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CURRICULUM-(catalogues of 1884–85)—continued.
Porsics: Text book and lectures.
ASTRONOMY: Text book, lectures, practical eser.
GEOLOGY: Text book and lectures.
NATUTAL HISTORY: Elementary biology; Pack
ard's and Tenney's Manuals: embryology, com. parative morphology of vertebrates and invertebrates (elective); botany, structure and growth of plants, exercises in analysis; zoology (elect.
ire). PHYSIOLOGY: Huxley's Lossons; illustrated lect.
lectures, theoreticalphysics, problems, advanced
Short course, mineralogy and lithology: Geol-
the courses in biology.
hand, topographical, architectural, and water
veys, field work.
Strength and resistance of materials, theory of
work. MINING ENGINEERING: Mining.
rial; metals, base anıl precions.
point, masterpieces of choral composition.
rent year to the senior class in the following de-
Colleges like Williams confine their efforts chiefly to the thorough intellectual and moral preparation of young men for the studies and duties of educated manhood; their graduates in soine cases remain after acquiring the degree of "bachelor of arts,” to study more extensively some subject or subjects in which they wish to become thoroughly versed; such graduate students often become tutors and assistants in the teaching corps, and may become professors in the collego faculty.
It is usual in such colleges to confer the degree of “master of arts" upon bachelors of three years' standing, who are pursuing further studies or who are engaged in literary or educational work, if they apply therefor; but each college confers such master's degree “in course" only upon its own baccalaureates; masterships "honoris causa” aru seldom conferred by reputable colleges, except upon professional or literary men of signal merit.
Theso colleges lave generally a prescribed course for the first two or three years, with electives for the senior, or for both junior and senior years.
The following remarks in the Williams College announcement express so exactly the general reasons for a required college curriculum, that they are quoted as the best possiblo esplanation thereof:
This order of studies is so arranged that the work of freshman (first) year is given chieily to the ancient larguages and the mathematics. A close comection is thus maintained with the studies of the preparatory schools.
While the mathematics and the ancient languages form also a considerable part of the studies of the sophomoro (second) year, the natural sciences are introduced and
receive much attention during the remainder of the course. In the junior (third) year political science and modern literature are introduced ; and the course has its culmiDating intorest in the required studies of the senior (fourth) year, which relate principally to man himself as a physical, intellectual, moral, and religious being. In an important sense, the required studies of the senior year are a system by themselves.
The department of literature, science, and the arts of Michigan University provides courses of study enough to fill four years or eight semesters, at the end of which suc. cessful candidates receive, according to the lines of work followed, one of the following degrees: bachelor of arts, bachelor of science (general), bachelor of philosopby, or bachelor of letters.
Five exercises a week during a semester, whether in reading and explanations, laboratory work, or lectures, constitute a full course of study; before presenting himself for a degree the candidate must have accomplished the following amount of work:
The four degrees last mentioned are preceded by courses of study which might be called of a polytechnic, rather than of a university character.
All candidates for baccalaureates in arts, general science, philosophy, or letters, must pursue the prescribed studies during the first college year to the following extent each week:
In other words, the first-year students must complete three and one-fifth full courses in each semester.
During the second year of collegiate attendance, the department of literature, science, and the arts requires the following studies, if not done as elective work in the first year:
Either Greek and Latin, or Greek and mathematics, or Latin and mathematics, or Latin, Greek, and mathematics ; mathematics, Latin, and Greek, respectively, be
ing dropped in the first three cases, and the studies pursued being continued as " major” or “minor” studies in the third and fourth years of collegiate study.
The third and fourth years of the collegiate curriculum are occupied by elective studies, it being understood that candidates shall follow to some extent the courses which give names to the degrees conferred in this department.
The university offers advanced instruction in all the following subjects in this department: Classical languages and literature; mathematics; modern languages and literatures ; English and English literature; history; philosophy; pedagogics; political economy; sanitary science; international law; physical science; mineralogy and geology; biological science; drawing; surveying; engineering; metallurgy; bibliography; forestry; ethics. In addition to the department of science, literature, and the arts, the university includes a department of medicine and surgery, a department of law, a school of pharmacy, a homeopathic medical college, and a college of dental surgery, each having a faculty of instruction charged with its special manage. ment. “The university senate is composed of all the faculties, and considers questions of common interest and importance to them all."
