Department of Classics

Honors in Classics

Departmental honors are conferred on students who distinguish themselves through outstanding performance in coursework and completion of a two-semester honors thesis course. The thesis course is organized as a one-on-one course with a faculty member, culminating in the completion of an original work of research. Departmental honors is one of, if not the, most prestigious academic accomplishment an undergraduate can achieve.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

A student wishing to pursue Departmental Honors should plan their academic career carefully and meet with their advisor regularly, in order to ensure that they are on track to complete the necessary coursework. A university grade point average of at least 3.0 and a major grade point average of at least 3.5 are required for admission to departmental honors. The completion of C C 375 or AHC 378 is highly recommended prior to applying for honors. During the semester proceeding a student's last year at the University (usually spring of junior year), students must complete the application process for Departmental Honors:

  1. Meet with the Academic Advisor to obtain the application and determine eligibility.
  2. Find a faculty member who is willing to serve as the thesis supervisor for the year-long honors thesis. The student should already have an idea of who their supervisor will be.
  3. Complete the honors program application form with the thesis supervisor.
  4. Submit the application to the faculty Honors Director for review.
  5. Once the application has reached final approval, the Academic Advisor will authorize the student to register for the appropriate thesis course (AHC 679HA, C C 679HA, GK 679HA, or LAT 679HA) and notify the student via Secure Academic Note. It is the student's responsbility to register themselves for the course.

Applications should be submitted by the first class day of the semester in which the student seeks to be enrolled in the honors course in order to allow time for the Honors Director to review and approve the course. Applications may be declined if they are not turned by the first class day. No applications for the honors program will be considered after the fourth class day.

Graduation Requirements

The requirements for graduation with honors, which are in addition to the requirements of the major, are:

  1. two semesters of the Honors Tutorial Course, with a grade of A in each half (C C 679HA and 679HB, LAT 679HA and 679HB, AHC 679HA and 679HB, or GK 679HA and 679HB);
  2. a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average of at least 3.50 in the coursework required for the major;
  3. completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.

Requirements for the Honors Thesis

Both the thesis advisor and a second reader must approve the honors thesis. The final grade for the final semester of the thesis will not be issued until the thesis supervisor and the second reader have approved the thesis. Students should plan to provide their supervisor, second reader, and the Honors Director with a bound copy of their final thesis by the last class day of the semester they are enrolled in 679HB. Students may also submit a bound copy to the Classics Library for permanent storage. Liberal Arts Honors has published a helpful guide for theses, including style and formatting, available here.

The department does not provide rules for the length of the thesis, but theses are often 40 to 60 pages. Individual faculty should explain their expectation for the scope of the student’s written work. The first half of the Honors Tutorial Course, 679HA, is often used as a research semester and the second half, 679HB, is often treated as the writing semester. However, students will be assessed a grade at the end of each semester, and it is often useful for this purpose to complete a writing project for the first semester. Also, such writing projects will help students to determine what the writing expectations of the faculty member will be during the subsequent semester.

Honors Society

The Department of Classics participates in the Eta Sigma Phi (National Classics) Honor Society. We are the Gamma Sigma Chapter. The chapter maintains both a website and a Facebook page. The 

Requirements to join Eta Sigma Phi:

  1. Completion of at least one semester of Latin and/or Greek, with grades of "B" or higher.
  2. A one time initiation fee of $50

To join, visit Eta Sigma Phi office hours in WAG 105, or contact any chapter officer.

Eta Sigma Phi is the national honorary collegiate society for students of Latin and/or Greek. Members are elected by local chapters which have been chartered by the society. The purposes of the Society, in the words of the Constitution, are "to develop and promote interest in classical study among the students of colleges and universities; to promote closer fraternal relationship among students who are interested in classical study, including inter-campus relationship; to engage generally in an effort to stimulate interest in classical study, and in the history, art, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome."

The University has several other Honors Societies that may be of interest of interest to you. You can find more information in the Undergraduate Catalog.