Research

Undergraduate research is a vital part of the student experience in Classics at Pitt, and we offer a variety of opportunities for our majors and minors to develop, pursue, and present independent and directed research projects.

Departmental Honors

Majors who have reached the end of their junior year with a GPA in departmental courses of 3.50 or higher may, in conjunction with a senior-level course, write an honors thesis. Acceptance of the thesis by the Classics Department will qualify the student to graduate with departmental honors in Classics.

Guidelines and application 

Recent Honors Essays in Classics

Year Student Title Supervisor(s)
2018-2019 S. Gibbons

Individualism in Western Thought: Socrates, Hegel & Liberalism

N. Jones
2018-2019 E. Maloney

The Greatness of the Greeks: Greek Military Superiority during the Greco-Persian Wars

C. L. Sulosky Weaver

2017-2018

Z. Kovacs

The Nomos-Phusis Antithesis and Calliclean Justice: from Antiquity to Contemporary Political Though

D. Mark Possanza

2017-2018

O. Parks

Mercury: Redefining the Theme of Identity in Plautus's Amphitruo

D. Mark Possanza

2017-2018

V. Rajakumar

The Evolution of Medicine in Ancient Greece

N. Jones

2017-2018

A. Roos

These Caucasian Heads: Combating Racist Rhetoric in the Classical Tradition

C. L. Sulosky Weaver

2016-2017

Z. Herbster

Fiat Lux: Illuminating Augustinian Synthesis

C. Hoenig

2014-2015

A. Scott

Trajan and Caesar – A Shared Ideology

A. Weis, D. Mark Possanza

2013-2014

A. Campman

Vercingetorix, Improbable Revolutionary

D. Mark Possanza

2012-2013

T. Fernald

First and Second Person Pronoun Confusion in the Greek New Testament

E. Floyd

2008-2009

M. Dooley

Appearance Over Substance: Advertising Success in Roman Britain, the Antonine Wall

D. Mark Possanza

2008-2009

S. Black

Roman Patrician Women: Wealth, Autonomy, and Passive Politics

N. Jones

1999-2000

A. Spratley

Impiety and Deception: An Analysis of Ovid’s Procne, Tereus and Philomela Episode Focusing on the Portrayal of the Female Characters

D. Mark Possanza

 

First Experiences in Research

The First Experiences in Research (FE-R) program pairs students as early as the spring term of their freshman year with faculty researchers from across the arts and sciences. The FE-R program culminates in a poster presentation at the end of the year and often leads to more sophisticated, independent research projects later in a student’s career.

Recent FE-R Projects in Classics

Year Title Student Supervisor

2018-2019

Alternative Ancient Readings in the Text of Homer, Iliad

E. Kaiser

E. Floyd

2017-2018

Go to Hades! Representations of the Underworld in Antiquity

L. Suppo

A. Korzeniewski

2017-2018

Spanish Language Scholarship on Homer

E. Grulke

E. Floyd

2017-2018

Comparison of Translations of Bhagavad Gita

D. Shah

E. Floyd

2017-2018

Marginalized Populations in the Ancient Greek World: The Bioarchaeology of the Other

A. Buncich

M. Sanglikar

C. L. Sulosky Weaver

2016-2017

Whose Translation of Homer is Best?

J. R. Starr

E. Floyd

2015-2016

What's the Best Italian Translation of the Iliad?

J. Antonucci

E. Floyd

2015-2016

The Many Fathers of Achilles

L. Dornan

E. Floyd

2015-2016

The Psychology of Theft In Antiquity

M. Blacksmith

C. Clark

D. Regan

A. Korzeniewski

2013-2014

‘Mentor’: From Ancient Greece to Modern Day

M. O'Brien Jones

E. FLoyd

2013-2014

“Mentor” Through the Eyes of the Odyssey

A. Sobotka-Briner

E. FLoyd

2013-2014

Semantic Satiation Reinforces Penelope’s Early Recognition of Odysseus

S. Suhaimi

E. FLoyd

2012-2013

Analysis of Political Subtext in the Aeneid

D. Akapo

E. FLoyd

2012-2013

Veiled Criticism in Vergil

T. Lucas

E. FLoyd

2010-2011

Early Recognition and Modern Emendations in Homer

T. Fritz

E. FLoyd

2010-2011

Disguise and Advice in Les Aventures de Télémaque

E. Marriott

E. FLoyd

2009-2010

The Evolution of the Latin Language Through Usage Patterns of Words for “And”

L. Keeler

E. FLoyd

2008-2009

Comparative Etymology of Latin Texts: The Ratio of "And"

S. Doescher

E. FLoyd

 

Honors College Fellowships

Until recently, the Brackenridge Fellowships, awarded by the University Honor’s College, supported Pitt undergraduates pursuing independent research under the mentorship of a faculty member. Students would register for 1-cr. and attend two weekly seminars. In 2017, the Brackenridge Fellowships were re-named "T.H.I.N.K." (Trans-disciplinary Honors Inquiries in New Knowledge) Research Fellowships. Details are available through the University Honors College.

Recent Honors College Fellows in Classics

Year Student Title Supervisor

2015-2016

M. Kenney

Plato the Mystic

J. Bromberg

2014-2015

Z. Herbster

Augustine and Late Antique Cosmology

R. McDermott

 

Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) Degree

The BPhil Degree, conferred jointly by the University Honor’s College and by any of Pitt’s undergraduate schools, represents the highest level of scholarship attainable by an undergraduate student.

Recent B. Phil. Recipients

Year Student Title Supervisor

2016-2017

M. Merante

A Universal Display? Investigating the Role of Panathenaic Amphorai in the British Museum

C. L. Sulosky Weaver

2014-2015

S. Taborski

Not Just for the Birds: Bird Omens in Horseman Scenes on Archaic Vases

A. Weis

2012-2013

M. Bowser

The "Golden Age" of Rome:  Augustus' Program to Better the Roman Empire

N. Jones

1995-1996

S. Menon

The Iliad, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Odyssey: A Comparative Analysis of Character Depictions in the Epics

E. Floyd

 

Field Studies Program

The Field Studies Program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research in new and exciting places. Students will devise a research project in consultation with a faculty mentor and will be expected to conduct research independently. Students will also participate in a community of peer researchers through planned cultural activities and group discussions.

Recent Field Studies Program Participants

Year Student Site Title Supervisor

2017

M. Merante

London

A Universal Display? Investigating the Role of Panathenaic Amphorai in the British Museum

C. L. Sulosky Weaver

2017

Z. Herbster

London

In Pace: Britannia Perdomita Revisited

A. Weis


 

If you would like to learn more about undergraduate research opportunities in Classics and Ancient History, contact our Undergraduate Advisor, Professor Nicholas F. Jones.