Summer Session

ASCSA Response to COVID-19


The Summer Session of the ASCSA is an intensive introduction to Greece from antiquity through the modern period. The program has provided the most extensive exposure to Greece, ancient and modern, for generations of students of Classics and related fields. It has a strong academic component with participants researching and presenting topics on site and offers unique opportunities to interact with eminent archaeologists in the field.

The call for applications for the 2020 summer has ended.

Summer Session 2020: June 15 to July 29, 2020

The ASCSA Summer Session offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the ancient sites, monuments, and culture of Greece first-hand, under the guidance of expert professors deeply familiar with the country and up-to-date with the latest research.

For the summer of 2020, the ASCSA presents an intensive Summer Session that lasts six weeks and is limited to twenty participants.  The Summer Session is based at the ASCSA campus in central Athens.  From there the group travels throughout Greece, from the Peloponnesus in the south to Thessaloniki in the north, and even the island of Crete. The itinerary includes not only well-known archaeological sites and museums but also amazing places off the beaten track.

Summer Session participants receive exclusive access to archaeological sites and storerooms inaccessible to others and enjoy presentations on ongoing excavations by preeminent scholars. Presentations and tours by the world's leading specialists offer Summer Session participants insightful, comprehensive overviews of Greek art and archaeology, and illuminate the full range of Greece's rich history– from the Bronze Age to the Classical Greek and Roman eras, through the Byzantine period, and into the twenty-first century.

Participants work together in cooperative learning projects, sharing their knowledge in on-site oral presentations and seminar-style discussions.  Summer Session participants also deepen their understanding of contemporary Greece as they travel through it, converse with its inhabitants, and reflect on the relationship of past and present in this fascinating country.

Graduate students and faculty in Classics or Ancient History whose main focus is not archaeology will find the Summer Session provides them invaluable new perspectives on ancient Greece that they can incorporate in their teaching and research. For graduate students focusing on Greek archaeology, the Summer Session offers an intensive introduction to the major issues and sources of the field. Advanced undergraduates who are considering graduate training in classical studies will find the Summer Session superb preparation for the rigors of graduate school. Teachers will discover new stories and engaging new material to share with their students back home.


For 2020, the Summer Session (June 15 through July 29) will be directed by Professor J. Matthew Harrington, Tufts University. The Summer Session schedule alternates periods in Athens with extended trips outside the city. The program runs seven days a week. 

Roughly half of the session is spent in travel throughout Greece. Three trips give participants an introduction to the major archaeological sites and museum collections throughout the country. The extended trips vary from session to session, but traditionally include six days on Crete, ten days in the Peloponnese and a week in Northern Greece. Of the, roughly, 60 sites and museums visited during these trips, the following are normally included: Knossos, Phaistos, Corinth, Isthmia, Nemea, Mycenae, Tiryns, Epidauros, Sparta, Mystra, Pylos, Bassai, Olympia, Thebes, Delphi, Thermopylae, Dimini and Sesklo, Vergina, Pella, and Olynthus. The remainder of the session is devoted to study of the museums and monuments of Athens and the surrounding area with day trips. While in Athens, members visit and study the city's important monuments and sites, such as the Acropolis, Agora, and Kerameikos. Several day-trips are made to sites in Attica, including Sounion, Rhamnous, Thorikos, Aegina, Marathon, Brauron, and Eleusis. The Summer Session's commitment to presenting a comprehensive view of Greece's rich history and archaeology leads to long days and extensive walking in the hot Mediterranean summer. Participants should be prepared for a rigorous program of study.

Every participant gives two on-site oral reports of about twenty minutes each. Report topics are selected in consultation with the director, taking into account participants’ interests and skills.


A typical day starts at 7:00AM and ends at 7:00PM. A group will typically visit from 3-7 archaeological sites and/or museums during the day. Each visit
 may include a director’s presentation, tours by invited specialists, and one or more student reports. There is much standing and walking, many sites require a climb, and the Mediterranean summer sun is intense, so participants should be in good shape and prepared for the rigors of the program.

