The program of studies which leads to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Classics at Berkeley is designed to give a thorough preparation in the fundamentals of classical scholarship while encouraging the pursuit of intellectual inquiry and the development of original research, according to the capacity and interests of the individual student. Every student must satisfy the examination and course requirements before being advanced to candidacy to write a dissertation. These requirements are intended to ensure that all classical scholars attain at least a minimum level of specific skills and all-around competence in ancient and modern languages, history, literature, the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, the fundamental techniques of scholarship, and in the ability to sustain informed and penetrating discussion. The dissertation is intended to demonstrate the students ability to make a successfully independent and original contribution to research.

In addition, the program has a practical professional aim. The holder of a UC Berkeley PhD in Classics should be able to teach any lower division course in Greek or Latin, any upper division course in the language of special emphasis, and graduate courses in at least one area in the language of special emphasis and/or in an area common to both languages. This is the minimal aim, but we encourage our scholars to go beyond it.