Jul 24, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Classical Languages (History, Classics, and Religion)

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 28 units in coursework and a thesis.


Course requirements depend to some extent on the student’s previous training and the student’s anticipated needs for the chosen area of concentration.

Course requirements should normally be completed by the end of the fall semester in the student’s second year in the program

  • Nine 3-unit graduate level courses including:
    • At least three courses in GREEK
    • At least three courses in LATIN
    • At least two courses in CLASS
    • One course may be directed study (GREEK, LATIN or CLASS 599) in the proposed area of research
    • One course may be taken outside of CLASS, GREEK or LATIN, with approval of Department
  • CLASS 501  (1 unit)


  • Registration in 900-level THES. The final oral examination will be on the student’s thesis, the text of which should normally be 200-300 pages in length.

Comprehensive examinations

Students must pass three written comprehensive examinations: one in Greek language and literature; one in Latin language and literature; and one in a special field of the student’s choosing that is not directly related to the general field of research. The language and literature examinations are based on the Departmental reading list: and each consists of two parts, one testing translation skills and the other testing general knowledge of the development of the corresponding literature. The third written examination is based on a reading list drawn up by the student and assessors, and consists of one to three broad questions. After the written examinations have been taken, there is an oral examination that covers all three fields.

It is expected that students will take the comprehensive examinations by the middle of their third year.

Candidacy examination

An oral examination on the student’s general field of research for the thesis, including consideration of the student’s thesis proposal is designed to assess whether the student has (1) an adequate knowledge of the discipline and of the subject matter relevant to the thesis, and (2) the ability to pursue and complete original research at an advanced level.

It is recommended that students take the oral candidacy examination by the end of their third year.

Ethics Requirement

Students fulfill three hours of the FGSR Ethics Training Requirement  through CLASS 501  . Students must also complete the FGSR Graduate Ethics Training course

Professional Development Requirement

Students fulfill four hours of the FGSR Professional Development Requirement  through CLASS 501 . See the Department website for a guideline of Department resources to fulfill the remaining PD hours.

Modern Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate competence in German and in French or Italian according to the procedures specified in the Departmental Language Requirement. Completion of a language requirement for a recent MA degree will satisfy the requirement for the PhD in that language.

Residence Requirement

The minimum period of residence is two academic years of full-time attendance at the University of Alberta.

Length of Program

Four to six years are normally required to complete the program.

The maximum time to complete the PhD program as set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research is six years.