In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, along with other American universities, Penn began to transform itself into a research institution. In 1872 the University moved from Center City to its present location, thus gaining sufficient space to create laboratories and research facilities. A graduate division was established in 1882 with the appointment of a Faculty of Philosophy. The first fellowship for graduate study was established in 1885, and the first earned Ph.D. was awarded in 1889.
Penn's first Ph.D. in Classical Studies was Alice M. Atkinson, who submitted her thesis, "A Chronology of Horace's Satires and Epistles," in 1894. Until the mid-twentieth century, however, the graduate program was not very active, granting only three doctorates by 1915 and none thereafter until 1945. From that date forward the program has trained scholars at a steady and even an increasing rate.