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Archaia Certificate

The Archaia certificate provides intellectual opportunities to graduate students with wide-ranging interests in the ancient and premodern worlds, extending their studies beyond departmental lines and incorporating methods from the social sciences and the humanities. Students fulfill the requirements of their home department, with a course of study individually tailored to allow for rigorous interdisciplinary work via seminars and independent study. The certification is open to graduate students at Yale. For details, see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Programs and Policies.

Requirements for Archaia Certification

1)    Participation in one Archaia Core Seminar

2)    Attendance at the Ancient Studies Workshop associated with Archaia Core Seminar

3)    Three additional pre-approved courses (at minimum), of which at least two must be seminar or seminar-type courses, chosen in consultation with a graduate coordinator of Archaia and the DGS of the student’s home department from courses offered across the University. These will in most cases be courses that also fill requirements for the student’s home department, and must be at a level that would normally be accepted for graduate study in that department. We strongly encourage that students to choose courses that expand their global understanding of antiquity of regional diversity.

4)    A capstone project.

Please be in touch with the Archaia chair(s) and with program administrator Keith Geriak about any questions you may have. We encourage you to submit a form of interest.

Submit your application for the Archaia Graduate Certificate at this link.

Capstone Project Guidelines

  • The capstone project may take the form of a research paper (approximately 10,000 words), an exhibition, a documentary, an annotated syllabus, or something else of the student’s choosing. The project may evolve from work accomplished in a related seminar.
  • The project should demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct interdisciplinary research on antiquity from an interregional, global, and/or interdisciplinary perspective.
  • The committee welcomes explicit reflection, in the abstract and in the project itself, of how a project that is interdisciplinary and/or interregional may challenge scholarly consensus or notions entrenched in institutionally separate fields or departments.


Capstones are evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Advising team members are responsible for responding to student queries or drafts within 10 business days.

  • For the capstone project, the student should initially submit to the co-chairs a written abstract (up to 400 words), summarizing the project and describing its interregional, global, and/or interdisciplinary aspects.
  • The co-chairs will respond or immediately forward the abstract to the Steering Committee.
  • The Steering Committee will make constructive suggestions to the abstract.
  • The Steering Committee will select a team of two readers depending on topic and availability; normally, one of these readers will be the Archaia postdoc. Students may suggest possible advising team members, which should normally be from two departments. Students may propose an advisor outside of the Archaia SC.
  • The student will draft the project. At least one interim meeting should occur with the team, who will make sure the project is on course to a successful completion, and offer suggestions and address questions.
  • The student will submit the project to their advising team.
  • The student will engage in an oral conversation about their project with their advising team and, if possible, a larger symposium of other Archaia participants and members of the committee. Questions from the committee will focus on comparative dimensions of the project and possibilities for future research.
  • The student will receive written feedback from their advising team.

The Core Seminar

Offered each year in the spring, the core seminar is normally a team-taught class sponsored by two or more of the cooperating departments. Specific topics vary, but each seminar has significant interdisciplinary and comparative dimensions emphasizing the methodologies and techniques of the fields involved. Students are required to attend the parallel monthly Ancient Societies workshop which features presentations by scholars from Yale and visiting faculty on problems related to the theme of the course.

The 2023-24 seminar, entitled “Ancient Musical Thought from Homer to Confucius” (CLSS 611/611, EALL 507, MUSI 507), is being taught by Pauline LeVen (Classics) and Mick Hunter (EALL).  

List of previous core seminars