Completion of the Ph.D. Emphasis program in AMS includes the following five components. Students are encouraged to apply to the emphasis as soon as their first year of study.

The first two requirements are structured primarily by their distinctness and difference from the student's primary area of study, which reflects the guiding purpose of AMS to move students beyond typical disciplinary borders. This means, however, that each student's program will be highly individualized. Courses that will fulfill a requirement for one student will not necessarily do so for another. The list of approved courses therefore represents a menu of possibilities rather than a directive program of studies.

1. General Historical Requirement
Students will successfully complete two courses in a period of history, or concerning a cultural complex, outside their main area of concentration. A “cultural complex” indicates an ethnic or national grouping that may be contemporaneous with the student's main research focus, but has an institutional, political, economic, ethnic, or cultural existence that is essentially separate from that of the main focus. Students may choose from a list of approved courses, or may petition the steering committee of AMS for the recognition of a course not on the list as a means of fulfilling this requirement. Only one of these courses may be an upper division course. The other must be a graduate seminar.


2. Disciplinary Requirement
Students will successfully complete two courses in methods or disciplines outside their main disciplinary focus. Students may choose from a list of approved courses, or may petition the steering committee of AMS for the recognition of a course not on the list as a means of fulfilling this requirement. Only one of these courses may be an upper division course. The other must be a graduate seminar.

3. Ancient Mediterranean Language Requirement
Students will be required to have three years of combined study in one or more ancient Mediterranean languages appropriate to their area of concentration. Such languages could include Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic dialects (Syriac, Mandaic, Palestinian), Coptic, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Arabic, Old Persian, or Celtic.
Upon approval of the steering committee, students working primarily in non-literary cultures will be able to substitute a commensurate amount of significant interdisciplinary methodological work in cultural areas that are primarily non-literary, such as coursework and fieldwork in archaeological theory and method, as well as study of additional modern languages in which such research is published beyond the German and French required by most of our departments, such as Italian, Turkish, or Arabic. This shows a recognition that a corpus of ancient structures and artifacts is similar in documentary quality to a corpus of ancient texts, and that study of appropriate methods is a necessary foundation for engaging in the discourse of this field.

4. Common Core Seminar
Students will participate in a 2-credit per quarter core seminar run biweekly throughout the year, in which visiting scholars, faculty, and advanced graduate students present methods typical of their fields and discuss their current research projects. They will participate for three quarters prior to their qualifying exams as registered course participants. The quarters during which they are registered do not need to be contiguous; moreover, they may register for credit for more than three quarters if this suits their educational goals. Students will also participate once as presenters, generally after advancing to candidacy.


Students petitioning to participate in AMS must write dissertations that focus on topics considered appropriate to AMS. Students may choose to write on contiguous or comparative topics as well, but at least one half of the dissertation should treat some aspect of ancient Mediterranean culture or society

Current List of Approved Classes

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