The department invites majors who have completed coursework in a broad range of subjects related to the ancient Mediterranean and who have a strong interest in pursuing a particular topic to undertake independent course work and to experience the discipline and rewards of preparing an honors thesis. Because an independent course in the fall of the senior year has the potential of leading to an honors thesis in the spring semester, independent work and the honors thesis are fundamentally related.

When a student undertakes an independent study in Classics, Latin, or Greek, she should already have studied the languages necessary for reading primary sources at the advanced level. Any student who decides to pursue an independent course should have a genuine interest in a well-defined subject and should be willing and able to work to an agreed upon timetable with faculty supervision. The independent course provides students with the opportunity to expand their horizons in literature, culture, history, etc., while concentrating on a specific topic. The honors thesis is a true test of intellectual curiosity, originality, and critical thinking. Students and faculty involved in the independent/honors process should be familiar with the College's Guidelines for Honors Program and Honors Thesis, which the Dean of Faculty has prepared; see section X of the Handbook of Faculty Legislation.