Program StructureTeaching | FundingUCLA StrengthsApplicant Requirements

UCLA Classics allows students to pursue a varied set of interests with a world-class faculty known for teaching, mentoring and scholarship. Besides our strengths in Greek and Latin language, literature and culture, our program also benefits from and contributes to the university’s strengths in Archaeology (the Cotsen Institute), Indo-European Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (including Egyptology), Philosophy, Women’s Studies, and LGBT Studies. We emphasize control of language, literature and theory, integrating them with the understanding of material culture; mastery of teaching skills in a range of courses; and job placement.

Applicants’ interests should focus on studying mainly classical languages and literatures, although we do encourage interdisciplinary work.

  • If your main interest is in Indo-European linguistics, you may wish to consider applying to the Program in Indo-European Studies (“PIES”). Discussion with the Classics Graduate Adviser and the Director of PIES will help you decide whether to apply to Classics or to PIES.
  • If your main interest is in archaeology, you should consider applying to the Interdepartmental Archaeology Graduate Program.

Program Structure

  • UCLA has an “M.A./Ph.D.” program. This means that students who enter with a B.A., or with a B.A. and an M.A. in a field other than Classics, start out in the “M.A. program.” The M.A. program consists of two years of coursework and exams plus the preparation and presentation of an M.A. paper, which serves as training for the presentation of papers at professional conferences. If all these requirements are met, the student will receive the M.A. degree.
  • If these requirements are met at a high enough standard, the student will advance to the Ph.D. program. This involves further coursework and exams, and the writing of a dissertation.
  • The Classics Department does not offer a terminal M.A. degree; please do not apply if that is what you want.
  • Well-prepared students who arrive with a B.A. can finish in six years; students who arrive with an M.A. should be able to finish in four years, although they may take longer.
For a complete description of the program requirements, please see the Program Requirements.


Ph.D.’s in their first time on the job market need to be able to demonstrate excellence in teaching both Latin, Greek, and classics in translation, and we aim to make that possible. Students normally begin teaching in their second year at UCLA and spend at least two and usually three or four years as T.A.’s. There are also opportunities for summer teaching. The department sets high standards for teachers, maintains close supervision of T.A.’s, and teaches a required course in teaching methods for all students in their first spring quarter. Classics T.A.’s have repeatedly won campus-wide awards.


Entering students are offered similar funding packages: two years of fellowship and up to four years of T.A.ship (contingent on good performance). The department and university cover all tuition (non-resident tuition normally in the first year only) and fees; in addition, we offer a stipend or salary now set at $29,000 per year. All students can apply for summer or year–long Research Mentorships and also for Dissertation Year Fellowships, which are awarded by the university on a competitive basis. Our students have been extremely successful in these competitions.

UCLA Strengths

  • Many of our faculty have won teaching awards, and three have won the national teaching award presented by the Society for Classical Studies.
  • The undergraduates you will be teaching are wonderful. UCLA’s undergraduate schools are highly selective, and the students are modest and eager to learn as well as smart.
  • Departments and programs with which we have close ties include Art History, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS), the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and the Interdepartmental Archaeology Graduate Program, History, the Program in Indo-European Studies (PIES), Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (NELC), and Philosophy. Each of these departments and programs has outstanding faculty of its own and a vigorous array of course offerings and conferences.
  • The UCLA library system is a top-ranking collection; the main research library, the YRL, is a pleasure to use, with a friendly, helpful, erudite staff. Its Ahmanson-Murphy Collection contains numerous early imprints of classical texts, including Aldines.
  • Numerous local museums with ties to the department and opportunities for grad student involvement (see the Classics Resources page on this website).
  • There are over a dozen universities and colleges in the L.A. region with strong Classics programs; we often share resources, and faculty take turns teaching at neighbor departments.
  • Los Angeles itself is an endless resource, with a world-class symphony (led by the prodigious Gustavo Dudamel); architectural wonders in every neighborhood; curiosities like the Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Velavaslay Panorama; the marvelous Central Library; the Griffith Observatory (as seen in “Rebel Without a Cause”); the Gamble House (as seen in “Back to the Future”); the Bradbury Building (as seen in “Blade Runner”); food from every corner of the globe; night spots like the Edison Club; every kind of sport and activity; the Huntington Library specializes in early printed books; the ONE Institute Archive has major holdings in LGBT periodicals, rare books, and ephemera. (See also the Living in Los Angeles resource page on this website.)

Applicant Requirements

  • A B.A. in Classics or equivalent coursework, for example, in a Post-Baccalaureate program (applicants with an M.A. in Classics can often enter directly into the Ph.D. program)
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better in major courses and overall (successful applicants often have a GPA over 3.5)
  • Greek and Latin: at least three years in one and at least two years in the other, though, again, successful applicants often offer more.
  • In addition to these desiderata, it is helpful if you have studied German, French or Italian to the level of two years’ study.

Applications from foreign students (that is, those who are neither U.S. citizens nor Permanent Residents) are welcome but applicants should contact the Graduate Adviser to discuss funding issues.