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Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in Stanford Classics!  For admission into the graduate program you should have a strong background in Classics or a related field. Depending on your particular interests, this might include Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, Archaeology, Anthropology or Philosophy. 

Above all, the Department of Classics welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. Review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays in order to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.

The Department of Classics recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.


Admission Deadline

Deadline for Autumn 2024 admission:  Tuesday, December 05, 2023.*

Please note our Master of Arts degree is available to current Stanford students only. Our external M.A. degree has been discontinued.

*All applicants are encouraged to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. The KHS application deadline is October 11, 2023. Learn more about KHS admission.

The selection of PhD students admitted to the Department of Classics is based on an individualized, holistic review of each application, including (but not limited to) the applicant’s academic record, the letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, personal qualities and characteristics, and past accomplishments. Admissions decisions will be communicated in March.

Application Requirements Checklist

Application form

 Completed online through the University Graduate Admissions website

Non-refundable fee of $125

For information on eligibility for fee waivers please refer to Graduate Application Fee Waiver

Statement of Purpose

Reasons for applying, preparation, specific study and research interests, future career plans, and any other information about yourself as a scholar and future faculty.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required from faculty members or others who are qualified to evaluate academic work and teaching potential. Recommenders submit their letters through the online system by the application deadline.


Unofficial transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended for one year or more must be uploaded to the online application. Graduate Admissions only requires admitted applicants who accept the offer of admission to submit official transcripts that show degree conferral. Please do not send or have sent any official transcripts to us at this time.

Writing sample

An academic paper in your field of interest, 15-25 pages in length.

Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)

Academic resume of your qualifications.  Included in this C.V. should be a list of your language qualifications.  Ancient languages should be demonstrated by a list of works read in the original.  Modern languages may be indicated using the labels "Beginner", "Intermediate", "Advanced" and "Fluent", along with the number of years studied.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

 Required for all international applicants (whose primary language is not English) sent via ETS.  Not required if your most recent academic program is in an institution where English is the primary language of scholarship and instruction.  Please check the Exam Requirements for International Applicants to confirm applicability.

Inquiries about the admissions process and the application can be sent to classics [at] (classics[at]stanford[dot]edu). You may also check our F.A.Q. for common answers.

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Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS).

KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your studies at Stanford.

Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment.

If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 11, 2023. Learn more about KHS admission.  

Have Questions Along the Way?

Contact the team at classics [at] (classics[at]stanford[dot]edu)