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.
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and of the Classics
About Dean Emma Dench
GSAS Dean Emma Dench is the McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and of the Classics. A Roman historian and classicist who holds appointments in the Departments of the Classics and of History, Dench joined Harvard in 2007. While at Harvard, she earned 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.
As GSAS dean, Dench spearheaded an effort to enhance the advising experience of graduate students by launching The Advising Project. The ongoing project has identified and communicated best practices in advising and offered mentoring training to faculty and mentoring up training to students.
Dench’s most recent book, Empire and Political Cultures in the Roman World, reviews a hundred years of scholarship to identify how empire transformed the Roman world and advances a new theory of how the empire worked and was experienced. She is also the author of From Barbarians to New Men: Greek, Roman, and Modern Perceptions of Peoples from the Central Apennines and Romulus’ Asylum: Roman Identities from the Age of Alexander to the Age of Hadrian. She has published articles and reviews on many aspects of classical antiquity, including pre-Roman and Roman Italy and race.
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). She previously taught classics and ancient history at Birkbeck College, University of London, and held the Craven Fellowship at the University of Oxford. She also served as a Rome Scholar, 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 of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.