Emphasis in Literature and Theory, Ph.D. Requirements

This interdisciplinary degree is designed for those students who wish to pursue interest in literature, theory, and cultural studies, without sacrificing the classical languages. The course of study combines advanced study in Greek and Latin literature with courses and seminars in fields such as cultural anthropology, literary criticism, feminist theory, and theory of drama. Scholars who graduate from this program will meet the increasing demand for classicists with training and expertise in literary and cultural theory.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 72 units in classics, history (Greek and Roman) or related subjects on art history, religious studies or philosophy are required.

Classics 201 (Proseminar)
Classics 211, 212, 213 (History of Greek and Latin Literature)
Classics 210 or Classics 240 (Latin or Greek Prose Composition)
1 course in Greek or Roman history if not fulfilled beforehand
6 seminars, of which typically at least 4 must be Classics Dept seminars
3 graduate courses (which may include some of the seminars just mentioned above) with a theory component, of which at least 1 must be taken outside the Department

Paper Requirements

Students are asked to submit a copy of each graded paper to the Graduate Advisor as soon as possible after the completion of the course. A paper submitted to satisfy the paper requirement must have received a grade of at least a B+ from the instructor in the course for which it was written.

2 short papers (2000 word minimum, excluding quotations
6 seminar papers written while in the Ph.D. program (3000 word minimum, excluding quotations). Of these, 4 papers will typically have been written for Classics Dept seminars. At least 2 of these papers written for Classics Dept seminars must demonstrate the use of theory.
Significant Paper to be presented in written and oral form to the department.


The following examinations are required before the student may advance to candidacy:
Author/Genre Exam in the language of the dissertation.
Sight translation examinations in Greek and Latin based on modified reading lists.
2 modern foreign language translation exams; 1) in German and 2) in French or Italian (German if not passed).
Greek and Latin Literature Qualifying Exam with both written and oral components

Requirement checklist

Reading Lists

For general information about reading lists, click here.

Greek Reading List

Latin Reading List

Ph.D. Program Rules and Procedures

The sight translation examinations will be given in the Winter quarter only. Students must attempt in the Winter quarter any sight exam not already passed. If a student’s performance on the Winter examination, although not passing, was sufficiently strong to warrant a second attempt, the faculty may grant permission to attempt the examination again in the Spring quarter.
Passages on the sight translation examinations are not necessarily drawn from the reading list. Examinations must be finished in 4 hours. Each exam consists of 6 passages, 15-25 lines long, 3 in prose and 3 in poetry. All passages on the examination must be attempted or the examination will not be graded. In order for an examination to be judged as of ‘passing’ level, 4 of the 6 passages must have been translated at the ‘passing’ level or higher.
Before taking the area examinations, students should confer with the Graduate Advisor to select committee members to reflect the student’s likely area of specialization. This committee also serves as the Oral Qualifying Examination committee and so should include both Hellenists and Latinists.

Three courses is the normal load for a graduate student each quarter, but the minimum number of courses each quarter is two courses plus Classics 597 units (Preparation for Comprehensive Exams) to equal 12 units per quarter.
All courses must be taken for letter grade, except Classics 201, 211-212-213.
No student may take a 596 course (Directed Reading and Research) in a language, unless s/he has passed the sight examination in that language. Courses numbered 596, 597, 598, and 599 can only be taken S/U.

On advancing to candidacy, each Ph.D. student has a Dissertation Committee which may or may not be different from the Examination Committee. The Dissertation Committee consists of four members; three must be members of the UC Academic Senate and at least two (including the chair or co-chair) must be members of UCSB’s Classics Department. It has been the practice of the Classics Department to ask a professor from allied UCSB departments or from Classics departments at other universities to serve on the Dissertation Committee. The outside member of this Committee is chosen by the student after previous consultation with the Chair of the Dissertation Committee.
Candidates writing their dissertations, who are in residence and receiving financial support, should submit a report on their progress each year to the Chair of their Dissertation Committee. This report should be submitted before financial award decisions are made (i.e. normally by the middle of Spring quarter).
The Oral Defense of the dissertation is administered by the student’s Dissertation Committee. It is a public event (i.e. the faculty and anyone interested may attend).

Progress toward the Degree
Students are encouraged to complete all coursework and exams within two years of entering post M.A. studies.
To facilitate course selection that will lead to timely progress toward the dissertation, post MA students should obtain approval of quarterly schedules by the graduate advisor.
The department sets 7 years as the normative time for completion of the Ph.D. from time of entry into a graduate program. Students are required to advance to doctoral candidacy within four years after entry into a graduate program.
Students’ performance in the program is reviewed toward the end of each year by the Graduate Advisor and the Chair of the student’s committee. The student may expect a frank and fair evaluation, with specific recommendations as appropriate.