Honors in Classics involves writing a major research paper on a topic of the student's choice, working with an advisor who is a member of the department (and with a second advisor).
The paper is of greater scope than the paper required as part of Senior seminar for all Classics majors and minors. The student must meet collegiate standards for pursuing Honors or petition successfully the Committee on Academic Standards for their waiver.
The student must express interest in doing Honors by means of an email to all Classics faculty members currently on campus, who must give their consent to the proposal. This email must be sent by the first of May in the student's junior year.
Throughout his or her senior year, the student must communicate with the principal advisor at least once a week about the progress of the Honors paper. Failure to communicate with the advisor for three weeks may result in the student being dropped from Honors. Honors majors must take the Senior Seminar and include it as part of their Honors work. The following represents the mandatory timeline for the progress of the student's project. Precise deadlines, which will vary based on the academic calendar, will be fixed by the first of October in the student's senior year.
A first draft of the complete paper is due by late February of the senior year, just before spring break. It is read by both advisors and other members of the department who wish to read it, and returned to the student soon after the end of spring break. The final version of the complete paper is due in early April, and the advisors will return it to the student with comments by late April.
All students doing Honors in Classics will be given an oral examination by an outside examiner during the last week of classes or during the final exam period. The department will be present at the oral examination. The degree of Honors, to be determined by the examiner in consultation with the department, will be either Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors. The examiner will consider the student's paper, the oral examination, and the written comprehensive exam. It is possible that the student may not receive Honors, in which case the project is given academic credit as an Independent Study.
Honors students must take the Comprehensive Examination in the spring semester of their senior year. This examination is typically scheduled for late March.
The Comprehensive Examination
The exam takes two days and consists of three sections:
1) Greek and Latin passages (90 minutes): These consist of excerpts from texts that the student has previously studied in classes. For three of these passages the student is asked to identify the passage and discuss features characteristic of the author and/or work.
2) Particular Essays (90 minutes): the examiners provide sets of questions for each of the following four areas: Greek Literature, Latin Literature, Greek History, Roman History. The student is to write one essay on a topic selected from three of the four sets of questions.
3) General Essays (60 minutes). The student is to write three essays from a set of assigned questions.