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Welcome to the Classics Department! We are happy you have decided to pursue a concentration in Classics, and we look forward to getting to know each of you over the next two years. Please take a look around the website and be sure you know where to find information on the requirements of your particular track within the department, important dates and deadlines, library resources for Classicists, and travel opportunities – and check in regularly to learn more about the activities and news of our students, faculty, and alumni.

Your studies

Your studies in your junior year will be anchored by the department’s majors seminar. The goals of the majors seminar are fourfold: 

  • to help you explore a range of topics and methodologies of study within Classics
  • to introduce you to faculty members in the Department and the range of their expertise and research interests
  • to help you develop strategies for research and writing your independent work
  • to foster community among incoming concentrators

The majors seminar meets twice weekly in the fall term. The course will begin with an orientation to the research specialties of some of the department faculty, and classes in these early weeks will mix guest-faculty presentations with a series of short hands-on assignments and reading critiques. By the mid-term, you will be outlining and planning your own research project, and at the end of the term you will have the chance to present your preliminary plan for your first independent research project, your first Junior Paper (JP), which will be due on the first Tuesday of fall reading period. Before fall break in the first semester you will also be paired with a faculty adviser for your first Junior Paper, on the basis of your interests. 

Towards the end of the fall semester, you will already be assigned an adviser for your second JP. Working with your adviser, you will prepare a formal, two-page proposal for the JP and bibliography to be submitted at the end of the first week of classes of the spring term. In the spring term, you will work together with your adviser to develop your proposal through further research and writing, submitting the second Junior Paper by the first Tuesday of reading period in the spring term. 

Independent Work Guide

The Department has developed an Independent Work Guide (IWG) to help you as you begin to undertake independent work in the concentration. Please read through the IWG carefully for advice about how to choose a topic, how to conduct research in Classics, how to develop a good working relationship with your adviser, and how to go about writing the paper. The Guide also includes information about grading standards and deadlines.

Sight Exams

Sight translation from Greek or Latin. This examination is given in the beginning and end of the junior year; it will be graded pass/D/fail.