The libraries of the university are as follows (in 1884): (A) The general library, 42,364 volumes and 9,406 pamphlets; (B) the medical library, 2,636 volumes, 614 pamphlets, and files of 35 medical journals; (C) the law library, 4,500 volumes, etc., etc.
The museums of the university include nine collections, viz: (A) Fine arts and history; (B) zoology, archæology, and ethnology: (C) mineralogy ; (D) geology ; (E) botany; (F) applied chemistry ; (G) medicine and surgery; (H) homeopathic medicine; (I) dental surgery.
The university has physical, chemical, geological, zoological, botanical, microscopical, histological, mechanical, physiological, and dental laboratories, all furnished with recent and abundant instruments, etc. The medical faculties are in charge of two hospitals, and there is a fine astronomical observatory, with a smaller one for use in instruction,
The University of Michigan, like many others, confers no degrees on ordinary graduates honoris causa. Master's degrees in arts, science, philosophy, and letters, and doctorates in philosophy, science, and letters, are conferred on bachelors who prosecute liberal studies in those several subjects after graduating as bachelors. Professional studies cannot be undertaken without passing preliminary examinations, and degrees in law, medicine, and pharmacy cannot be obtained until a final examination is passed.
MOVEMENTS IN CERTAIN COLLEGES.
Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton may be regarded as in the stage of transformation from the college to the university.
The first two are now generally designated as universities, except in such legal instruments as require the corporato name for their validity. The president of Princeton said recently: “I have hitherto discouraged all proposals to make Princeton Col. lege a university. I am of opinion, however, that the time has now come for considering the question.” In his report for 1882, President Barnard, of Columbia College, after calling attention to the great expansion of the college in twenty-five years, adds: “ The college has thus taken on the functions and assumed the aspect of a university.”
Prominent among the measures by which this transformation has been furthered is the substitution of electives for a uniform course of prescribed study. As stated in my last Report, Harvard was the first, and so far is the only one of the four, to extend this system to the entire undergraduate department. In the president's report for 1884–85, it is anuounced that “with the change in the work of the freshman year the reason for the rule restricting the preliminary examination to prescribed subjects disappeared, and the faculty accordingly voted to allow a candidate to present himself in any subject, prescribed or elective."
As the board of overseers have not yet approved the decision of the faculty, preparatory schools are not affected by it, and the discussion which the Harvard experiment excites still turns, as last year, upon the significance of the B. A. degree under the new conditions.
In his report for 1884–85, President Eliot presents a detailed analysis of the operations of the elective system, as illustrated by the work of 350 students for three years each. With respect to the most important inquiries that have been raised as to the comparative advantages of prescribed and elective courses, he finds the evidence presented by this exhibit of work entirely favorable to the electives. With reference to the significance of the B. A. degree at Harvard, President Eliot says:
It does not mean that all bachelors of arts have passed through the same course of studies in college ; and since the action taken in 1884, which made three-fifths of the work of the freshman year elective, it does not mean that all bachelors of the same year have necessarily studied together while in college any subject except rhetoric and English composition and the barest elements of chemistry and physics. It does mean that all bachelors of arts have spent from seven to ten years, somewhere between the ages of twelve and twenty-three, in liberal studies. They have all learned at school the elements of three languages besides English-namely, Greek, Latin, and French or German-the elements of mathematics and physics, a little ancient history, and something of English literature. They must also have gone, while at school, somewhat beyond the elements in at least two of the four subjects, Greek, Latin, mathematics, and physical science. At college they must have added the elements of a fourth language-German or French-to the three studies at school, besides pursuing the few prescribed studies above mentioned; and they must further have spent three years and a half upon a prescribed quantity of liberal studies, each person having been at liberty to select his own subjects of study during those three years and a half, and all studies being accounted liberal which are pursued in the scientific spirit for truth's sake. Such being the comprehensive signification of its degree of bachelor of arts, the university has no occasion for the great variety of special courses, with degrees in letters, philosophy, political science, journalism, and so forth, which other institutions have established. Every student makes his own course for three years and a half, and the common goal of all courses of liberal study is the degree of bachelor of arts.
