Prospective students can apply online for the MA or PhD in Classics and the MAT in Latin by clicking here. Every applicant should first review the description of the target program for advice on preparing the application. For additional questions about the logistics of the application process, please contact Cathy Marler at email@example.com or call 314-935-5123. For questions about qualifications or the program itself, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies (see “People”). General information about Washington University for prospective students, including international applicants, can be found on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences site.
The deadline for applications for the MA and PhD in Classics is January 1st.
The application requires:
• The completed application form. Please be sure to list your years of Greek and Latin study in the language preparation section. Please also note that the form includes a question about your other applications in progress; by providing this information you will be helping the Admissions Committee, without prejudicing the review of your application.
• Official transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework to date. If your institution(s) provides official electronic transcripts, these can be sent directly from the registrar’s office to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hard copies sent via US Mail, including express, should be sent to to the mailing address on the Department website. For other carriers, please see note below.*
• Official Graduate Record Exam scores; note that the Graduate School will only accept scores from the past five years, and even more recent is better. Strong Verbal and Writing scores are especially desirable. The GRE Code for the Washington University in St. Louis Graduate School is 6929.
• For applicants whose native language is not English, official TOEFL scores; these must be no older than two years, and must arrive by the application deadline. Waivers for applicants who have earned degrees at English-speaking institutions may be requested through the Director of Graduate Studies in advance of the deadline.
• Three letters of recommendation from current or past instructors acquainted with your accomplishments to date. Aim to assemble a combination of recommenders who can, between them, describe your work in the ancient languages and in research in Classics or a related field. Letters must be uploaded to the application website; recommenders who have problems with the site may contact us at email@example.com for help.
• A personal statement expressing your goals in seeking a graduate degree in Classics, describing the background that qualifies you to do so, and the particular advantages you see in the program at Washington University. Reference to specific faculty members can help, but is not essential. The Admissions Committee is interested in applicants who (besides looking like a good fit for our program) show an understanding of what is entailed in graduate work and an ability to articulate his/her goals. We therefore recommend that you seek advice from instructors on crafting the personal statement.
• A scholarly writing sample of ca. 15 pages or more, representing your work on a topic in Classics or a related field. The ideal submission makes use of both secondary sources and ancient text(s) in the original. If you do not have a single piece of writing that meets all these criteria, you may submit two shorter papers that meet individual criteria.
Please check the application website regularly until all materials are reported received.
MA applicants will automatically be considered for tuition remission and a position as Instructional Aide.
PhD applicants will automatically be considered for the standard funding package that includes full tuition remission and a combination of fellowships and Teaching Assistantships that will cover the cost of living for the entire program. They may also be eligible to apply for one of the special competitive fellowships described here. Please be aware that these separate fellowship applications are reviewed by the Graduate School during the admissions process, and therefore all components must be submitted as close as possible to the program application deadline.
The review period following the application deadline lasts several weeks and involves both the Departmental Admissions Committee and the Graduate School office. When everything is in order, you will begin to hear news from the Director of Graduate Studies in Classics, typically in early February. If you are offered admission, you will receive a follow-up letter from the Graduate School (sometimes this takes a few weeks; do not worry but feel free to check in with the Department if it is greatly delayed). In the meantime, you can stay in touch directly with the Classics DGS and/or faculty, and are encouraged to send questions. Some accepted students, especially those who express an early interest in doing so, will be invited to visit campus, typically for a couple of days in March, to help you make your decision.
Competition for both programs is significant, and one result is that a number of applicants to each program will be placed on a ranked alternates list. We are authorized to notify these individuals of their alternate status very shortly after we make admissions offers. The specific ranking does not and cannot change after the initial list is made. However, if you are placed on this list, you should take heart; you have been placed there due to space and funding limitations, not because you’ve been judged unqualified to enter the program, and you have a good chance of getting a place. The wait time for updates can be long, often lasting into April; we understand that this wait is very difficult on your end, and so we aim to communicate as swiftly as possible when there is any change. By the same token, accepted applicants need adequate time to make their decision. Those offered admission at any point before April 1st are asked to accept or decline the offer by April 15th; those receiving later offers have two weeks to decide.
Since there are typically fewer open spots in the PhD program than the MA, some applicants to the PhD program may receive an offer to the MA program instead. If you receive such an offer, it’s the result of careful consideration of your potential fit and our prospective numbers. You would be invited to reapply to the PhD in your second year of the MA, and given special consideration. If you are genuinely uninterested in entering the MA program, however, you can be sure that if you decline the offer, it can quickly be passed to an alternate.
We urge MA applicants to determine whether their finances allow them to complete the program without taking on significant debt or burdensome outside employment to supplement the financial aid from the Graduate School.
Applicants who are rejected from either program are welcome to ask follow-up questions about their applications and our selection process. If you are rejected, do not assume that it had entirely to do with the quality of your application. Sometimes we can predict that an applicant will not be able to pursue his/her specific interests in our program. Often, again, it is simply a matter of space and funding. In some past cases, an applicant has reapplied with success.
*Items sent via Fed Ex, UPS, or DHL must be sent to this address:
Umrath Hall, Room 244
St. Louis, MO 63130
phone: (314) 935-5123
(there should be no mailbox or street address on the label)