Graduate Program Overview

The Department of Ancient Mediterranean Studies offers graduate work leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in three (3) main areas: Languages and Literature, Archaeology, and Arts and Humanities. The basis of work in these areas is the study of the literary and material cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. We encourage applications from talented and committed students who have an appreciation of the rich, many-faceted nature of the ancient world and an interest in discovering a place of their own in it.

The Degree Programs

Our programs in Languages and Literature (Greek, Latin, Classical Languages) and Archaeology are designed to prepare students for careers as teachers and scholars of classical philology and archaeology. To that end we combine a rigorous, research-oriented program of study with a wide array of teaching opportunities that includes assisting and teaching in classes of all sizes and kinds (e.g., lecture, writing-intensive, discussion-based, online, Latin language). To support professional development, we organize annual workshops and colloquia at which our graduate students present their research, and to facilitate their progress in the program, we offer multiple funding opportunities for travel, study, and research at all stages of their graduate careers.

Please note that  applications for the AMS graduate program in Archaeology will still (as of January 2019) be listed in Slate as applications to the graduate program in Art History and Archaeology.  

While we offer traditional philological and archaeological training, we also encourage our students to cultivate interests across and outside of these disciplines. We believe that this is not only intellectually healthy (as it better equips them to think critically about the received practices of the disciplines), but is essential for their professional development (as the field of Classical Studies is becoming increasingly diversified and interdisciplinary). Language and literature students, therefore, are required to take a significant amount of coursework in archaeology, and archaeology students in language and literature. Students are also free, however, to pursue other areas of interest, such as Art History, History, Late Antiquity, Medieval Studies, Reception Studies, or Religious Studies. 

A still more radically interdisciplinary approach is represented by our new graduate area in Classical Arts and Humanities (CAH). This degree program combines the study of the ancient Mediterranean world with an outside area of the candidate’s choice (e.g., Art, Black Studies, Creative Writing, Digital Humanities, Music, Reception Studies, Theatre, Visual Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies) and invites students to pursue interdisciplinary projects in various media in lieu of the traditional written thesis. CAH is open to students who may not have a background in ancient languages (all required coursework may be done in English) and is designed for those who wish to pursue intellectual/artistic careers beyond traditional academic disciplines.


AMS graduate students at MU have at their disposal the academic and cultural resources of a Research I university, including the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology, Ellis Library, which houses excellent collections in classical literature and archaeology, and a wide range of departments and programs offering opportunities for comparative and interdisciplinary study

AMS’s home, Swallow Hall, contains a sizeable working-library, the Ferd and Ann Labrunerie Classics Library, for graduate study and research. Our subscription to the Brepols Library of Latin Texts gives students access to vast digital resources and databases for the study of Latin, and three terminals in Swallow Hall are available for graduate students’ use of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG).

Because AMS is a contributing member to the following national and international organizations and institutions, our graduate students may take advantage of the many resources and facilities they provide:

American Academy in Rome

American School of Classical Studies at Athens

American Schools of Oriental Research

Archaeological Institute of America

Classical Association of the Middle West and South

Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome

Society for Classical Studies

After AMS

We have had great success in placing our graduates in college and university positions. Our success stems in part from the recognition that since the majority of teaching positions exist in undergraduate and public university settings, graduate education should seek to prepare excellent teachers with a wide grasp of ancient literature, history, and culture as well as an openness to interdisciplinary approaches in the classroom and research. The balance of intellectual training our graduate curriculum seeks to cultivate enables future teachers to see AMS as a crucial part of the wider intellectual discourse of the modern world.


Professor Dennis Trout
Director of Graduate Studies
112 Swallow Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211-4150