The B.A. Paper and Honors

Candidates for the B.A. degree in all variants of the Classical Studies major are required to write a substantial B.A. paper. The purpose of the B.A. paper is to enable students to improve their research and writing skills and to give them an opportunity to focus their knowledge of the field upon an issue of their own choosing.

In their third year, by Monday of eighth week of Spring Quarter, students must submit to the director of undergraduate studies a short statement proposing an area of research. The statement should include an abstract of a paragraph or more, outlining the problem that you wish to tackle and sketching the argument you hope to elaborate in response.  You can, if you wish, discuss questions of method or earlier scholarship. You should make reference here with as much specificity as possible to the primary sources on which you will draw to substantiate your claim. 

The statement must be approved by a member of the Classics faculty who agrees to be the director of the B.A. paper. In certain cases, students may have two co-chairs, including one member of the Classics faculty and one faculty member from another department. Full and associate Classics faculty members may advise up to three B.A. papers, while assistant faculty members may advise as many as two papers. Students needing assistance in finding a faculty member with whom to work should consult with the director of undergraduate studies.

Students may register for the B.A. Paper Seminar (CLCV 29800) in either Autumn Quarter or Winter Quarter of their fourth year, but they are expected to participate in seminar meetings throughout both quarters. The focus of the seminar is to discuss research problems and compose preliminary drafts of their B.A. papers. Participants in the regular seminar meetings are expected to exchange criticism and ideas with each other and with the preceptor, as well as to take account of comments from their faculty readers. The grade for the B.A. Paper Seminar is identical to the grade for the B.A. paper and, therefore, is not reported until the paper has been submitted in Spring Quarter. The grade for the B.A. paper depends on participation in the seminar as well as on the quality of the paper. A provisional grade will be assigned by the preceptor at the end of the Autumn Quarter and communicated to the student via the director of undergraduate studies. The final grade will be determined jointly by the preceptor and faculty director once the B.A. paper has been submitted.

The deadline for submitting the B.A. paper in final form is Friday of third week of Spring Quarter. This deadline represents the formal submission, which is final; students should expect to submit and defend substantial drafts much earlier. Hard copies are to be submitted to the faculty director, seminar preceptor, and director of undergraduate studies. Students who fail to meet the deadline may not be able to graduate in that quarter and will not be eligible for honors consideration.

Students who undertake a double major may meet the requirement for a B.A. paper in Classical Studies by making it part of a single B.A. paper that is designed to meet the requirements of both majors. This combined paper must have a substantial focus on texts or issues of the classical period, and must have a Classics faculty member as a reader. The use of a single essay to meet the requirement for a B.A. paper in two majors requires approval from directors of undergraduate studies in both majors. A consent form, to be signed by the director of undergraduate studies, is available from the College advisers. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student’s year of graduation.

Grading. The first-year sequences in Greek and Latin (GREK 10100-10200-10300, GREK 11100-11200-11300, LATN 10100-10200-10300, LATN 11100-11200-11300) and the courses in Greek and Latin composition are open for P/F grading for students not using these courses to meet language requirements for the major. All courses taken to meet requirements in the major must be taken for quality grades.

Honors: To be recommended for honors, a student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher and a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major, and must also demonstrate superior ability in the B.A. paper to interpret Greek or Latin source material and to develop a coherent argument. For a student to be recommended for honors, the B.A. paper must be judged worthy of honors by the faculty director, preceptor, and an additional faculty committee. Before the end of the Winter Quarter, the director of undergraduate studies will consult with both the faculty director and the BA preceptor to ascertain which students in the B.A. Seminar are likely to be nominated for Honors, and will make sure that those likely to be nominated select a second reader.