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Dual-Title PhD Program

The Dual-Title PhD in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Dual-title degrees grounded both in CAMS and a partnering discipline will acknowledge and foster interdisciplinary scholarship. This dual-title degree program will increase the intellectual rigor, breadth, and depth of graduate work in a participating program through immersion in the disciplinary fields covered by the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies: the literatures and languages of ancient Mediterranean societies, their history, social and material cultures, and their reception by other cultures.

This dual-title program will thus provide a context in which students will learn how to synthesize knowledge within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. In addition, this dual-title degree program will provide qualified students opportunities for instructional training encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to teaching.

The primary advantages of this dual-title program include the intellectual and academic advantages and benefits of interdisciplinary study, as well as the enhancement of the reputation of the departments concerned through an innovative program, leading to recruitment of highly qualified graduate students, and an improved placement of doctoral graduates in highly-competitive humanities fields.

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to their primary graduate program and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the CAMS dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the CAMS dual-title program. Doctoral students must apply for enrollment into the dual-title degree program in CAMS prior to obtaining candidacy in their home department.

Applicants to this dual-title degree program should have a junior/senior cumulative average of at least 3.30 (on a 4.00 scale) and appropriate academic preparation. Preference will be given to those candidates who have an academic record that demonstrates expertise in a field relevant to ancient Mediterranean studies and proficiency at an intermediate level (e.g., 3 semesters of study) in one or more ancient languages. Where applicable, a minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.00 scale) is requisite for graduate work previously undertaken. Prospective students seeking admission to this dual-title degree program are required to write a statement of purpose that addresses the ways in which their research and professional goals will reflect an interest in interdisciplinary research in the participating program and the disciplines and fields included in CAMS.

Application Procedure

Candidates seeking admission to the dual-title PhD in CAMS and who are already admitted to a partner graduate program and the Graduate School should address their statement of purpose to the Director of Graduate Studies in CAMS and accompany it with a transcript of coursework completed or in progress at the time of application.  It is recommended that prospective applicants discuss their interest with the head of CAMS or the Director of Graduate Studies of CAMS before submitting their application.

PhD Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the primary graduate program in which they are enrolled. In addition, they must satisfy the degree requirements for the dual-title in CAMS, listed below.

This dual-title degree will require CAMS-related course work, normally including additional course work in ancient languages, additional components to the comprehensive examinations, and the completion of a CAMS-related doctoral dissertation. A CAMS graduate supervisory committee, chaired by a CAMS faculty member closely related to the student's field of interest, will supervise the graduate study of each student accepted into this dual-title program until all CAMS-related coursework is completed. Students will be expected to attend and participate actively in the CAMS regularly scheduled colloquia.


15 credits of CAMS-related coursework at the 400 or 500 level or above.

3 of these credits will come from CAMS 592 (Proseminar).

At least 3 credits will come from CAMS 593 (Research Seminar). The remainder may come from CAMS courses or courses relevant to the student's research interests, as approved by the student's doctoral adviser and the CAMS program director of graduate studies. Unless exempted by the student’s doctoral committee, at least 6 of these credits should be in an ancient language.  No more than 6 credits can come from 400-level courses.

Student Testimonial

“The day I changed my major to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies was one of the happiest of my college career.  Even before switching to CAMS,  I was interested in what the department had to offer. (...)
An undergraduate advisor suggested LATIN 003 as a way of easing into college life, as I had taken Latin classes throughout high school and had performed well on the Advanced Placement exams.  The beginning was rough, but I enjoyed the challenge of translating Latin prose and the information that the texts conveyed.  Although I pursued an Advertising degree during my first two years of college, I continued to sign up for Latin courses, and by the end of my sophomore year, I had realized that Classics, not Advertising, was the right major for me. In addition to the Latin courses, I also studied the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, and Egypt in the CAMS major.  All of these classes were interesting, educational, and taught by knowledgeable faculty members.   The CAMS faculty is always helpful; they provide insight into the class material and make suggestions for outside reading during office hours and after class.  When I wrote my senior thesis for the Honors College, I received much help from the CAMS faculty while researching and writing the thesis.  Now that I have received my diplomas from Penn State, both in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Spanish, I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Education.  I have been accepted at the Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in Europe, to study secondary education, specializing in classical languages.  I am confident that the education I received at Penn State, notably in the CAMS department, will aid me greatly in my postgraduate studies and in securing a teaching job, whether in the United States, Spain, or elsewhere.”

Celia Meehan
2010 CAMS graduate

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