Best Graduate Schools for Ancient History

Review the typical characteristics of a school with a strong graduate program in ancient history. Explore three schools with nationally ranked history graduate programs, and find out what degrees related to ancient history are available at each school. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Choose a Top Graduate School in Ancient History

You'll probably want a school that has at least two history faculty members in your proposed area of specialization, be it Greek and Roman history, medieval studies or Near Eastern languages. Ask about related, supporting faculty in other departments, like the classics and area studies programs. Investigate research institutes, library collections and the publication and award records of students and faculty. You'll also need a strong community of well-networked, active scholars to help you begin your career.

Three Top Schools in this Field

Columbia University in New York, NY

Columbia University ranked 6th for graduate history programs as published in U.S. News & World Report in 2017 ( This Ivy League school's 50 member, award-winning history faculty has extensive records in publication and service to the field, including past presidencies of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Ancient history is one of 13 fields of study offered within the history department. You'll also have access to historians appointed to other Columbia departments. Columbia's Center for the Ancient Mediterranean is headed by a professor of ancient history. Graduate degrees include:

  • MA/MSc in International and World History
  • MA in History and Literature
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History

University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA's history department was 9th in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 rankings. The 73-member department offers 12 fields of study, including ancient history. Three Egyptologists are affiliated with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. The school offers the Scott Olken Endowed Graduate Travel Research Fund which assists students of ancient Roman history. The history department affiliates include area studies centers, plus the Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and the Late Antiquity Multi-campus Research Group. Graduate degrees include:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History

University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

UC's 47-faculty member department placed 6th in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 graduate history rankings. Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine History are two of 19 possible areas of specialization. The history department has experts on Greece, Rome and the Byzantine world, and affiliated faculty in other departments. The department maintains a standing Graduate Student Affairs Committee for Ancient History. UC provides significant job search support, ranging from workshops and mock interviews to career planning and placement services. The graduate degrees offered are:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in History
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in History

More Top Schools Offering History Programs

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
Princeton University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Princeton, NJ$52,000
University of California - Berkeley 4-year, Public Berkeley, CA$14,000
Yale University 4-year, Private not-for-profit New Haven, CT$42,000
Harvard University 4--year, Private not-for-profit Cambridge, MA$47,000
Stanford University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Stanford, CA$51,000
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI$23,000
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, Private not-for-profit Philadelphia, PA$38,000
Cornell University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Ithaca, NY$30,000
Johns Hopkins University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Baltimore, MD$56,000
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 4-year, Public Chapel Hill, NC$12,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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