Classical Philosophy

Academic Year 2023 – 2024

General Information

1879 Hall

Program Offerings:

  • Certificate

Department for program:

Affiliated departments:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Program Administrator:


The graduate certificate in classical philosophy provides training, special skills, and knowledge equipping students for scholarly work and teaching that involve classical philosophy. It is designed to recognize students who have gone beyond their own departmental requirements for a Ph.D. and done significant work in classical philosophy, but who are not enrolled in the Ph.D. Program in Classical Philosophy. The certificate offers students in departments other than classics and philosophy the opportunity of taking seminars in those departments as a substantial part of their regular course of study. They will thus be able to improve their knowledge of the classical languages, extend their acquaintance with classical literature, history, and culture, and do intensive work on classical philosophical texts. In addition, students enrolled in the Certificate Program are expected to attend the Classical Philosophy Reading Group (which meets once a week during term time), and will be invited to attend the Program’s workshops (including the Summer Workshop in Greece sponsored by the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies) and colloquia.

All students interested in the program should contact the Director of Graduate Studies or support staff within the Departments of Philosophy or Classics.

Students cannot be admitted to Princeton University through the Graduate Certificate in Classical Philosophy Program since it is not a degree program. The certificate does not appear on the official transcript.

Program Offerings

Program Offering: Certificate

This certificate does not appear on transcripts.

Program description

To earn the certificate, graduate students must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program other than the Ph.D. program in Classical Philosophy and must complete three requirements: (a) pass two sight exams in Latin and Greek respectively; (b) pass two examinations on reading lists of Greek and Latin authors respectively; and (c) take at least three graduate seminars on Classical Philosophical subjects in the Classics and Philosophy Departments (at least one in each department).

  • Applicants must possess a basic knowledge of Greek, up to the level of Plato's Socratic dialogues, and are recommended to have comparable abilities in Latin. The two sight examinations will text that knowledge.
  • The two examinations on reading lists of Greek and Latin authors will test the student’s knowledge of texts which have been specially chosen to meet the student’s interests and aptitudes.
  • The three graduate seminars in Classics and Philosophy (at least one in each department) must be approved by the Classical Philosophy Program Director for the student’s course of study. Each department home to a student pursuing the certificate may choose to allow them to incorporate the fulfillment of the certificate requirements into the fulfillment of their general departmental requirements in a suitable way. Alternatively, students may fulfill the certificate requirements separately from completing their departmental requirements.


  • Director

    • Hendrik Lorenz
  • Executive Committee

    • Joshua H. Billings, Classics
    • Mirjam E. Kotwick, Classics
    • Melissa Lane, Politics
    • Hendrik Lorenz, Philosophy
    • Benjamin C. Morison, Philosophy

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.