In Athens travel is by walking or public transport (including the efficient metro system). On day trips and extended trips most travel is by private chartered bus with a licensed professional driver; island trips involve ferry rides. Lunch may be picnic style or at local eateries depending on the day’s schedule. Beach stops for swimming are scheduled whenever possible. Hotels are typically C class, clean and secure establishments with private bathroom and A/C available. Most hotels have wi-fi. Continental breakfasts are provided at the hotel every morning. Participants eat dinner on their own at local eateries within walking distance of the hotel. Dinner hour in Greece is typically later than in North America, with many people eating between 8-11pm.


The Summer Session is based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  Participants enjoy 24-hour access to the world-class Blegen Library, including a computer lab, wireless internet access, archives, and individual study space. Our residence hall will be undergoing renovations this summer (summer 2020), but participants will still have access to our welcoming and supportive staff, home-style Greek cooking, gardens, and verandas that look out onto Mount Hymettus. Students will be housed in accommodations near the ASCSA campus. The School also offers numerous opportunities for informal conversation, learning, and networking with professors and students working at the ASCSA, and with members of the international scholarly community in Athens.


Enrollment is open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students, and to high school and college instructors of classics and related subjects. Enrollment is limited to twenty participants. The language of instruction is English. Applicants who are not enrolled or teaching at English-speaking colleges, universities, or schools, may be required to supply evidence of proficiency in English.

The program is both intellectually absorbing and physically challenging.  Museum visits may involve long periods of standing, while many site visits require hiking uphill in the Mediterranean summer heat.  Participants must be in good physical shape and be ready to work cooperatively as part of a close-knit Summer Session group.

Summer Session participants become part of the ASCSA alumni/alumnae community, with more than a thousand members around the world. Summer Session participation can open the doors to professional connections, mentoring, fieldwork opportunities, and scholarly support for years to come.

An attempt is made to ensure that the session includes undergraduate students, graduate students, high school teachers, and college professors, though there is no quota for any category. The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic origin, or disability.


The fee for the 2020 program is $4,900. This includes tuition, room for the entire six-week period, partial board in Athens, travel within Greece, and museum and site fees. International airfare, most meals outside Athens, and incidental expenses are the participant's responsibility. Financial aid is available in the form of ASCSA scholarships, awarded on the basis of academic merit, and many classical professional organizations have funding opportunities. (Rates and fees are subject to change without notice.)


The ASCSA offers a range of Summer Session fellowships.  Several national and regional Classics organizations also offer scholarships specifically for Summer Session participants. Link to scholarship page:


The American School is not a degree-granting institution. No grades are given for its programs, nor are transcripts provided. An optional final exam at the end of each Summer Session is given, and the director of a session will, upon request, write a letter to the member’s home institution recommending that credit be granted, provided that the member has satisfactorily participated in the program and passed the final exam. Inquire about course credit option.


Deadline for the online application and two recommendations is January 10, 2020

Link to the online application: TBA

Admission to the Summer Session is granted on the basis of academic performance and letters of recommendation. 

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Submit the application form online by January 15.
  • Applicants for School scholarships must review the program material on the website to learn about the requirements.
  • High school teachers and college professors should be prepared to attach a copy of their curriculum vitae (saved as  doc, docx, or pdf) to the application form.
  • Student applicants are required to submit scans of undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) in legible pdf format as part of the online application. Please be sure to name the file "LastnameTranscripts.pdf" (e.g. SmithTranscripts.pdf)
  • Applicants arrange for two letters of recommendation to be submitted online by their recommenders. After you submit your online application, your recommenders will automatically be sent instructions about how to upload their recommendation. Recommendations are due January 10.


Any U.S. or Canadian citizen who plans to spend more than 90 days in Greece and/or any other member of the Schengen block of countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) within a six-month period must obtain a special visa BEFORE entry into the Schengen zone. This visa must be issued by a Greek consulate/embassy in a country where the applicant is a resident, and the application process can take two or more months. The summer session itself accounts for 45 days and any participant who plans to combine, for example, a spring or fall study abroad program with the ASCSA Summer Sessions may exceed the 90-day limit.  For further information, click here.

Ready to apply?

For additional questions or information:

Contact Professors Jorge Bravo (University of Maryland) and Elizabeth Baltes (Coastal Carolina University), Chairs of the Committee on the Summer Sessions at

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