PhD Program


Students do not apply directly to the Collaborative Specialization. Instead, admission takes place through either the Department of Classics, the Centre for Medieval Studies, or the Department of Philosophy, and students indicate their interest in the Collaborative Program on their application. Financial support is guaranteed for all students in accordance with Toronto’s standard five-year packages; support packages involve a combination of scholarships and teaching assistantships and are administered by the unit in which the student enrolls. Students acquire a broad competence in their chosen discipline by fulfilling the normal curriculum of their home unit. Through the Collaborative Specialization’s curriculum students acquire a special competence in ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, or both, complemented by further work in other areas of philosophy.

Students applying to the Collaborative Specialization should typically have a strong BA degree in the appropriate field. Students who need to improve their grasp of the relevant language(s) or to broaden their philosophical training can expect to have the opportunity to do so in the early years of their enrolment.


The Collaborative Specialization consists of coursework, thesis area and language examinations, and the dissertation. Each collaborating unit has its own curriculum, and students work within the regulations of their home unit. Course requirements, thesis area examination procedures, and required preliminary training will therefore be different for students in Philosophy, Medieval Studies, and Classics, but these central components are common to all students:

» Every student must take at least two graduate half-courses (or the equivalent) in some area of philosophy other than the history of philosophy. Other courses will normally include substantial work in ancient or medieval philosophy.

» Every student must take and receive credit in the specialization’s proseminar.

» Every student must pass a competence examination in each of the languages required for thesis research before proceeding to the examination on the thesis area. These examinations consist of sight translation. The Specialization administers examinations in ancient Greek, Arabic, and classical and medieval Latin.

» The thesis area examination includes a paper involving prepared translation from the languages required for thesis research. This examination will be based on a substantial list of texts relevant to the thesis area.

» Reading knowledge must be demonstrated by examination in two modern languages, usually French and German.

» The thesis committee may be drawn from Specialization faculty in any of the units, but is not restricted to Specialization faculty.

Completion of these requirements permits the designation ‘Completed the Collaborative Specialization in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy’ to appear on the student’s transcript.