Graduate Program in Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures


The Graduate Program in Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures trains students in the languages, literatures, cultures, and history of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Mediterranean:

  • The program has a primary focus in language and and literature, distinguishing it from the two sibling programs that also intersect in Penn's Department of Classical Studies, the Graduate Program in Ancient History and the Graduate Program in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW).
  • Students enrolled in the program are encouraged to combine their linguistic and literary studies and research in Greek and Latin with the investigation of such related fields as archaeology, art history, comparative literature, gender and sexuality, linguistics, literary theory, medieval studies, philosophy, race and ethnicity, and religious studies—to name a few.
  • Students participate in the life of the Department of Classical Studies ranging from the the weekly Penn Classical Studies Colloquium to the Penn Public Lectures in Classical Antiquity and the Contemporary World.
  • Faculty belonging to the Graduate Group in Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures specialize in a wide range of sub-fields within the discipline of Classical Studies and take seriously the responsibility of training graduate students for the profession and beyond.
  • Penn has excellent facilities for supporting study and research in Greek and Latin languages and literatures that include:
    • Classical Studies print and electronic resources in Van Pelt Library overseen by specialist librarian Rebecca Stuhr (gateway portal)
    • The Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
    • Extensive collections and excavation opportunities at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
    • Cooperative relationships with multiple colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area
    • Institutional membership of the American Academy in Rome, the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

As you explore the GLLL program description on these pages, you are encouraged to contact the Graduate Group chair, Prof. James Ker ( with any questions.

About the Graduate Group's New Name

"Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures" is the new name (formally adopted in July, 2024) for the graduate group that was previously called "Classical Studies":

  • The new name is intended to distinguish between the name of the department (Classical Studies) and the name of the graduate group, and to clarify the primary training of this Graduate Group in the study of language and literature.
  • This primary focus distinguishes the group from the primary focus of its sibling graduate groups at Penn—that is, the Graduate Group in Ancient History and the Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW).
  • All three of these groups intersect in the Penn Classical Studies department, and all three have significant overlap in the combination of methods and materials that ultimately play a role in the studies and research of the students and faculty.

Students presently enrolled in the graduate group have the choice of graduating with a degree known by the legacy title of "Classical Studies" or the new title of "Greek and Latin Languages and Literatures."

The new title will apply for all students entering in fall 2025 and beyond.