How to Apply

Fall 2024 Admissions

We are accepting applications for both our PhD and MA programs. The application deadline for each upcoming fall semester is January 5th of each year. All applications are submitted via our online portal below. We do not accept applications for the spring semester.

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Degree type

You may apply either for the MA or the PhD program. PhD applicants are occasionally admitted to the MA instead. The Classics MA and RelA MA are terminal degrees, but students who complete the RelA MA can petition to continue into the RelA PhD. In such cases, most of the work completed for the RelA MA can generally be rolled over into the PhD program.


CNRC no longer requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for application to its graduate programs. 


If your native language is not English, you should arrange to take the TOEFL test. Please self-report your scores in your application. Official score reports are only required upon offer of admission. For detailed instructions on submission of official scores and on requests for exemption, please see the University of Minnesota’s Office of Graduate Admissions page on English Language Proficiency Information.

Documents to Upload

Statement of Purpose (500–1000 words)

Write a statement about your academic interests and your goals for graduate study at UMN. Those applying to the RelA PhD will be expected to provide a more in-depth description of your research interests as well as articulate how our doctoral program (both the structure of the program and its faculty) would best address your goals. For more on the doctoral program, see RelA Preliminary Examinations

Personal Statement about Life Experience (500 words)

In our scholarship and graduate programs, CNRC is committed to rethinking legacies of injustice in the study of antiquity. In particular, we aim to challenge the power structures embedded in the history of scholarship (which include dominant perspectives such as white, cisgender, heterosexual, male, Western European, imperialist, and Christian-influenced) and to remove barriers for under-represented individuals and world views in the academy. For more on this commitment, among others, see The Future of the Past.

Write a personal statement describing how you hope to build upon these commitments in your academic work and professional life. Include anything about your personal background or life experience that motivates your academic goals. Please note that discussing your background can include a discussion of your race/ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, along with any other factors you would like to discuss, including but not limited to cultural, geographic, or financial opportunities and challenges.

Writing sample (2500–6300 words)

Submit a writing sample that best demonstrates your compositional skills and training. Depending upon the program to which you apply, the writing sample should reflect your proficiency in an ancient language, your coursework in ancient Mediterranean or Near Eastern topics, and/or your coursework in the study of religion. Doctoral applicants should submit the higher word count of the range required.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation, from people who know your work and can write in detail about you, what you have done, and what you propose to study. Letters should be submitted directly online by the letter writer. List your references in the application and provide an email address where each can be contacted. They will receive instructions on how to submit their letters.

Language Experience

Download and complete the Classical Language Survey form (PDF) with your previous coursework and reading in Classical Greek, Hebrew, and/or Latin. This information helps us to assess your training in the respective language.

CNRC Classical Language Survey

Transcripts from all previous colleges attended

Unofficial transcripts are accepted. Should you be offered admission, Graduate Admissions will then solicit official transcripts.