The senior exercise must be completed by all Classics majors. To fulfill the senior exercise, each major must pass the appropriate sight examinations and the senior seminar. Minors need not take the sight examinations, but they too must pass the senior seminar.
Majors may receive Distinction on the senior exercise. Three factors are taken into account in determining Distinction: the student's average grade on the sight examinations, the quality of his or her research paper for the senior seminar, and his or her overall performance in the senior seminar. To be eligible for distinction, a student's average grade across these three categories must be B+ (87%) or higher; moreover, in each of the three categories, a minimum grade of B (83%) is required. (In other words, a score of B- or lower on any category renders a student ineligible for Distinction. An individual sight exam score of B- or lower is allowed, as long at the category total equals a B.) At the department's discretion, other aspects of a student's previous course-work may also be taken into account.
CLAS 471: Senior Seminar in Classics
In this course, senior majors and minors in the Department of Classics are brought together to study a facet of the ancient world, one whose breadth is able to accommodate the wide-ranging interests of the department's students.
In comparison with most courses offered by the department of classics, the senior seminar is distinctive. First, it is a true seminar, a discussion course that offers students an opportunity to pursue independent research. Secondly, the course is topical and comparative. Each session is devoted to a particular topic, and in its exploration Roman and Greek material will be often be studied together. Thirdly, the balance between primary and secondary sources, usually tilted toward the former in Classics courses, will be more even, as the course is meant to introduce students not just to the subject under study, but to how scholars approach evidence, build arguments, and dialogue with one another.