Graduate Program in Classics

PhD Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

The doctoral program at RU Classics focuses on the interpretation of original texts in Greek and Latin in the context of the general humanistic tradition. Our graduate students are trained to master the philological methods of the discipline and become familiar with the methods of such related fields as literary theory, ancient history, philosophy, and ancient art history. We are committed to graduating PhDs ready and able to produce high-quality original scholarship and to teach and mentor effectively at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Attain marked ability, scholarship, and research and instructional skills concerning ancient Greek and Latin authors and texts in their historical, social, and cultural contexts

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

• Grades in graduate seminars and courses

• Two sets of PhD qualifying examinations, in (a) translation into English of original Greek and Latin texts and (b) general knowledge of ancient literature and history, both assessing linguistic competency as well as depth and breadth of cultural and historical knowledge

• Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring

• Participation of students in regional and national scholarly conferences and colloquia

• Placement in positions and careers that require ability and scholarship in Greek or Latin language, literature, history, or philosophy, and/or areas of study related thereto

Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

• Close advising to assure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion

--includes formal meetings with GPD, twice per semester, to preview and review each semester’s course or research schedule

• Effective monitoring of student progress, with consistent and constructive feedback provided to student

--includes annual reports on research progress to the GPD from both the student and the student’s committee chair

--includes annual review of individual students’ progress by entire program faculty

• Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate seminars by chair, GPD, and instructors

--If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness

• Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools by program faculty

• GPD and relevant faculty and staff attend best practices sessions for graduate program directors

• Provide benchmarks from comparable disciplines at other institutions


Learning Goal 2 for Students: Engage in and conduct original research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

• Preparation of and defense of Ph.D. dissertation proposal by full program faculty

• Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation:

            --oral defense of dissertation

            --critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside the Rutgers Classics program

• Presentation of original research at regional, national, and international conferences, colloquia, and symposia

• Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers based on original research

• Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placements, selection for

conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and individual grant and fellowship attainment

Role of the graduate program in helping students achieve Goal 2:

• Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research

            --includes a biannual proseminar introducing students to the field’s main research methods and methodological approaches 

• Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback

• Maintain adequate funding levels through the research phase

• Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors


Learning Goal 3 for Students: Prepare to be professionals in careers that require training at the highest levels in the Classics

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

• Review evidence of papers presented, publications, membership in professional organizations, and professional networking

• Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors

• Collection and review of placement data

• Periodic review by external advisory committees

• Exit and follow-up surveys of alumni/ae

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 3:

• Develop discipline-specific programs in concert with the Teaching Assistant Project

• Encourage enrollment in Introduction to College Teaching I and II

• Encourage participation in professional development programs in such areas as human subjects research, library use, course management software, interview skills, presentation skills, development of CVs, use of research tools, training in the responsible conduct of research, and proposal writing

            --these areas are treated internally in informal seminars as well as the biannual proseminar

• Teach students how to do assessments in their future professional capacities

• Develop or enhance programs related to job and networking skills, including activity in

professional societies and preparation for necessary certifications

• Acquaint students with non-academic career opportunities


The leadership of the Classics graduate program will regularly review the structure and content of the program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews will be used to provide the best possible education to students in order to meet the needs for highly trained individuals Greek and Roman Classical Studies.

Contact Us

Rutgers Classics
Academic Building, 6th floor
15 Seminary Place
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

e-mail:  classics at
(replace the word at with the @ sign)