Classics and Philosophy Joint Program

The Classics and Philosophy Program is a joint program, offered by the Departments of Philosophy and of Classics at Yale, for students wishing to pursue graduate study in ancient philosophy. Suitably qualified students may apply for entry to the program either through the Classics Department for the Classics Track, details of which are given below, or through the Philosophy Department for the Philosophy Track details of which can be found here.

Applicants for the Classics Track of the Joint Program must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the Classical Philology Graduate Program, in addition to the requirements of the Classics Track of the Joint Program. The Program is overseen by an Interdepartmental Committee currently consisting of Professor Verity Harte and the Director of Graduate Studies for Classics and the Director of Graduate Studies for Philosophy.

  • (1) Diagnostic sight translation examinations in Greek and Latin (these are taken at the beginning of the first and third terms and are given to assess the student’s progress in both languages).
  • (2) A proseminar, in the first term, offering an introduction to the discipline and its various subdisciplines.
  • (3) Departmental reading examinations in French (or Italian) and German. The first (in either language) is to be passed by the end of the first year, the second by the end of the second year in residence.
  • (4) A minimum of fourteen term courses, of which (i) at least four should be in ancient philosophy, including at least two involving original language work; (ii) of ten remaining courses, five should be in Classics, five in Philosophy, including (a) of 5 in Classics, either two terms of history of Greek literature or two terms of history of Latin literature are required, and two courses at 700/800 level in Greek or Latin; and (b) of five in Philosophy, one in history of philosophy other than ancient philosophy, and three in non-historical philosophy. It is recommended that students without formal training in logic take a logic course appropriate to their philosophical background.
  • (5) Translation examinations in Greek and Latin, based on the Classics and Philosophy PhD Reading List for the Classics Track of the Program, at the beginning of the fifth term in residence.
  • (6) Oral examinations in Greek and Latin literature, based on the Classics and Philosophy PhD Reading List for the Classics Track of the Program and consisting of one hour-long oral examination on non-philosophical Greek and Latin works from the list (which may be taken in two parts, one half-hour exam on Greek and one half-hour exam on Latin) and one hour-long oral examination on philosophical Greek and Latin works from the list, to be completed by the end of the fifth term in residence. Students may choose to take the non-philosophical Greek and/or Latin half-hour component of their oral examination in conjunction with taking the history of Greek or Latin literature, along with the Classical Philology cohort, in the May of the year in which the corresponding history is taken.
  • (7) One of the two qualifying papers required for the Ph.D. in Philosophy by the end of the sixth term in residence; this paper should be on a philosophical topic other than ancient philosophy.
  • (8) Oral examinations/Special Fields in two areas of concentration selected by the candidate in consultation with the DGS in Classics and the Program Committee, one of which must be in ancient philosophy and which will in addition include a written component, while the other must cover a Classical topic other than ancient philosophy, by the end of the sixth term in residence.
  • (9) A dissertation prospectus, by the end of the seventh term in residence.
  • (10) A dissertation. All students at the end of each semester of dissertation research and writing will present their work in progress in a “chapter colloquium”, which will mimic the prospectus defense in format (i.e., a discussion with interested faculty of a pre-submitted chunk of written work). If no chapter or written work is presentable at the time of the colloquium the student would have to justify this.
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