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Elsie Phare Fellowship

The Classical Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania values diverse perspectives in our field, and we are pleased to announce a new fellowship starting in the 2021-22 academic year that aims to diversify the study of the ancient world. The Elsie Phare Fellowship will support a student in our well-established Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies, providing $20,000 towards tuition and living expenses.

We particularly invite applications from students belonging to underrepresented minority groups. This includes individuals from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in fields relating to the study of the ancient world, individuals from low-income households, and first-generation college students.

The Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies has been in existence since 1984, providing students with the opportunity to follow an intensive program of study in Greek and Latin as well as to experience the benefits of being part of a large, vibrant department at an Ivy League university. We welcome individuals who may not have had the opportunity to complete the necessary years of language training to pursue graduate education in classics, ancient history, archaeology, or other fields that require mastery in these ancient languages. In our program, students can take part in language seminars designed specifically for their needs, and they receive group and individual advising to prepare them for their next steps in academia. In addition, they are invited to make use of all the resources our department and university have to offer, including extra coursework, lectures, and the Penn Museum.

Applicants must apply online to the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies program and indicate their interest in being considered for this fellowship either in the application essay or by emailing the program director, Julie Nishimura-Jensen, at The application deadline for the program beginning in the fall 2021 semester is March 1, 2021, with rolling admissions thereafter. The application deadline for the Phare Fellowship is April 15, 2021.

About Elsie Phare

Elsie Elizabeth Phare (married name, Elsie Duncan-Jones; 1908-2003) grew up in Torquay, UK. She came from a modest background and her parents had only elementary school education. She would have been unable to attend college without the generous financial help of a scholarship to attend Newnham College, Cambridge. Women were still not full members of the university, and their degrees were not officially recognized, but she was unofficially awarded a Starred First with Special Distinction in 1929, and the Chancellor's Medal for English Verse—the first woman to achieve this honor. She held lecturer-ships at the Universities of Southampton and Birmingham, and her areas of expertise included the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Andrew Marvell; Phare was also a playwright and a voracious reader of fiction from all eras. She created a translation of Molière’s The Misanthrope which was performed in London in 1937. Phare believed she was descended from the sixteenth century translator of Virgil’s Aeneid, Thomas Phaer.

Classical Studies faculty

Meet distinguished Classical Studies Department faculty members involved in the post-baccalaureate program.

Am I eligible to apply?

Learn more about applicant qualifications for the Classical Studies Post-Baccalaureate Program.

Celebrating student success

Our students have gone on to study at some of the finest classics, archaeology, and ancient history graduate programs in the world.