Claire Khokhar

March 15, 2021

Carey Slaeker | Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Claire Khokhar, a Tennessee native, has always been fascinated by ancient history. As an undergraduate at the University of Memphis, Khokhar majored in history with a minor in classics. She even had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy where she took Italian as well as courses on the Renaissance. However, after graduating magna cum laude as a Phi Alpha Theta inductee, Khokhar knew that her academic journey was not over: “I knew in my field of study that it would be beneficial to carry on my education, so I decided to start looking for master's programs online.”

One program that stood out to Khokhar was Brandeis University’s Masters Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies (AGRS). Khokhar was attracted to the program’s two-track curriculum—one focusing on ancient Greek and Roman civilization, the other on languages and literature. However, when she was accepted into the program, she worried about tuition costs. Fortunately for Khokhar, Brandeis’ DEIS Scholarship was able to make up more than the difference: “It was not until Amy Reardon, Associate Director of Admissions at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, told me that I had received the DEIS Scholarship that sealed the deal for me to come to Brandeis.”

Thus far, Khokhar is enjoying her time in the AGRS Master’s program. As a Greek and Roman civilization student, she focuses on art and archaeology. Currently, her interest in Roman daily life in Pompeii dominates her studies: “I look at the art and texts from Pompeii and the Roman world to determine what happened in Roman daily life, [or those things] considered important enough to write about or depict in art.”

One thing about the AGRS program that Khokhar appreciates is having a welcoming and supportive faculty within a tight community of scholars: “My favorite thing about the program is the opportunity for graduate students to get to know professors better and vice versa because it is a smaller program.” As a result, she benefits from mentors who are “super helpful and encouraging in getting acclimated to graduate school and living in a new city.” Khokhar recalls in particular her enjoyment in classes with Drs. Gillespie and Ratzlaff, “because they have helped broaden my understanding of the field.

Khokhar hopes that the experience she gains from the AGRS Master’s program will allow her to “enter the professional world under the umbrella of museums, whether in curatorial positions or conservation,” once she finishes her master’s degree. For students interested in studying Classics, she enthusiastically advises: “Go for it! Any new scholar keeps classics alive.”