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The Twelve Tables

The “Twelve Tables” sets out the rationale and requirements of the five-year program leading to a Ph.D. in Classics, with detailed descriptions of all four degree tracks. When in doubt about the provisions, please consult the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS).


At the end of your fifth year of study you will need to determine if you will opt for the status of Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status or Enrollment Terminated/Degree Candidacy Continues (ET/DCC). For more information on these statuses please visit the Graduate School’s website. 

Final Public Oral

(Updated August 2022)

The format for your dissertation is at Mudd Library’s website .

There is a maximum budget of $200 for dinner or lunch following your defense.  The candidate should decide who they would like to invite and contact them directly.  The department will also reimburse the candidate for up to one bound copy of their final dissertation.


  • As soon as a student has a definite date for their FPO in view, s/he must meet with the dissertation committee, together with the DGS, to discuss together what additional work will be required for the dissertation to be accepted. This meeting-without which the FPO will not be scheduled-should take place well in advance of the submission to the department of the draft that the student intends to defend, the event that begins the five week countdown to the FPO. It should be held for example, as soon as students know when they will need to have defended their dissertation before starting a job, or as soon as they perceive that their project is approaching completion (e.g., when the last chapter is under way)
  • Set the date for your defense (Confirm the date with the DGS and your committee, make sure the Graduate Administrator has the date to add to the Department calendar)
  • In addition to the unbound copy of your dissertation that you submit to the department for display, you also need to make sure that each member of your dissertation committee receives an unbound copy (or electronic copy) as early as possible.

 25 business days prior to defense date (submit to Graduate Administrator):

  • One (1) complete unbound copy of dissertation
  • Submit electronic copy of abstract and title page to Graduate Administrator
  • Submit to each of your committee members a complete copy of dissertation (these copies can be hard copy or electronic - please ask your committee members the format they prefer)

15 business days prior to defense date:

  • Your Reader’s Reports are due from your committee.  The Graduate Administrator will give you copies of these after the request to hold the Final Public Oral is submitted to the Graduate School.
  • If you would like request an embargo please let the Graduate Administrator know. 

10 business days prior to defense date:

  • Graduate Administrator submits Advanced Degree Application online.

1 week prior to defense date (submit to Graduate Administrator):

  • 1 bound copy of dissertation

Following the FPO

Before submitting final paperwork to the Graduate School, graduate students must take the following steps:   

  • Submit dissertation PDF to Princeton’s ProQuest ETD website, paying any applicable publishing and copyright fees (the Graduate School requires traditional or open access publication and does not allow publication restrictions);
  • Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (hard copy of the "Certificate of Completion" page of the SED);
  • Complete the Exit Survey (hard copy of the "Confirmation of Completion" page must be submitted);
  • Complete the checkout process for students departing the University in TigerHub.

Once all actions are complete, graduate students must log in to TigerHub to complete the submission of the final paperwork process.  All final paperwork is normally submitted immediately following the successful completion of the FPO examination, but in no case later than two weeks after the defense or by the degree deadline, whichever comes first.

Beginning with the April 2022 degree list and moving forward, the vast majority of Ph.D. students will not be required to submit a printed bound copy of the dissertation to the Mudd Manuscript Library. Students who have removed content from the PDF version of the dissertation to avoid copyright infringement are still required to submit a bound copy to the library with all content included. This unredacted, bound version of the dissertation must be formatted according to the Dissertation Formatting Guidelines, and delivered by hand, mail, or delivery service to the Mudd Manuscript Library by the degree date deadline in order to be placed on the degree list. Address the bound copy to: Attn: Dissertations, Mudd Manuscript Library, 65 Olden Street, Princeton, NJ 08540.


Dossier Information

The Department of Classics provides Graduate Students who are on the job market with a Dossier Service. If you would like the Graduate Administrator to send your dossier to prospective employers, please ensure that you provide the following: 

  • Release Form: Obtain form from the Graduate Administrator, sign and return for the file.
  • List of Prospective Employers: include the institution name, format that dossier is to be sent (i.e. Interfolio, email, etc.) and the application deadline.
  • CV: Write/revise your CV.
  • Official Transcript : Obtain directly from the Registrar’s Office at their web site.  Please check for any errors or missing items.  Normally we only need one original, occasionally an institution may specifically ask for an original transcript, not a photocopy.  You should request at least two so that we will have an extra in the file.
  • Teaching Experience: Outline summary of teaching: simply list course taught, rank (e.g. AI, Assistant in Instruction), term and year plus a short description of course and what you did for it.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Secure letters of recommendation. You should have at least three but no more than five.  If you have outside recommenders please ask them to send their letters directly to the Graduate Administrator. 
  • Teaching Evaluations (optional).

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the Dossier package is complete. When making a request, be aware that normally the package sent will include the items received. If you are unsure about the completeness of your package, please verify with the Graduate Administrator in Room 141A East Pyne.

Research Travel

In addition to summer support provided by the Graduate School, the department is fortunate to be able to offer fellowships for short and long-term study. Many of our students have taken advantage of such grants, most commonly to study at the summer session of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Funds are also available to provide summer traveling fellowships in classics or classical studies to Italy, Greece, and the eastern Mediterranean for dissertation research. Students are required to apply for funding via the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE) system .

The deadline for applying to the department is March 31.

The Group for the Study of Late Antiquity strongly supports research on the first millennium of the Common Era in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. The city of Rome is the attraction for most classicists. Recently, grants have also supported summer language study here and abroad, and some have funded child care.

Dissertation students are encouraged to apply for special fellowships overseas and are strongly supported by the Department. In recent years our students have held fellowships at the American Academy in Rome and the American School in Athens, West German Government (DAAD) fellowships in Cologne and Tübingen, a Fulbright Fellowship in Ankara, a Lady Davis Fellowship in Jerusalem, and a Hyde Fellowship at Oxford. There are also opportunities to spend a semester or a year at another American university, such as Harvard or the University of California-Berkeley.