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Course Requirements (Ancient Philosophy)

Skills Requirement

The skills requirement must be met by showing competence in Greek or Latin, as appropriate for the authors the student wishes to work on. One must have at least three-years worth of language study or the equivalent.

If a student is admitted to the program without knowledge of Greek, he or she should take an intensive course the summer before arriving. (This can be done for free at the University of Chicago). Students entering the program with only one year of Greek must take second-year Greek (Greek 201-1,2,3) in their first year. Alternatively, students may be able to move directly to 300-level courses after taking Greek 201-1.

Proseminars and Distribution Requirements

These are the same as those that apply to all Philosophy Ph. D. students:

Distribution Requirement:

Students must take at least one Philosophy Department course, at the 300- or 400-level, in each of the following areas:

Logic requirement

The logic requirement for graduate students can be fulfilled in several ways.

  1. Standardly, students attend lectures for PHIL 250, and enroll with the instructor of the class in an independent study. Graduate students are expected to undertake additional work so that their coursework is at the 300- or 400- level.

The remaining means of fulfilling the logic requirement are listed below; however, these are to be understood as potential means of fulfilling the requirement. Whether or not coursework falling under the following rubrics does fulfill the requirement is at the discretion of the logic advisor.

  1. Coursework at another institution deemed equivalent to or exceeding that described in (1).
  2. Coursework at another institution deemed equivalent to part of that described in (1), plus completion of some portion of that described in (1). 
  3. A 300- or 400-level class in formal logic taught at Northwestern. However, no course used to fulfill the logic requirement may also be used to fulfill a part of the language requirement.

Philosophical Greek Courses

Each year, the Classics Department will offer one designated course in which students read a philosophical text in Greek. Students in both their first and second years must enroll in this course for credit. Students in their third year must take the course pass/fail. Students in higher years are encouraged to enroll. Students who enter the program with only one year of Greek can either take this course in their first year (if they feel ready) or take it for credit in their second and third years.


Students enrolled in the Ph. D. Program in Ancient Philosophy do not take as many 400-level Philosophy courses (ten instead of twelve), and have fewer additional courses (four instead of six); and they take the two philosophical Greek courses as well as two other Greek or Latin courses. If a student in this program needs to take language courses below the 300-level, these can either be among the four “additional courses” mentioned above or be taken as an overload. 

Other PhD Degree Requirements

Other Regulations

The regulations governing the Ancient Philosophy Ph.D. program are the same as those that apply to all students enrolled in Philosophy Ph.D. program, with the following exceptions:

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