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Admissions

For admission into the PhD program in Classics at Stanford, you should have a strong background in Classics or a related field. Depending on your particular interests, this might include Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, Archaeology, Anthropology or Philosophy. Coursework in Latin and Greek need to be commensurate with your goals: the Language and Literature track requires advanced work in both languages before you arrive, the History and Archaeology tracks somewhat less. Modern languages are needed, too--as part of your professional development, you will have to pass a German translation exam plus one in French, Italian or modern Greek, and there is very little time in graduate school to learn these languages from scratch. Above all, we are looking for applicants who understand the opportunities of our program, have clear intellectual goals, and who are a great fit for Stanford Classics.

To apply, please review required materials and fill out an online application with the Office of Graduation Admissions.  The deadline for applications (and all related materials) for the 2014-15 school year is December 3rd.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  I'm currently enrolled in an academic program and won't graduate until after the admissions deadline.  May I still apply?
A: Yes. Stanford understands that many of our applicants are finishing up undergraduate or graduate programs elsewhere and won't finish until after the application deadline.  Your current transcript must be uploaded to the online application while official transcripts from your current and past institutions should be mailed to:

Department of Classics
450 Serra Mall, Bldg 110
Stanford, CA 94305-2145

Q: What is the recommended format for the list of modern and ancient languages?
A: For the ancient languages, please provide a list of all the ancient authors and works you have read in the original, with Greek and Latin works listed separately. (If you have read only part of a longer work, you can specify which books you have read, or note "parts" or "selections".)

For the modern languages, please list what languages you know and to what degree of fluency.  You can state how many years you've studied a language (e.g. three years of college-level German), or you can distinguish between your reading, writing and speaking ability in a given language (e.g. "native speaker," "fluent," "conversational", "intermediate").

Q: How many pages should my writing sample be?
A: The writing sample should be 15 - 25 pages long. Pages should be single-sided and double-spaced. You may submit a paper written for a class, a published article, or a section of an undergraduate honors thesis or other long academic work (in which case please include a cover sheet explaining the larger project and how this excerpt fits into it). Two shorter essays totaling no more than 25 pages are also appropriate. The writing sample should demonstrate your academic abilities, so the approach should be academic and the subject matter related to your proposed field of study.

Q: Instead of two paper transcripts, can I have an official e-transcript sent from my educational institution?
A: Yes, and you only need to send once (we can print multiple official copies on our end).  Please have them emailed directly to the Student Services Officer by the deadline.

Q: How do I apply for funding for a Ph.D. or M.A. program at Stanford University?
A: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer any financial help to M.A. students in Classics. All admitted Ph.D. students are guaranteed funding for 5 academic years, which includes 3 summers. You do not need to apply separately for this funding.

Q: What is the minimum/average/good score I should aim for with my GRE or TOEFL?
A: The GRE score is just one element of the entire application and will be considered in relationship to the whole. Much more important is an excellent writing sample, strong letters of recommendation, an illuminating and thoughtful personal statement about your academic background, research interests, and plans for graduate school. For this reason, we encourage you to achieve good or excellent GRE scores, but do not stipulate any minimum. For the TOEFL, however, the University establishes minima of 250 for the computer-based exam, 600 for the paper-based exam and 100 for the Internet-based exam.

Q: When should I take the GRE exam?
A: ETS tells us that "If you take the computer-based GRE revised General Test, your official scores will be sent approximately 10–15 days after your test date. If you take the paper-based test, your official scores will be sent within six weeks after your test date."  Available dates will differ based on your location.  You are asked to take this test in time to allow your scores to be submitted to Stanford by our application deadline.

Q. When are GRE scores/TOEFL scores/letters of recommendation due?
A: The same day as the application deadline.  On the letter of recommendation page of the online application, it will give you an option to notify your listed recommenders far before you submit your application.

Q: What about applying for the M.A. program?
A: The deadline for the M.A. program applications is the same day as the Ph.D. application deadline.  All required materials for applying are also the same.  M.A. students receive no funding from Stanford and are not guaranteed acceptance to the Ph.D. program at the end of program.

Q: The cost of applying is so high!  Are there any fee waivers available?
A: For more information on application fee waivers and GRE fee reduction certificates, visit gradfeewaiver.stanford.edu.

Further questions may be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies.