Welcome to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University (GSAS). Each year, GSAS identifies and attracts the most promising students to form a dynamic and diverse global community, shaping them into visionary scholars, innovative educators, and creative leaders while encouraging them to cross disciplinary boundaries. Graduate students are at the heart of Harvard’s excellence in research and education, studying with distinguished faculty and accessing world-renowned research centers, scholarly collections, and museums. We are proud of this diverse community, which represents many races, ethnicities, belief systems, nationalities, genders, and sexual orientations.

At GSAS, we build bridges between our students and alumni, who together form a community of 40,000 individuals. Our alumni live throughout the world and engage in a variety of careers, both academic and nonacademic, and the experiences they share support our graduate students as they conduct and complete their studies.

Whether advancing groundbreaking ideas or working alongside faculty and undergraduates, these teachers, mentors, and innovators are pushing the boundaries of what we know and how we learn. Their research, begun at Harvard, has the potential to shape the future of our world.

Emma Dench
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and of the Classics

About Dean Emma Dench

Emma Dench was born in York, grew up near Stratford-upon-Avon, and studied at Wadham College, Oxford (BA Hons Literae Humaniores) and at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford (DPhil in Ancient History). Before taking up a joint appointment in the Departments of the Classics and of History at Harvard in January 2007, she taught classics and ancient history at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has been a Craven Fellow at the University of Oxford, a Rome Scholar and a Hugh Last Fellow at the British School of Rome, a Cotton Fellow, a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a visiting professor of the classics and of history at Harvard, a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellow, and a visiting professor at the Harvard Business School. In 2016, she delivered the Gray Lectures at Cambridge University.

Dench is the author of three books: From Barbarians to New Men: Greek, Roman, and Modern Perceptions of Peoples from the Central Apennines; Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian; and Empire and Political Cultures in the Roman World. Her current research projects include the study of race and identity within ancient institutional frameworks and life and leadership lessons from Rome.

While at Harvard, Dench received a Harvard College Professorship in recognition of “outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and advising,” a Marquand Award for Excellent Advising and Counseling, and an Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award for her mentorship of graduate students. In 2017–2018, she served as interim dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and she was named dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

About Ask the Dean Do you have a question for GSAS Dean Emma Dench? Emma is open to any and all questions—from the most detailed question about academic policies to big questions about how to navigate graduate school. Have a question about how to make the most out your advising relationships...Read more