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Undergraduate Program

Classics Major Requirements

Students in this major will learn to analyze and interpret significant texts in the ancient languages and to understand their cultural context.

Students can chose a major in classics (both languages), or in Greek or Latin alone. All majors are encouraged to take at least one year of each language, if possible.

A minimum of 11 courses is required, including:

  • At least six courses in the major language numbered 103 or above
  • One course focusing on the history of the ancient world (e.g., CLA 102, CLA 210)
  • One course focusing on the philosophical writings of the ancient world (e.g., CLA 142, CLA 202)
  • One course surveying the literature and/or mythology of the ancient world (e.g., CLA 135, CLA 140)
  • A senior project is required*

*This project must demonstrate the student's ability to meaningfully interpret an ancient text or texts, read in the original language. It can be completed as part of a senior thesis or in connection with requirements for any other classics course.

Honors in Classics

This program is open only to students who have a superior academic record, are prepared to pursue an advanced research project, and are capable of high quality independent work. The honors sequence culminates in the successful completion and defense of a senior thesis.

The following examples should help to distinguish between an independent study or senior project in classics and the senior project, taken as part of an honors sequence, in terms of their increasing specificity or depth:

  • CLA 391: Independent Study—"Readings in Plato," "Latin Lyric Poetry"
  • CLA 393: Senior Project—"Plato on Poetry," "Homer, the Oral Poet"
  • CLA 392: Honors Research and CLA 393: Senior Project—"Poetry and Philosophy in Plato's Symposium," "Stoicism in the Poetry of Catullus"

Criteria for Honors in Classics

  • An overall GPA of at least 3.0 (B)
  • A departmental GPA of at least 3.7 (A-) by the start of the senior year
  • A language GPA of at least 3.3 (B+) in the primary language (Latin or Greek) in courses beyond the introductory sequence (101-102)
  • Eight credits of honors coursework* with a grade of at least B+
  • CLA 389, 391, or 392 with at least an A
  • CLA 393: Senior Project
  • A successful oral defense of the thesis

*Honors courses: an upper-level language course in the primary subject language of the Senior Thesis, CLA 389: Junior/Senior Seminar, CLA 391: Independent Study, CLA 392: Honors Research

Requirements and Deadlines

For CLA 391 or CLA 392, students will need to:

  • Find a faculty member who is willing to serve as their thesis project adviser
  • Write a brief proposal describing their proposed thesis project
  • Have their thesis adviser approve and sign-off on the proposal
  • Submit the proposal to the department chair

The chair will approve it, disapprove it, or approve it subject to modification, and the chair will appoint a second reader.

The deadline for application is December 1 of senior year for students who plan to graduate at the end of that year.

For CLA 393, students will need to:

  • Arrange a meeting with the second reader to discuss the proposed project
  • Prepare a substantial bibliography and outline of research for the thesis in consultation with their thesis advisor (due the end of the second week of the spring semester)
  • Complete the thesis under the supervision of both readers*
  • Complete the final draft (due the end of the twelfth week of classes)
  • Schedule an oral defense (the defense must be done before the end of the reading period)
  • Provide each reader and the department office with a copy of the final accepted version of the thesis (due 48 hours after the defense)

*Students are strongly encouraged to provide both readers with drafts of the thesis so that the suggestions of the readers may be taken into account.

The readers will make a recommendation to the chair as to whether honors should be awarded. The chair will contact students prior to graduation to inform them if the degree will be awarded with honors.

If honors designation is denied, students will still receive a grade and credit for a senior project.