Doctor of Philosophy in Classics (PhD)

Overview

Classicists study the languages, literature, material culture, and history of Ancient Greece and Rome. The Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies offers a PhD Classics with the option of three streams: 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 PhD in Classics is the only program in Canada to offer students the opportunity to expand their perspective beyond Greece and Rome to the broader cultural, material, and religious contexts of interconnected ancient Mediterranean and Near East through multi-disciplinary coursework and research. We have ten full-time faculty specializing in Greek literature and philosophy, Latin literature and translation, Greek and Roman history, Roman law, Greek and Roman theatre, Greek mythology, Bronze Age archaeology, Greek material culture, Roman provincial archaeology. Our other faculty in Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies are interdisciplinary researchers whose work regularly engages with classical literature, art, and culture.

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Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

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Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Thursday, 29 October 2020
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Student Ambassadors. In this open session the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver and the application process.

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Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

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:

The GRE is not required.

Prior degree, course and other requirements

Course Requirements

Applicants to the Classical Archaeology stream must have completed the equivalent of at least two years' of study (intermediate level) in Ancient Greek or Latin prior to beginning the program. Training in both languages at an intermediate to advanced level is recommend. The Classics and Ancient History streams require graduate-level coursework in both Greek and Latin.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 04 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 14 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 14 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 04 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 14 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 14 January 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
03 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 05 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 14 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 14 January 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 05 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 14 January 2022
Referee Deadline: 14 January 2022

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Classics (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Research Information

Research Focus

Our strengths in Classics include ancient Greek and Roman material culture, drama and performance, philosophy, reception studies, social history, and translation. Our faculty employ a range of perspectives to the interpretation of ancient texts, including gender, performance, and reception.

Program Components

PhD students complete coursework and a dissertation. In addition, PhD Classics-steam and Ancient History-stream students complete a sight translation exam in Greek and Latin and comprehensive translation exams from set reading lists in Greek and Latin. Classics students write both Greek and Latin; Ancient History students write one of Greek or Latin and complete additional coursework in a second field (e.g. Canadian History, Asian Studies, etc.) in lieu of a second exam. Students in the Classical Archaeology stream write two essay-based comprehensive exams from a choice of four set reading lists. All doctoral students must demonstrate reading knowledge of two of French, German, Italian, or Spanish, usually through a translation exam or additional coursework.

Research Facilities

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.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

All of our PhD students are funded beyond UBC's minimum funding guarantee of $18,000 per year for four years. Well qualified PhD applicants receive a minimum funding package of about $25,000 per year over four years (including scholarships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships). Students who are successful in major external scholarship competitions may receive upwards of $40,000 per year. Continued funding into a fifth year is usually offered to students maintaining good progress. In addition, the Department provides support for student travel and research abroad.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

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 Education
Grant MacEwan University (2)
The University of Winnipeg
University of British Columbia
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Dalhousie University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Executive Director & Chief Curator
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These 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.
Career Options

Our aim is to equip our graduating PhD students with all the professional skills they may need to attain a tenure-track teaching position and to carry out the varied responsibilities which such a position brings. Graduates may also pursue career opportunities in government, higher education, business, not-for-profit, and more.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Classics (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications151015138
Offers11121
New registrations11121
Total enrolment98986
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots.

Research Supervisors

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)
  • Daniels, Megan (Classical religion; Archaeology of Greece and the broader eastern Mediterranean; Late Bronze Age to Hellenistic Period; Ancient religion, sanctuaries, votive objects; Cross-cultural interaction; Ancient economies and trade; Divine kingship; Digital/data science approaches to the ancient world, particularly ancient religion; Migration and mobility across Eurasia; Phoenician culture; Ceramic analysis)
  • De Angelis, Franco (Ancient Greek world history, environment, urbanism, developmnet of societies, colonization, economics, ancient 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 )
  • Huemoeller, Katharine (Roman social history; Slavery (ancient and comparative); Documentary texts; gender and sexuality; Ancient law (in theory and in practice); Non-urban life in antiquity)
  • 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)

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Brothers investigated Roman spectacles as a medium for dynastic promotion in the Severan age. She discovered that during this tumultuous period, spectacles offered an opportunity for the emperor to demonstrate his benefaction, to create a positive public image for himself, and to associate himself with the great emperors of the past.
2018 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.
2015 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.
2015 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.
2015 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.
2014 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.
2012 Through studies of excavations and comparisons with Roman, Greek and Punic houses, Dr. Aberle demonstrated that Sicily did not just passively absorb ideas in the years 211-70 BC, but instead actively manipulated them. She challenged a prevailing opinion that Sicily has had little influence on Mediterranean culture and has contributed to our knowledge of Sicilian history.
2010 Dr. Varto researched ideas of kinship in the burials, housing, and genealogical writing of early Greece. She found that kinship involved ideas of biology, multi-generational households, and descent. This research illuminates kinship's role in social, political, and economic differentiation, power, and change in the developing Greek city-state.
2009 Dr. Deline investigated the political and legal roles of women in criminal trials in the Julio-Claudian era of the Roman Empire. She concluded that women were politically threatening and legally active in ways that show they were much more than merely extensions of their husbands and brothers.
2009 Dr. Lane examined the cults of founders in the ancient Greek colonies of Italy. Her work reveals that the god Apollo was a symbolic founding-figure, while later re-founders of these cities, especially the tyrants, received cults for political purposes. Her work increases our understanding of ancient Greek colonial religion.

Pages

Further Program Information

Specialization

Classics offers a core program in Latin and Greek language and literature, and also less language-intensive options in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-EG
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
04 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
04 January 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
03 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
05 January 2022
International Applicant Deadline
05 January 2022
 

Supervisor Search

 

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