UCLA, like many state universities, gives graduate degrees in ancient history through the Department of History. The department now has four full-time faculty members in this field: Mortimer Chambers (Ph.D., Classics, Harvard: Greek history); Ronald Mellor (Ph.D., Classics, Princeton: Roman history); Claudia Rapp (D.Phil., History, Oxford: Late Antiquity, both western and Byzantine); S. Scott Bartchy (Ph.D., History of Religion, Harvard: Early Christianity, the Hellenistic age). UCLA also has two Egyptologists within the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.
Strong emphasis is placed on mastery of Greek and Latin, and students constantly take courses in the Department of Classics. For the Ph.D., competence in French and German is also required, along with Italian for those working in Roman history.
For the Ph.D., students present four fields for the preliminary examinations that are passed before writing a dissertation begins. Three of these must be in history (e.g., Greece, Rome, Byzantium), and the fourth may be either another history field or a related field from another department (e.g., Greek sculpture, Roman law, literary history, or palaeography). The preliminary examinations are normally taken after (say) three years of work in the Department. There are written examinations in the student's two major fields (normally Greek and Roman history). If these are passed, the student proceeds to an oral examination, which will cover all four fields.
Along the way, students will probably receive the M.A. degree, which normally calls for submission of three research papers written for courses.
Writing the dissertation is likely to take a couple of years. Thus good progress through the degree program would complete it within five years.
Financial aid is available. Outstanding candidates for admission may be offered "recruitment" scholarships that are good for four years. In two of the years the student will serve as a teaching assistant in a large undergraduate lecture course (commonly History 1, the History of Western Civilization). Other TAships are available, and almost all students in the ancient field obtain one. There are also dissertation fellowships awarded for the completion of this work. Opportunities exist as well to teach in the Classics Department as a TA (but those appointments are naturally made by them). Research assistantships and readerships round off the program of financial aid.
We encourage study abroad at, for example, the American Academy in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies, Athens. Several of our students have received fellowships for the summer seminar of the American Numismatic Society in New York.
We provide a high degree of attention from our faculty, for normally there are about eight students in our program in various stages. We are pleased to correspond with potential students.
(a) Ancient History: French, German, Latin and Greek.
(b) Ancient Near East: French, German, and two ancient languages, one of which should be either Akkadian, Egyptian, or Hebrew. The other ancient language may be Sumerian, Hittite, Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic, Greek, or Latin, depending on individual programs. It is expected that the ancient languages, with all attendant problems of philological and textual criticism, will normally constitute the fourth field of the doctoral examination.
As a candidate for the Ph.D., you must meet (a) the special requirements for admission to the doctoral program listed above; and (b) the general requirements set forth under the Graduate Division. An excellent command of English, spoken and written, the ability to read at least two foreign languages (except for the field of U.S. History where only one foreign language is required), and an acquaintance with general history are expected of all candidates. You are required to complete at least one continuing two-or three-quarter seminar, or alternatively, a continuing sequence of at least two graduate courses approved by the GGCC. This seminar, or its alternative, must include completion of a substantial research paper based at least in part on primary sources.
All students must write a dissertation prospectus (which could be written for credit as a history 596 or 597) expected to contain: (a) a full statement of the dissertation topic; (b) an historiographical discussion of the literature bearing on the topic; (c) a statement of the methodology to be employed; and (d) a survey of the sources sufficient to demonstrate the viability of the topic. The prospectus must be approved by the dissertation adviser prior to the oral part of the qualifying examinations. After approval, copies will be given to each member of the examining committee.
Faculty serving on doctoral committees may require such courses as they deem necessary for preparation for qualifying examinations. Courses taken to fulfill M.A. degree requirements may also be used to satisfy Ph.D. requirements.
Before admission to candidacy, you must pass written and oral examinations. Students with outstanding incompletes may not be permitted to sit for these exams.
In the written qualifying examinations, you are expected to show not only a mastery of your special subject, but also an adequate grasp of the wider field of historical knowledge and an ability to correlate historical data and to explain their significance. These examinations are designed to test not merely factual knowledge, but also your power of historical analysis and synthesis, critical ability, and capacity for reflective thinking. A knowledge of the history of any area includes a reasonable knowledge of its historiography and bibliography; of its geography; and of its political, cultural, economic, and other historical aspects.
In the oral examination, you are to be examined in four fields, one of which may be an approved field in anthropology, economics, geography, language and literature, philosophy, political science, or other allied subjects. This allied field must be comparable in size and scope to the history fields listed above. You should select the fields in consultation with your faculty adviser and must receive the Department's approval of all four fields not less than three months before the written qualifying examination is taken. You will need to obtain the "Field Committee Orals" form (orals committee) from the Graduate Office. A copy of "Steps for the Orals" can be obtained from the Graduate Office. A full-time graduate student must begin the written qualifying examinations not later than the end of the ninth quarter of graduate work (See Time-to-Degree)
The written qualifying examination normally includes the major field only. The oral examination will cover all four fields and will normally be held after the written examination. In most fields, the oral examination will be held shortly after the written examination or, at the discretion of the doctoral committee, as late as six months after the written examination. Both the written and oral examinations are to be considered by the committee as a whole in arriving at a judgment of your performance. The written qualifying examination is normally prepared and administered by the chair of the committee and read by the entire committee before the oral qualifying examination.
The written qualifying examination must be passed before the oral qualifying examination can be taken. The members of the doctoral committee determine whether or not an examination may be repeated (normally only once), based on their prognosis of your potential for successfully completing both the written and oral examinations within a specified period of time to be designated by the doctoral committee, but not to exceed one calendar year. The written qualifying examination is not to exceed eight (8) hours and must be turned in to the Graduate Adviser's Office no later than 5:00 pm of the day of the examination.