According to the report of the executive committee of the Society of the Yale Alumni for 1885, the chief change the past year in the internal economy of the academical department of the college has been the enlargement of the list of elective studies in the junior, and especially in the senior class. At the end of the year's trial it may be reported that the new scheme is almost unanimously approved by the faculty. It is especially noticeable that a great number of the students, tho most of them seniors, have, without suggestion from their instructors, voluntarily extended their studies beyond, and in not a few cases far beyond, the limit which the rules require them to reach.
In both Harvard and Yale inducements to concentration of work are offered in a system of honors.
A uniform curriculum is presented at Columbia College for the freshman and sophomore years, with French and German elective. The junior and senior students have a wide range of electives. A tabular view of the students' selections is presented in the annual report for 1885, with reference to which President Barnard observes :
In examining the foregoing statement it appears that the study which has commanded the preference of the largest number, in both the classes in which there is freedom of choice, is the Greek. This is a little remarkable in view of the activity of the effort recently made to deprive this language of the prominent place it has so long beld among the acknowledged essentials of a liberal education.
Mathematics is the study which, among the limited number once supposed to comprise all the essentials of a liberal education, commands the preference of the smallest number of mature students free to choose; because the capacity to grasp and follow a difficult train of mathematical reasoning is a rare endowment, and only such as possess that capacity, at least in some degree, will voluntarily undertake that study.
The age of the students who are left to the exercise of a free choice in studies is a condition that ought not to be overlooked.
President Eliot notes that the average age for admission to Harvard was below 18 until 1860, and below 184 until 1873; that in the next 10 years it rose gradually to 19, and that since 1882 it has fallen a little.
The average age of the graduating class at Yale is stated to be little over 22 years and 7 months, which would make the average age of admission between 18 and 19.
In his report for 1880, President Barnard stated “that the average age of graduation in Columbia College is now between 21 and 22 years, and further, from the exact statements in regard to the extreme and mean ages of matriculates in Colambia College, which have accompanied the annual reports for many years past, it appears as an ascertained fact that the average age of our entire student body is upward of 19 years, with a slight tendency to increaso; also, that the average age of admission is over 17 years."
Altogether, limited electives in the colleges specified do not appear to have impaired the quality of their instruction, nor to have affected materially the position of mathematics and the classics as instruments of intellectual discipline. It is yet too early in the experiment for a final judgment as to the effects of full electives as adopted at Harvard.
It must be remembered that the institutions here considered belong to the first order as regards endowments and other material resources, the number in their faculties, their prestige, patronage, and all other conditions favorable to the maintenance of high standards, and to the judicious and successful conduct of experiments. In colleges less favorably placed, having limited resources, little prestige, and an uncertain hold upon patronage, there is reason to fear that the elective system may operate to the detriment of thorough scholarship.
Changes in the admission requirements, in the average age of college students, in the conduct of studies, and the modes of discipline, are important features of recent college history in our country, and have an unmistakable bearing upon the developnient of the university organization; but the record of graduate departments affords the best evidence of the demand which exists for university provision, or at least of the extent to which students are now ready to avail themselves of this provision in this country.
Table IX gives a total of 869 graduate students; information received since the completion of the table increases the number slightly; of these, nearly three-fifths are distributed among eleven colleges and universities, reporting each fifteen or more resident graduate students.
These institutions, with the number of their graduate students and the scholastic degrees attained by them before entering upon the graduate course, so far as reported, are as follows:
Johns Hopkins, 174, including 37 fellows. Of these, 120 had received either a bachelor's degree, or degree of master of arts, and 37 had received first and second degrees. In the case of 17 no degrees are mentioned.
Harvard, 80 graduate students and fellows, of whom 63 were bachelors of arts, science, etc., or masters of arts, and 17 had received first and second degrees.
Princeton, 66; the degree attained by these are not specified, but in order to be admitted to the course they must have attained at least a bachelor's degree.
Yale, 37, of whom 34 were bachelors or masters of arts, 2 had received first and second degrees, and one was an ensign of the U. S. Navy.
Cornell, 29, including 7 fellows; 24 had attained a first degree, and 5 first and second degrees.
Vanderbilt, 29, representing 17 first degrees and 12 first and second degrees.
Columbia College, 23; Boston University, College of Liberal Arts, 20; Lehigh University, 17 ; University of Michigan, 15; University of Minnesota, 15. All of these had previously attained the bachelor of arts degree or some other first degree.