for both the written and oral components of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. AAMW faculty will try to accommodate all requests, but students should not propose dates during final exams/grading periods, nor on major public or religious holidays, nor during the summer. When writing to request dates, the student should also specify the Major and Minor Fields in which he/she wishes to be examined.
Scope: The PhD Candidacy Exam differs from the MA/Qualifications Exam in its more focused scope for both minor and major fields; like those, exams, however, the minor field must be on a different culture from that of the major field. The PhD Candidacy exam assesses the student’s competency in a specific sub-field of archaeology, and in another, unrelated area in which the student also envisions possibilities for further research. Subject and breadth of the method/theory portion of the exam will be determined by the respective subjects of the major/minor fields, but will be chosen to demonstrate the student’s competency in the theoretical basis and practical skills required to complete their dissertation. Students should consult with their committee to define their fields and identify reading lists or other indications of breadth and content.
Length: The written examination lasts seven hours, and will consist of three sections: major field, minor field, and method/theory, although the last usually has some relationship to the major or minor field. The Oral Exam will follow the Written Exam as soon as possible, depending upon the student’s schedule, and will last approximately two hours. If the student fails either exam, he/she may re-take it within the next twelve months, but only once.
Committee: The Exam is overseen by the student’s advisor and exam committee, plus the Graduate Group Chair. The Committee is approved by the advisor in consultation with the student and the Graduate Group Chair. The committee should normally consist, in addition to the primary advisor, of a minimum of two additional readers. At least two members of the committee should be members of the Graduate Group; the third may be invited from another Penn Graduate Group or institution.
Students must present a written proposal of approximately 1000-1500 words in length for approval by the supervisor and the faculty. The proposal should include a summary of issues to be treated, the working hypotheses, the methodology to be employed, the location and accessibility of original objects or materials to be studied, the significance of the research, a brief bibliography, a plan of work, and a timetable for its completion. The proposal must be submitted for approval to the student's committee no later than one month after the successful completion of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. Significant changes in the proposal that may become necessary in the course of research must also be approved by the faculty. Students are also required to present a lecture in the AAMW lunchtime lecture series during the course of their dissertation research and writing.
The Dissertation Committee is approved by the advisor in consultation with the student and the Graduate Group Chair. Like the Ph.D. Exam Committee, the Dissertation Committee normally consists, in addition to the primary advisor, of a minimum of two additional readers. At least two members of the committee should be members of the Graduate Group; the third may be invited from another Penn Graduate Group or institution.
The Dissertation Defense is a public event at which the candidate summarizes his or her findings. It may be scheduled only after all requirements except the approval of the dissertation have been satisfied and after a complete draft of the dissertation has been submitted to the supervisor and reader(s). Both the Dissertation Supervisor and the AAMW Chair must agree that the dissertation is ready for the Defense, which should be scheduled during the regular academic year. The Defense is normally followed immediately by the Final Examination, conducted privately in a meeting of the candidate with the Dissertation Committee. The Final Examination is limited to the contents of the Dissertation. Passing the Examination signifies approval of the Dissertation, although the Committee may still request revisions that must be completed before the degree is awarded. The date of the Defense should be determined by the Dissertation Supervisor, the Graduate Group Chair, and the student.
Time limit for Completion of Coursework and Preliminary Examination
To be considered a student in good standing, students are expected to have completed all requirements but the Ph.D. exams by the end of the third year, and to have completed the Ph.D. exams by the middle of the fourth year.
Time Limit for Completion of the Dissertation
The School of Arts and Sciences limits A.B.D. status to five years (ten semesters) from the date of advancement to dissertation status. Students who have not completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including the deposit of the dissertation, within five years of the first day of the first term in which they register for dissertation tuition, face the ever increasing risk that their dissertation research is no longer at the frontier of current research in their field.
Such students, by the rules of the School of Arts and Sciences, cease to be candidates for the Ph.D. degree, and cease to be graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania, unless they are formally recertified by AAMW. The student must apply for permission to undertake recertification, although AAMW is not obliged to accept the application. If permission is granted, then the student must immediately satisfy the re-certification criteria designed by AAMW and approved by the Graduate Council of the Faculties. Currently, the student must retake and pass the Ph.D. comprehensive examination. Upon passing the examination, the new deadline for completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. shall be within two years of the original completion date. Students are urged to consult the graduate rules and regulations of Penn's Office of Graduate Studies.
Grades and Satisfactory Progress
For those enrolled in courses, the minimum standard for satisfactory work is a B average in each academic year, as required by the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences. Those who do not maintain the necessary average may be required to withdraw.
Those who have completed course requirements and are preparing for the Ph.D. Dissertation must demonstrate steady and substantial progress toward the completion of the degree, following the schedule established by the student's dissertation committee. Those who fail to demonstrate progress in their research as required by their committee may be required to withdraw.
By the rules of the School of Arts and Sciences, an incomplete in a course must be replaced by a grade not later than two semesters after the end of that course. This means that incompletes need to be cleared up by August 1 for courses from the preceding fall, and December 1 for courses from the preceding spring. At the end of that period, an incomplete will block the student from registration, thereby severing the student's financial aid. Any incompletes will also block the student from taking the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam.
The Graduate Group reviews the academic records of all students once every semester during their first year, and annually thereafter. The annual review takes place near the end of spring term and is intended to provide an assessment of students' general progress, on the basis of which recommendations will be offered concerning the course of study. The review notes strengths, weaknesses, and achievements since the previous year's review, and lays out the expectations for the student's progress during the following academic year.
Transfer of Credit
At least eight course units of the total program required for the M.A. and at least twelve course units of the total program required for the Ph.D. must be completed at the University of Pennsylvania; the balance may be transferred from other institutions, if the transfer is approved by the Graduate Group Chair and the Dean. Such requests for transfer of credit may be made to the Graduate Group Chair after the student has been enrolled for an academic year. No work done as an undergraduate, whether at this institution or elsewhere, will be counted, except as part of an approved sub-matriculation program. Credits toward satisfaction of the course requirements can be given for a maximum of four course units of work completed while registered in the College of General Studies.
Leave of Absence/Dissertation Research Abroad
A student who wishes to take a leave of absence must submit a written request to the Graduate Chair for initial approval. Final approval rests with the Dean of the Graduate Division. A student who has reached general dissertation tuition status will not be granted a leave except for military service, pregnancy, or medical reasons. The granting of a leave, except for military service, does not automatically extend the time limits for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, which are discussed above. Language Examinations, the Comprehensive Examination, and the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination may not be taken while a student is on leave, nor may degrees be awarded. A student who receives outside funding for dissertation research to be conducted elsewhere may apply to the Graduate Chair and the Dean of the Graduate Division for Dissertation Research Abroad Status. This special status allows the student to remain registered without incurring tuition charges.