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Best Schools with Ancient History Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Learn which are the best schools offering graduate degree programs in ancient history. See what makes these schools special. Find out more about degree and program options, too. View article »

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  • 0:02 School Overviews
  • 0:48 Stanford University
  • 1:33 Yale University
  • 2:18 Harvard University
  • 2:55 Top Ancient History…

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Ancient history graduate programs allow students to conduct original research while studying the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean region. At the graduate level, doctoral programs in this field are the most common, but master's degree programs may also be available.

Three of the best universities to offer ancient history graduate programs include Yale University, Stanford University, and Harvard University. The graduate program at Yale includes a master's degree in ancient history but is intended for students pursuing the Ph.D. Stanford and Harvard award only a Ph.D., though students can choose from among several areas of emphasis. Each of these schools was highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report in its most recent evaluation of graduate-level history programs.

Stanford University in Stanford, CA

Stanford University was ranked #4 among history graduate programs according to U.S. News and World Report in 2013. The university offers degree programs through its Classics Department. One of the four concentrations available at the doctorate level is ancient history. Students enrolled in this program study the history of the Mediterranean, specifically ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures through a curriculum consisting of seminars, classical literature and inscriptions, skills classes, and narrative history.

Faculty currently runs several research projects into various elements of the ancient world including the ancient maritime landscape off the coast of Sicily, geospatial modeling of the Roman world, and classical theater.

Yale University in New Haven, CT

Yale University was tied for the #1 rank in graduate history by U.S. News & World Report for 2013. The overall goal of Yale's Department of Classics is to conduct original research in the life and times of ancient Greeks and Romans. Graduate students enrolled in the ancient history degree program have access to the Classics Library, Yale's coin and papyri collections, and electronic databases for research purposes. Students also have access to language training as well as the opportunity to teach Latin and Greek. All Ph.D. students receive a Master of Philosophy before the completion of their dissertation. Students applying to the Classics graduate program, however, are expected to carry on to the doctorate level.

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Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is ranked #2 among all national universities and #4 in graduate -level history by U.S. News & World Report. The Department of Classics at Harvard offers a Ph.D. in Ancient Hisotry. This program covers Greek history from the Mycenaean period to the rise of the Roman Empire, and then Roman history from the rise of the empire to late antiquity. Students study a wide range of topics including archaeology, epigraphy, ancient history and historiography, ancient languages, and modern languages. The program takes at least two years of full-time study to complete.

Top Ancient History Graduate Programs

Let's look at a few other schools with excellent graduate programs in ancient history:

School Name Location Distinction
Indiana University-Bloomington Bloomington, IN Supports seven history journals, including the American Historical Review
New York University New York, NY Offers the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, which provides a scholarly center for graduate history students
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Students in the Department of Classics have study abroad opportunities in Italy, Greece, and Egypt
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA Tied for #1 best graduate history program by the U.S. News & World Report
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Has a History Writing Center staffed by Ph.D. students
University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA Ggraduate program in ancient history offers concentrations in the history of Israel in the biblical period, the history of Jewish people, the history of Classical Greece, and the history of the Roman Empire
University of Washington-Seattle Seattle, WA History department offers a History Writing Center and a History Department Diversity Committee, along with several centers and initiatives

Students who want to pursue advanced studies in ancient history can find doctoral programs that involve high-level coursework and research in the field. Exceptional academic opportunities in this field are available at schools with top-ranked graduate history programs.

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