Honors in Classics

Departmental Honors in Classics

The Department of Classics at UCSB allows and encourages qualified students to pursue undergraduate honors in Classics.  Students admitted to the honors program in Classics will write an honors thesis during their senior year, supervised by a member of the faculty.  Successful completion of the program will be recognized by the award of Distinction in the Major at graduation.  Students in the departmental Honors Program receive graduate student borrowing privileges at the Library.

An Honors thesis for distinction in Classics:

  • Is a substantial piece of critical writing that advances a sustained argument
  • Shows the student’s ability to conduct research with primary and secondary sources
  • Is usually at least 25 pages in length (excluding appendices and bibliography)
  • Is strongly recommended for students considering graduate work in Classics


Candidates for the Honors Program in Classics should petition the department chair at the end of their junior year.  Candidates must:


  • Must have been in residence for one year (three quarters) as a Classics major by the time of graduation
  • Have a grade-point average in the major of 3.6 or better
  • Obtain the consent of two faculty members, one to serve ad advisor and one as second reader


Students in the Honors Program should expect to begin work in the Fall Quarter, although full-time study and course credit occupy Winter and Spring Quarters:


  • Fall: work with faculty advisor and second reader to develop a suitable topic, and to identify sources and bibliography
  • Winter: enroll in Classics 195A, Senior Honors Thesis in Classics, to research and write the thesis in consultation with faculty advisor and second reader
  • Spring: enroll in Classics 195B, Senior Honors Thesis in Classics, to complete the Honors Thesis


The faculty advisor and second reader will determine whether Honors should be awarded.


RECENT HONORS THESES (from 2020 to the present):


Kaine Byrne: “The Centerpiece of Pausanias’ Periegesis: The Narratological, Cultural, and Sentimental Significance of Arkadia in Book VIII” (under the supervision of Prof. Erickson)


Shannon Mayo:  “Oral Poetry as History: Record-Keeping through Storytelling in Homer’s Iliad” (under the supervision of Prof. Gallucci)


Holden Mehr:  “The Echoes of Ancient Rome at the Constitutional Convention of 1787” (under the supervision of Prof. Morstein-Marx)


Max Pagano: “Ab Uno Vixque Viro: Transmasculine Gender Construction and Androgynous Escape in Ovid’s Metamorphoses 12” (under the supervision of Prof. Lindheim)


Bella Walker: “The Importance of Witness Testimonies in the Pro Milone Criminal Trial” (under the supervision of Prof. Morstein-Marx)