Courses offered by the Department of Classics are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site under the subject code CLASSICS.
The study of Classics has traditionally centered on the literature and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome, including Greek and Latin language, literature, philosophy, history, art, and archaeology. At Stanford, Classics also explores connections with other ancient cultures and with the modern world, as well as specialized fields such as ancient economics, law, papyrology, and science. The department’s faculty approaches Classics from an interdisciplinary perspective that crosses geographical, temporal, and thematic territories. Studying ancient epic poetry can lead to looking at modern cinema afresh; ancient Athenian politics opens new perspectives on modern politics; and the study of Rome presents parallels with other empires just as Latin illuminates the history of English and the Romance languages. In short, Classics at Stanford is an interdisciplinary subject concerned not only with Greek and Roman civilization but also with the interaction of cultures and societies that influenced the ancient Mediterranean basin and continue to influence human society across the globe.
Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Classics
The mission of the undergraduate program in Classics is to provide students with a broad background centered on the literature and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome, including Greek and Latin language, literature, philosophy, history, art, and archaeology. At Stanford, students in the Classics program also explore the connections between ancient cultures and the modern world as well as specialized fields such as ancient economics, law, papyrology, and science. The program's faculty approaches Classics from an interdisciplinary perspective that crosses geographical, temporal and thematic territories. The program is concerned not only with Greek and Roman civilization but also with the interaction of cultures and societies that influenced the ancient Mediterranean basin and continue to influence human society across the globe.
CLASSICS courses are numbered according to level and area of study.
Art History and Film Studies Course Catalog Numbering System
Undergraduate Language, Core, Electives and Independent Study
Advanced Undergraduate, Coterminal, MA and PhD
Graduate Seminars and Dissertation Research
Emeriti (Professors): Marsh H. McCall, Jr., Susan A. Stephens, Susan Treggiari
Chair: Richard Saller
Director of Graduate Studies: David Cohen
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Reviel Netz
Professors: David Cohen, Andrew M. Devine, Richard P. Martin, Ian Morris, Reviel Netz, Andrea Nightingale, Josiah Ober, Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi, M. Rush Rehm, Richard Saller, Walter Scheidel, Michael Shanks
Associate Professors: Giovanna Ceserani, Christopher B. Krebs, Justin Leidwanger, Jody Maxmin, Grant Parker, Jennifer Trimble
Assistant Professors: Hans Bork, Sarah Derbew
Courtesy Professors: Fabio Barry, Chris Bobonich, Alan Code, Charlotte Fonrobert, Michael Penn, Bissera Pentcheva, Caroline Winterer, Yiqun Zhou
Lecturers: Kilian Mallon, Kelly Nguyen, David Pickel, Elizabeth Ten-Hove, John Tennant
Adjunct Lecturer: Maud Gleason
Graduate Advising Expectations
The Department of Classics is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. When most effective, this advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the adviser and the advisee.
The goal of advising in the graduate program is to help students in selecting courses that best suit their intellectual goals, in designing and conducting research, navigating degree requirements, exploring academic and professional opportunities, and preparing for their post-graduate careers.
Graduate students are expected to be active collaborators in the advising relationship. They are responsible for seeking academic and professional guidance and for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for the Ph.D. or M.A. program.
An important part of the advisee-advisor relationship is for students to discuss their own expectations for the adviser-advisee relationship with the adviser and revisiting these expectations periodically.
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)
A Department faculty member serves as the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The DGS monitors the degree progress of all M.A. and Ph.D. students, offers advice on meeting Department and University requirements, coordinates Departmental advising and TA assignments, and approves petitions for funding or other needs before submission to the Graduate Committee (see below).
Ph.D. and M.A. students are admitted to one of four tracks within the Classics Department, each with its own requirements (Archaeology, History, Literature, and Philosophy). Each track also has an individual adviser in the pre-dissertation stage, who advises on track-specific coursework and training in research methodologies, and professional development. Entering students should meet routinely (at least once per quarter) with both the DGS and with the track adviser, who approve a course of study, monitor progress, and provide advice about funding opportunities, strategies for scheduling general and other exams required for degree progress, and to provide support in the event that difficulties arise.
Student Services Officer (SSO)
In addition, the Department’s Student Services Officer serves as the student's primary contact regarding Department and University procedures and can provide information, assistance, and the appropriate forms and procedures for academic and financial matters.
Academic progress and student completion of program requirements and milestones are monitored by the SSO, which is reviewed as necessary by the DGS and are discussed by faculty at an annual meeting devoted to assessing graduate student progress. Students who have made satisfactory academic progress are normally advanced to candidacy at the end of their second year in residency by faculty vote at this annual review meeting.
Graduate Studies Committee
The DGS, the track advisers (the DGS typically serves as track adviser for their track), and the SSO constitute the Graduate Studies Committee. All requests for funding that fall outside of allowed discretionary spending, extraordinary travel away from campus, petitions for leave of absence, and any disciplinary issues that may arise must be reviewed and, as necessary, approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.
Dissertation Adviser and Reading Committee
In the course of their second year, if not sooner, Ph.D. students choose a faculty member who serves as their dissertation proposal adviser who helps guide the writing of the dissertation. The student and the proposal adviser work together to begin defining a topic and determining what preliminary reading or other work needs to be done. The student must choose the two other faculty members who, with the dissertation proposal adviser, form the dissertation proposal defense committee (typically the Reading Committee). At the time that the student has successfully defended his or her dissertation proposal (normally at the beginning of the fourth year), the dissertation proposal adviser typically assumes the responsibilities of the dissertation adviser. Dissertation advisers and students should meet on a regular basis throughout the year to discuss the student's professional development in key areas such as designing and conducting research, developing teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.
Students are encouraged to work closely with at least two or three faculty members early in the Ph.D. program to benefit from their various perspectives and to learn which faculty members might be particularly appropriate as their dissertation adviser and other members of their Reading Committee.
Ph.D. and M.A. students are expected to meet regularly with their advisers and to keep them informed about their academic progress. To facilitate this, each student must meet with the DGS and the Track Adviser at the beginning of Autumn Quarter and again in Winter Quarter and in early in Spring Quarter during their first two years in the program. DGS and Track Advisers are available at the beginning of each quarter for these meetings.
Once Ph.D. students have successfully defended their dissertation proposals (normally at the beginning of the fourth year in residence) and have completed all of their required teaching assignments, with the consent of their advisers and the Graduate Studies Committee, they may petition to conduct research away from campus for one or more quarters (typically in Greece, Italy, or other regions of the Mediterranean). Students doing so are required to be in regular contact with their dissertation adviser and reading committee. Students must have a written schedule for communicating regularly. In addition, all students must respond promptly to all communications from their advisers and the SSO.
If the dissertation adviser relationship is not conducive to academic progress or is in some other way problematic, the student is responsible for contacting the DGS and/or the SSO and/or the Chair to discuss the issues. The DGS and SSO work with the student to address any concerns; in some instances, this might lead to a change of adviser. Students are encouraged to voice concerns sooner rather than later, in order for any potential issues to be addressed as early as possible.
A detailed description of the program's requirements, milestones, and advising expectations are listed in the Classics Ph.D. Handbook found on the program website. Additionally, the program adheres to the advising guidelines and responsibilities listed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE) and in the Graduate Academic Policies (GAP).
For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the "Graduate Advising" section of this bulletin.