Ph. D. Program in Ancient Philosophy
This program, established in January 2011, is designed for students enrolled in the Ph. D. program in the Philosophy Department who also wish to work closely with Northwestern’s Classics Department. Upon completion of their requirements, they receive both a Ph.D. from the Philosophy Department and a Certificate from the Classics Cluster (described below). The program provides students with the opportunity to work on their knowledge of ancient languages and to improve their understanding of the Greco-Roman world. One need not be part of the program to write a dissertation on ancient philosophy.
Students who choose to enter the program will be affiliated with the Classics Cluster, which makes the Department of Classics their official second home at Northwestern. Upon completion of the Program in Ancient Philosophy, they will receive a Certificate from the Classics Cluster, which will be indicated on their transcript. A description of the Classical Traditions Cluster can be found here. In most ways, students in the program are treated in the same way as other graduate students in the Philosophy Department. The requirements of the Philosophy Department are slightly modified to help prepare students for professional research in this field.
The skills requirement must be met by showing competence in Greek or Latin, as appropriate for the authors the student wishes to work on. One must have at least three-years worth of language study or the equivalent.
If a student is admitted to the program without knowledge of Greek, he or she should take an intensive course the summer before arriving. (This can be done for free at the University of Chicago). Students entering the program with only one year of Greek must take second-year Greek (Greek 201-1,2,3) in their first year. Alternatively, students may be able to move directly to 300-level courses after taking Greek 201-1.
Proseminars and Distribution Requirements
These are the same as those that apply to all Philosophy Ph. D. students:
- PHIL 401-1,2: Proseminar (first year): 2
- PHIL 402-1,2: Proseminar (second year): 2
Students must take at least one Philosophy Department course, at the 300- or 400-level, in each of the following areas:
- Ancient Philosophy
- Modern Philosophy
- Contemporary Philosophy Category A: moral or political philosophy
- Contemporary Philosophy Category B: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, or philosophy of science
Philosophical Greek Courses
Each year, the Classics Department will offer one designated course in which students read a philosophical text in Greek. Students in both their first and second years must enroll in this course for credit. Students in their third year must take the course pass/fail. Students in higher years are encouraged to enroll. Students who enter the program with only one year of Greek can either take this course in their first year (if they feel ready) or take it for credit in their second and third years.
- Philosophy courses at the 400-level: 10 (two fewer than those that apply to other Philosophy Ph. D. students)
- Greek or Latin courses at the 300-level or above (including philosophical Greek): 4
- Additional courses: 4 (two fewer than those that apply to other Philosophy Ph. D. students)
Students enrolled in the Ph. D. Program in Ancient Philosophy do not take as many 400-level Philosophy courses (ten instead of twelve), and have fewer additional courses (four instead of six); and they take the two philosophical Greek courses as well as two other Greek or Latin courses. If a student in this program needs to take language courses below the 300-level, these can either be among the four “additional courses” mentioned above or be taken as an overload.
Logic, Total Units, and Other Requirements
These are the same as those that apply to all Philosophy Ph. D. students.
The logic requirement for graduate students can be fulfilled in several ways.
- Standardly, students attend lectures for PHIL 250, and enroll with the instructor of the class in an independent study. Graduate students are expected to undertake additional work so that their coursework is at the 300- or 400- level.
The remaining means of fulfilling the logic requirement are listed below; however, these are to be understood as potential means of fulfilling the requirement. Whether or not coursework falling under the following rubrics does fulfill the requirement is at the discretion of the logic advisor.
- Coursework at another institution deemed equivalent to or exceeding that described in (1).
- Coursework at another institution deemed equivalent to part of that described in (1), plus completion of some portion of that described in (1).
- A 300- or 400-level class in formal logic taught at Northwestern. However, no course used to fulfill the logic requirement may also be used to fulfill a part of the language requirement.
Total Required Units: 27 [This includes the nine pass/fail courses taken in the third year]
Other PhD Degree Requirements
- Examinations: oral qualifying examination to determine competence within chosen field of proposed dissertation
- Research/Projects: two research papers related to the proseminars
- PhD Dissertation: department approval of dissertation topic by three-member dissertation committee with oral qualifying examination as above
- Final Evaluations: oral defense of dissertation
- Other: annual review by faculty
Graduate Student Regulations
The regulations governing the Ancient Philosophy Ph.D. program are the same as those that apply to all students enrolled in Philosophy Ph.D. program (http://www.philosophy.northwestern.edu/graduate/regulations.html), with the following exceptions:
- Whereas other third-year students (who have not entered the program with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy) take two pass/fail courses in the Philosophy Department each quarter, students enrolled in the Ancient Philosophy program are allowed to take one of these two courses in the Classics Department.
- Students in the Ancient Philosophy Program are expected to attend the ancient philosophy workshop and either the Greek or the Latin reading group. Students are always welcome at either reading group, but they are not required to attend if they are enrolled in a Greek or Latin course. (Students are also expected to attend the Philosophy Department’s colloquium series, as are all students enrolled in the Philosophy Department’s graduate program.)
The Philosophy Department welcomes Visiting Scholar Chun Mu and Visiting Pre-Doctoral Fellows Mengxiao Huang, Karin Jonch-Clausen, Rasmus Karschny and Jan Hauke Plassman.
Department of Philosophy
1880 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Department Newsletter (PDF)