Doctoral Program in the Ancient World
The application for Fall 2013 admission is now closed. The application for Fall 2014 admission will open in October, 2013. Please see the 'Admissions and Financial Aid' page for details on deadlines and how to apply.
The doctoral program of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is distinctive in its flexibility and breadth, embracing the disciplines relevant to a comprehensive understanding of the entire Old World in antiquity. ISAW seeks students with sufficient preparation in at least one discipline or domain to allow them to work beyond its limits and who are committed to scholarly inquiries that cross boundaries of time, place, and discipline. Inaugurated in 2009/10, ISAW’s doctoral program offers rich opportunities for collegial learning and exposure to new perspectives within a research community.
This doctoral program offers study of the ancient world on a broad chronological definition (roughly 3000 BCE to 800 CE) and spanning the Old World from the Atlantic to the Pacific—that is, encompassing not only the Greek and Roman world but also the Near East, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and various adjoining areas. Students will be encouraged not only to develop expertise in more than one area but to focus on research that connects areas of the ancient world.
A second distinctive aspect of the program is that it relies more on individual tutorial work and directed research than on classroom coursework. The core of students’ courses of study is an individually developed program of reading and research closely supervised by ISAW’s faculty and other scholars forming an extended network around the Institute. These are described further below. The Institute also hosts research seminars for the presentation of current work, in which faculty, visiting research scholars, and graduate students all participate. Students are also able to take advantage of the rich faculty and coursework resources available in departments at NYU and at other universities in the metropolitan area through existing exchange programs.
A third feature of the program is the individualized structure of students’ programs. There is only the most general set of degree requirements to be applied to all students. Because of the wide range of geographical areas, periods, disciplines, and languages potentially involved in this doctoral program, a three-person faculty committee is appointed for each student at entrance. This committee determines, in discussions with the student, what combination of language study, coursework, reading, seminars, and fieldwork is needed for the student’s doctoral program. This set of requirements is recorded in a written “contract”, which may be revised by mutual agreement of the committee and the student as the student’s work develops.