Format, Submission and Evaluation

Length and Format of the Thesis

There are no fixed limits to the length of a senior thesis, which should be double-spaced. It is expected that a thesis will be at least 50 pages in length, but a considerably longer thesis may be required to cover the subject matter involved.

The length of archaeological theses will usually be between 50 and 100 pages. Students often ask for recommendations for a style manual; the following are two well-respected sources:

  • The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. The University of Chicago Press Staff. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  • The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition. By Joseph Gibaldi. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

Final Submission of the Thesis

Three corrected, proofread hard copies of the senior thesis must be submitted as soon after the thesis defense as possible. One copy in a spring binder must be presented to the department one week prior to the department's degree meeting in early May.

The second copy, secured in a manuscript box and accompanied by the proper form (see Library Research), must be delivered by the student to the Library, where it will become part of the Special Collections. The third copy, likewise housed in a manuscript box, will be returned to the student after grading by the committee.

Evaluation of the Thesis

Evaluation of the senior honors thesis occurs at several points during the thesis year. While evaluation of the student's writing is an ongoing process, receipt of grades for 99d courses, the thesis defense and honors determination are scheduled events.

Course Grade

There is a grade for the Independent Research course (GRK, LAT, or CLAS 99d), which may be taken for one or two semesters of the senior year.

Writing Evaluation (Ongoing)

One week after spring vacation or one week before the end of classes, whichever date is sooner, both readers will submit to the student written evaluations of the thesis, considering both format and content. The student may then revise the thesis before submitting three copies of the final draft to the department.

Honors Thesis Defense

During the week before the department's degree meeting, the student will present the thesis orally to the advisor and readers. The readers may then revise their written evaluation of the thesis. Their comments will be made available to the student and to members of the department.

The defense committee (made up of the advisor, a second reader from the Classical Studies Department, and sometimes a third reader from another department) evaluates both the written thesis and its oral defense by the student author. The oral defense, usually lasting one to two hours, encompasses the student's knowledge of the honors research project. It is not a test of the entire field of classical studies.

Departmental Honors

The level of departmental honors is determined after taking into account the thesis committee's evaluation. See Schedule page for deadline and announcement information.

Commencement Award

The department may nominate one outstanding thesis for the annual Doris Brewer Cohen Award. The deadline for nominations is ordinarily in early or mid-April (see Schedule page). Students who wish to be considered for this award must submit a final draft before the deadline for nominations. Please see the departmental administrator for further information.