The Distinguished Major (DMP)

The purpose of the Distinguished Major Program (DMP) in Classics is to allow students of exceptional ability and accomplishments to do advanced work beyond the ordinary undergraduate level, both in advanced courses and in directed research, and to receive formal recognition for their attainments. The following describes the regulations of the Program.

Admission Requirements

The DMP requires a very substantial commitment of time, energy, and effort. Only students whose overall grade point average at the end of their fifth semester is 3.4 or higher will be considered for admission, and they must maintain this grade point average in their sixth semester in order to proceed. Most admitted students have a GPA of 3.6 or above, including top grades in their Classics courses. Students must possess linguistic skills in either Greek or Latin to enable them to read at the pace required in graduate level courses. They must also be capable of producing an extensive research paper (or comparable project), with the help of their advisors.

Application Process

A third-year student wishing to be admitted to the Distinguished Majors Program should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. He or she should then identify a faculty member to serve as primary advisor for the research and thesis, and a second faculty member to serve as second reader. In collaboration with the primary advisor the student should prepare a written program of study and description of the thesis topic and submit it to the Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than the last day of classes in his or her sixth semester. The program should include a basic bibliography and a realistic timetable, including preparatory work to be done over the summer. Only when this proposal has been approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies is the student considered to be enrolled in the Distinguished Major Program.

Description of the Program

The work of the DMP consists of advanced formal coursework, and the researching and writing of a thesis.

            A. Advanced Coursework:

6 hours of courses at either the 4000 or 5000-level. (For Latin majors the required 4000-level course may be counted toward this requirement.) It is strongly recommended that at least 3 hours be taken at the 5000-level. The faculty will take the level of coursework into account in determining distinction.

            B. Research & Thesis:

GREE 4998 or LATI 4998 (3 hours) to be taken CR/NC in the student's seventh semester. In this semester the student will research a topic under the guidance of a faculty member and begin writing.

GREE 4999 or LATI 4999 (3 hours) to be taken for a letter grade in the student's eighth semester. This semester will be devoted to the completion of the thesis.

The thesis will normally take the form of a research paper of 30-50 pages, but may take other forms depending on the nature of the project. It should be submitted to the primary advisor, second reader, and Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than April 15.


Students in the DMP will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the advisor and the second reader. The committee's recommendation will be voted upon by the whole faculty of Classics. The evaluation will be based on the student's work in both the Distinguished Major and the rest of the Major and will be weighted as follows:

            25% Advanced Course Work for the DMP

            50% Thesis

            25% Other Course Work for the Major

Each of the components will be separately evaluated and given a grade of "No Distinction," "Distinction," "High Distinction," or "Highest Distinction."