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Graduate Certificate in Classical Reception Studies

Classical reception, the study of different encounters with the texts, material culture, and ideas of Greco-Roman antiquity in later periods, has been an important development in Classical Studies over the past three decades, bringing it into dialogue with other traditions and other fields, including medieval and early modern studies and comparative literature, philosophy and political theory, translation studies and history of the book, film and media studies, history of art and architecture, cultural and postcolonial studies, performance studies, and race, gender and sexuality studies.

The University of Michigan has played a leading role in the development of research and teaching in classical reception studies, as reflected in activities sponsored by Contexts for Classics (CfC), a consortium which for more than twenty years has brought together faculty and students from the Department of Classical Studies, the Modern Greek Program, the Interdepartmental Program in Ancient History, the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Architecture, the Department of Comparative Literature, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Mediterranean Studies, among others.

The Certificate in Classical Reception Studies seeks to take full advantage of our university’s institutional resources for interdisciplinary scholarship, inviting master’s and doctoral students from a wide variety of disciplines to enrich their analytical skills, broaden their professional development, and pursue public facing work related to classical reception. Interested students should direct inquiries to the Certificate Advisor, Professor Ian Fielding (



The Certificate requires a total of 12 credit hours, consisting of coursework (9 credits) and a capstone project (3 credits). Students take one core course on “Classical Receptions” (a three-credit seminar offered at least once every other year, usually Winter Term) and six credits of relevant elective courses in any graduate program (to be approved by the Certificate Advisor, who is a designated faculty member of the CfC steering committee).

For students in master's programs, up to three credits required for the degree may be double-counted with the certificate; students in doctoral programs may propose relevant graduate courses taken before/after candidacy to count as electives for the graduate certificate, in accordance with Rackham guidelines.

The CfC steering committee will review and approve proposals for the capstone project (to be supervised and evaluated as a three-credit independent study with a faculty member in any department), which may take the form of an academic paper or other written work; preparing a translation; presenting at a conference; designing and teaching a course; organizing a special event, exhibit, or digital project; working in an internship; or pursuing a project in public humanities or community engagement.



The Certificate is administered by the Department of Classical Studies and overseen by the steering committee of Contexts for Classics. Any student with a bachelor’s degree who is currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Michigan may apply for admission. Students enrolled in a U-M graduate degree program pursue the Certificate in Reception Studies as a non-degree credential, and must complete at least one term in their graduate program before applying for the graduate certificate.

Students interested in applying should first make contact with the Certificate Advisor, Professor Ian Fielding ( At the time of application, the student submits the following materials to the CfC steering committee ( for review:

  • Application cover sheet for the Graduate Certificate in Classical Reception Studies
  • Statement of purpose (c. 500 words) that explains why you are interested in the Certificate, how the Certificate relates to the degree program you are currently pursuing, and what the Certificate may contribute to your professional plans.
  • Current CV
  • Names and contact information for two U-M faculty members who are willing to serve as references.

When the application has received permission from the Certificate Advisor to proceed, the CfC steering committee will make arrangements to cover Rackham’s application fee, and the student will receive instructions to apply to Rackham for adding a graduate certificate program.