All majors complete a one-semester Independent Study seminar in junior year and a two-semester senior I.S. Working closely with a faculty advisor, each senior identifies a topic of interest, researches it intensively, and writes an extensive study which must later be defended in an oral examination before two members of the department.
Recent topics have ranged from the examination of marriage and death in three plays by Euripides to the portrayal of national identity in the works of Vergil and J.R.R. Tolkien. Aaron Smith Bowen ’01, a double major in classical studies and history, wrote “Sturm und Drang: A Comparison Between the Delian League and Imperial Germany,” and Jessica Anne Wollett ’05 completed an I.S. on “Domestic Architecture and the Mosaics of Roman North Africa.”