The PhD program in Celtic languages and literatures is the only one of its kind in North America. Unlike graduate degree programs in North America and abroad that focus exclusively on Irish or one of the other Celtic languages, Harvard's program provides training in several Celtic languages and affords the PhD student the opportunity to conduct advanced research in one or more of the Celtic traditions.
Information about program requirements can be found in the GSAS Student Handbook.
Master of Arts (AM)
Ordinarily, students are not admitted to the department to pursue a terminal AM degree. For students matriculated in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures and working toward the PhD, as well as those matriculated in other departments, the minimum requirements for the AM:
- A minimum of six half-courses in the department, three of which must be introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in early Irish or early Welsh (or their equivalents) and at least one additional half-course in another Celtic language.
- Two additional half-courses related to the field of Celtic studies and approved by the department’s director of graduate studies.
- The ability to read Latin, to be demonstrated by successful completion (B-grade or better) of Harvard Latin Aab (or its equivalent elsewhere) or departmental examination.
- The ability to read French and/or German, to be demonstrated by successful completion (B- grade or better) of Harvard French Ax and/or German Ax (or equivalent elsewhere) or departmental examination.
Ad Hoc Degrees
Students enrolled in the PhD program in Celtic languages and literatures may after a year’s graduate work arrange to pursue an ad hoc PhD that combines Celtic with another discipline in a personally tailored program. The ad hoc degree is quite different from a PhD in one field and a secondary field in another. In the ad hoc degree program, all of the student’s work—including the general exam and the dissertation—involve multiple disciplines in accordance with the student’s personal research plan.
PhD Secondary Fields
The Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures encourages students who have a background and interest in a subject closely related to the field of Celtic studies (e.g., the Classics, comparative literature, historical linguistics, medieval studies, Romance languages and literatures) to consider completing a secondary field in a related area of study.