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Apply for Honors


The Department of Classics recognizes excellent work by undergraduates by conferring Honors in Classics on eligible students who complete a senior thesis. Students interested in pursuing work that may lead to nomination for department honors must apply with the Director of Undergraduate Studies using the online form.

  1. General Requirements

Majors with outstanding records may be nominated for graduation with department honors. To be eligible for such nomination, a student needs to:

  1. The Honors Thesis

An honors thesis is a substantial and original work of classical scholarship demonstrating the student's ability to use both primary sources and relevant scholarly literature, and to develop ideas, judgments and conclusions based upon this material. The thesis will be an essay of ca. 6,000 - 7,500 words (including bibliography and footnotes); works typically do not exceed 10,000 words.

The Department encourages students to apply for NU programs that fund undergraduate research, especially those that support summer study following the junior year. Summer study programs can be used for projects that require the consultation of archaeological evidence in e.g. Greece or Italy or other resources not available on campus (e.g. in a non-University library or museum).

  1. The Honors Adviser & Course Credit

A student's work toward an honors thesis shall be supervised by a faculty member of the Classics department (“the adviser”), who helps the student frame the project and who provides necessary guidance and motivation. To discuss the project and decide on a potential adviser, the student must first contact the Department's Honors Coordinator. A student must then take the initiative to contact a selected adviser. Please consult with the Honors Coordinator as early in the junior year as possible. Course credit for work on the thesis is obtained by enrollment for independent study credit (Classics 399) with the adviser.

  1. Procedural Matters

Students interested in pursuing department honors must first consult with the Honors Coordinator. They must then make sure to complete the application form by the WCAS reading week of the Spring Quarter of the junior year. A one-page research proposal approved by the adviser is then due at the end of the first week of the Fall Quarter of the senior year. The Honors Committee, consisting of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Honors Coordinator and a third Classics faculty member, will evaluate the proposal and vote on approval. It will contact the student with its decision before the Fall Quarter drop deadline.

During the Fall and Winter quarters of the senior year, students enroll in Classics 399 and work independently under supervision of the adviser. Students should be in residence and available to meet in person with their adviser for the duration of their two quarters of independent study. Should a student have concerns about the supervision he or she is receiving, the student should speak with the Department Honors Coordinator, unless the adviser is the department’s Honors Coordinator, in which case the student should speak with either the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Department Chair.

The thesis writer submits at least one substantial portion of the thesis draft by the end of the Fall Quarter of the senior year, and a full draft before spring break. The deadline for submission of the final thesis manuscript to the Honors Committee is the end of the third week of April. Senior honors theses are evaluated on the originality and scope of the research they present, as well as the clarity of the manner in which they are written, organized and argued.

All honors theses are evaluated as passing or not-passing by the departmental Honors Committee. This committee forwards its recommendations to the Weinberg Committee on Undergraduate Academic Excellence, which makes the final decision regarding the award of honors.

The finished thesis should be double-spaced and paginated. One electronic copy is submitted to the department office. Preceding the manuscript must be:

Following the manuscript must be: