Classical Studies

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Classical Studies

Prepare for graduate study at the highest level

If you’re preparing for graduate-level work in classics, archaeology, ancient history or related fields, Penn’s Classical Studies post-baccalaureate program offers you Ivy League preparation in Greek and Latin to equip you for the application process. Our program is the oldest of its kind in the world and draws on Penn’s resources — a leading Classical Studies Department, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology and its accompanying conservation lab, and a broad range of academic opportunities — to prepare you to become a competitive candidate in the classics graduate program of your choice, as well as to offer you a transformative academic immersion in Greek and Latin.

Language preparation that meets your needs

Our program began as aspiring archaeologists, historians and other classicists found they required further language preparation before they entered graduate study. You, like many other students, may have discovered your calling in classics toward the end of your undergraduate studies and need to acquire the language requirements necessary for a higher degree program.

We offer coursework that is flexible enough to enhance your current strengths and prepare you for your next intellectual and professional steps. Our program focuses on immersive, full-time study in residence for two semesters, during which you may choose Greek and Latin classes at a variety of levels. You may enroll in the program for up to four semesters, depending on your needs and developing interests.  

Individualized support

We’re here to help you achieve your goals for further study or employment after the Classical Studies program. To that end, we offer advising, support and academics to help you identify and pursue your next steps. All students are assigned to a faculty advisor, matched to you based on your interests, who will work closely with you to ensure you’re taking the best classes for your needs and connect you to important resources both inside and outside of the university.

Our biweekly Classical Studies Proseminar is a series of brown-bag lunches in which faculty members and current graduate students meet with students to talk about their research; their path towards their current positions in classical studies, ancient history and archeology programs; and give advice about graduate school and careers. At the Proseminar, you receive group advising about career planning and application to graduate schools.

A treasure trove of resources

As a student at Penn, you’ll have access to the full suite of resources available at an elite research university, including ongoing colloquia, special lectures from visiting scholars, attendance at museum events and research in our many libraries and electronic archives.

Of particular interest to many of our students is the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located directly on Penn’s campus. Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has always been one of the world’s great archaeology and anthropology research museums and the largest university museum in the United States. It is home to a large collection of ancient artifacts and provides students the opportunity to visit and observe the artifacts whenever they like. Many Classical Studies post-baccalaureate students go beyond frequent visits to become museum volunteers and assistants. Some have worked as docents, in the mapping lab or in the conservation lab with curators, depending on their prior experience.

Proven results in preparation for graduate study

We have found that a year devoted to the concentrated, supervised study of both languages, in every case, enhances your credentials for further work. We’re proud of the Classical Studies program’s continued success — as reflected in our many alumni who achieve their intellectual and career goals. Visit our alumni page to see the wide variety of fields pursued by our Classical Studies graduates.

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Student Profiles

Current Students

Read about the 2014 cohort of students, whose interests include Imperial Latin poetry, Sophoclean tragedy and intertextuality.

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Student Profiles

Certificates

Four certificate options are offered in recognition of students' academic accomplishments in the program.

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Program Resources

Penn's Wealth of Resources

Students have access to scholarly and career resources, including colloquia, department special events and mentoring.

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LPS News

  • Read about how Neha Karmeshu, MES '12, relocated from New Delhi to explore what a company's "commitment to the environment" really means. More >
  • Read about how a cross-country trip led Tony Larson, MES '12, to create a company dedicated to building affordable green housing in Philadelphia communities. More >

Penn and The Arts

Campus Life

From theatre, museums, galleries, and music and dance, arts play a leading role in life on campus.

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