Doctor of Philosophy in Classics (PhD)
Students in the PhD Classics have the option to specialize in Classics (language-based program), Ancient History, or Classical Archaeology. Classics students develop competence to the highest level in Greek and Latin; Ancient History students master as least one of Greek or Latin and undertake additional coursework outside of the Department to develop marketable expertise in a second field; Classical Archaeology students become experts in archaeological practice and theory. Students in all streams attain advanced reading skills in Latin, Greek, and relevant modern languages.
Students develop range and breadth through coursework and comprehensive examinations in Years 1 and 2 of the program; after that, students will be encouraged and enabled to narrow their focus so that they become world experts in their chosen dissertation topic.
What makes the program unique?
The program takes advantage of the unique combination of disciplines in the Department, exposing students to a wide range of academic approaches to the ancient world. We are a small but engaged department and are able to provide students with programs tailored to individual interests. Students will have frequent interaction with faculty and the academic community.
Admission Information & Requirements
In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.
Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
• SFU/UBC Digital Salon, a research community for digital humanities. Faculty: Siobhán McElduff.
• Ancient Commentator Series. Faculty: Michael Griffin.
Our strengths in Classics include ancient Greek and Roman drama and performance, philosophy, reception studies, the literature of late antiquity, documentary texts, translation, and commentary. Our faculty employ a range of perspectives to the interpretation of ancient texts, including gender, performance, and reception.
Our students have access to work space in the Graduate Reading Room with exclusive access to a library of ancient texts and seminal scholarship relating to Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and a computer lab for research and teaching equipped with eight powerful desktop PC computers with dual monitors and a variety of software packages (including ArcGIS, Adobe Creative Suite and Agisoft Photoscan) as well as a 3D printer.
Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.Transcript Deadline
Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.Referee Deadline
Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.
September 2020 Intake
Application Open Date05 September 2019
September 2021 Intake
Application Open Date04 September 2020
We aim to support all of our graduate students, with the vast majority receiving funding. Well-qualified PhD applicants (with a completed MA) receive approximately $25,000 per year over four years (including scholarships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships; contingent upon academic performance). Students who are successful in major external competitions may receive over $40,000 per year. In addition, the Department provides support for student travel and research abroad.
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.
9 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 7 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher EducationGrant MacEwan University (2)
The University of Winnipeg
University of British Columbia
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationWetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationExecutive Director & Chief Curator
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Tuition / Program Costs
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,698.56||$2,984.09|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$944.51 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Bablitz, Leanne Roman history, Roman law, Roman courtrooms, Roman social history and law, Roman topography, Roman legal procedure
Cooper, Elisabeth Archaeology of greater Mesopotamia
Cousland, Robert classical Greek mythology, Jewish-Hellenistic litereature, Greek mythology and religion, religion and comporary music, film and literature
Fisher, Kevin (Archeological Data Analysis, Archeological Excavation Methods and Techniques, Dynamics of Social Transformations, Urban Spaces and Urbanity, Social Life / Societal Life, Near Eastern archaeology, Mediterranean archaeology, built environments, architecture, urbanism, digital archaeology, social interaction, power)
Gardner, Gregg Judaism, Rabbinic Literature, Rabbinic Judaism, Mishnah, Talmud, Jewish Studies, Jewish Law, Jewish Ethics, Charity, Jewish Ethics, Archaeology of Israel, Archaeology and Hebrew Bible, Archaeology of Jerusalemn
Griffin, Michael Greek philosophy, Ancient philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Neoplatonism, Ancient logic
Keddie, George Anthony Religion, Ethnicity, and Economy in the Roman East; Apocalypticism in Judaism and Christianity; Jewish and Christian Material Culture and Epigraphy; Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; Archaeology of Roman Palestine; Urban Contexts of Christian Origins; Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez) Language and Literature; Theory and Method for Religious Studies and Social History
Marshall, Christopher Warren (Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Performance and Theatrical Productions)
McCarty, Matthew archaeology and art of the Roman Empire and Iron Age Europe/North Africa; ancient religion and ritual practice; interplays between texts, practices, and objects; imperialism, colonialism, and identity in the ancient world; interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, comparative (especially comparison with Qin/Han China), and theoretical approaches; historiography of archaeology
McElduff, Siobhan (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, Popular Cultures Produced and Broadcasted by Media, Translation History (pre-modern), Translation and gesture, Cheap literature and classical reception, Book history (18th, 19th centuries), Ballads)
Milstein, Sara (Religious Contexts, Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies, literary history of the Bible, Near Eastern scribal culture, Mesopotamian literature, biblical and cuneiform law)
Schneider, Thomas Egyptian history and phonoly
Yoon, Florence heralds and the representation of the absent; anonymity and naming, particularly in Greek Tragedy; props and silent characters in Greek drama
Recent Doctoral Citations
- Dr. Chelsea Alysia Michael Gardner
"Dr. Gardner examined the ancient history and archaeology of the Mani peninsula, a remote region in southern Greece. She studied the unique local identity of the inhabitants under the superpowers of Rome and Sparta, and presented a novel way to study marginal places in the ancient world. Hers is the most comprehensive work on ancient Mani to-date." (May 2018)
- Dr. Jayne Elizabeth Knight
"Dr. Knight studied the pragmatics of anger in Roman society during the late Republic and early Empire. She illustrated the complex relationship between anger and Roman politics. By focusing on how anger was employed in the professional contexts of the orator and emperor, she enhanced our understanding of the role of emotions in Roman public life." (November 2015)
- Dr. Andrew Michael McClellan
"Dr. McClellan's thesis examined the treatment of corpses in Latin epic poetry. He focused specifically on the motif of abuse in the post-Augustan epic. He shows that, encapsulated in the corpses and their treatment, the poems reveal an obsession with violence, horror and death that reflect the larger disturbed functioning of each poet's epic universe." (November 2015)
- Dr. Tyson James Sukava
"Dr. Sukava explored the development of anatomical terminology in classical Greece, and its mixed reception by non-medical authors. He offers the most complete assessment of classical Greek body terms to date, and contributes to our understanding of the dissemination of specialized medical knowledge in antiquity, from Homer to the 4th century BCE." (May 2015)
- Dr. Kevin Bradley Solez
"Dr. Solez contributed to the cultural history of ancient Greece. He demonstrated that banqueting or feasting was the ideal mode of cultural contact in the worldview of Greeks in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE. Multicultural banquets explain the continuities in Mediterranean banqueting-styles and other evidence of cultural exchange." (November 2014)