How to Apply


Deadlines for applications for 2024-25 Academic Year:

The deadline for full consideration for financial support is January 1, 2024.

The final deadline for application to the graduate program is May 1, 2024.

Before beginning the application process it may help you to read the information on the Graduate Division webpage, found at:

You may also find helpful this recorded Webinar on “How to Apply to Graduate Programs in Classics” for 2022-23 with Rose MacLean and Dorota Dutsch:

Helpful Tips

You should gather together the following before you start the application:

  1. Statement of Purpose. This should explain why you wish to pursue graduate study in Classics and why you are keen on doing so at UCSB. Briefly outline your interests and area of specialization within Classics, your past academic work and future career plans (if you know them). We are looking for applicants whose interests best suit our program.
  2. Personal Achievements/Contributions Statement. Describe any aspects of your personal background, accomplishments, and achievements that you feel are important in evaluating your application for graduate study. There are university fellowships (for which the department nominates candidates) for excellent students who have experienced financial and social hardships, and/or who represent the first generation in their family to go to college. If this applies to you then please read the guidelines on the Graduate Division page (under Admissions) carefully before writing your statement.
  3. CV. This should list any positions of volunteer work and/or employment since high school. Please do not include your social security number on your CV or any other documents.
  4. The names and contact details of three people whom have agreed to write you letters of recommendation.
  5. Writing sample. Between ten and forty pages in length. This can be an essay written for your undergraduate or graduate course, either as it was submitted or reworked. We are looking to see your skills as a perceptive reader and writer, your critical abilities, and your engagement with Latin and/or Greek texts (as relevant). Send us the piece of work you are most proud of.
  6. GRE scores (also make sure ETS knows to send your scores to UCSB) NOTE: THIS REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR 2023/2024 year.
  7. TOEFL, if applicable (make sure ETS knows to send your scores to UCSB).
  8. Reading list. A list of authors and texts you have read in Greek and Latin.

Further details and the department address are available here:

Apply online

You will need to go to the graduate division website:
  1. You will be asked to identify your major and degree objective.
    • If you are applying after doing an undergraduate degree or MA Degree then you should select:
      Doctor of Philosophy in Classics
      If you are interested in the PhD with an Ancient History emphasis or Literature and Theory emphasis then select one of these options.
  2. You will then be asked about your research interests and will have to click ‘other’ to write these in the box. A general area is fine: Roman history, Greek tragedy etc. Your statement of purpose is the place to elaborate on these.
  3. You will then be asked to identify one or more UCSB faculty with whom you would like to work. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with individual faculty members before making your application and after reading the faculty pages on our website.

The rest of the application process should be straightforward. If you experience technical problems completing your application then please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

What GRE scores are you looking for? [SUSPENDED FOR 2024/25 Year]
This is a hard one for us to answer because we consider the whole application, not just any one aspect. To be competitive for fellowships you will need high GRE scores, but a low score in and of itself should not stop you from applying.

How much language preparation do I need?

Typically at least three years coursework in one language and two years in another. If you need intensive language tuition before pursuing graduate study then we recommend you apply for a post-bacc program. If you have questions about your preparedness for our program, please contact the Graduate Advisor, Francis Dunn.

How does the funding work at UCSB?
All of current PhD students and MA/PhD students are fully funded through fellowships and/or Teaching Assistantships; we aim for this always to be the case. Only applicants applying for the MA/PhD program and the PhD program will be considered for university fellowships. Those applying for the terminal MA will not be considered, but are likely to get partial or full funding through Teaching Assistantships or similar work. Decisions about fellowships and funding packages are made as soon as possible after admissions decisions but some may take a while. There are plenty of opportunities to apply for further fellowships, summer stipends, travel awards, etc. once in the program at the UCSB. We also ensure that our PhD students have opportunities to take up paid Associateships, i.e. are able to teach Greek and Latin courses. This is invaluable experience for the job market.

When will I hear from UCSB?

We aim to evaluate applications in late January and early February and will contact applicants as soon as a decision in their case has been made. In either March or April we hold a recruitment day for all successful applicants, allowing you to visit the department, if you have not already, to meet with our faculty members and graduate students, and to spend some time in beautiful Santa Barbara.

Where do UCSB Classics graduate students get jobs?
Alumni placement statistics can be viewed here.

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or would like to know more about the department. Please contact the Graduate Advisor, Francis Dunn, or the Graduate Program Assistant Anna Roberts ( 805-893-3556.