Wellesley College will switch to a trimester system next fall.
The first term will run from September to Christmas, and the second from January to late March, with a four course requirement in each. The third term will run only from April to early June, with two courses required.
One of the main purposes of the plan is to provide more time for independent study. "We think independent work belongs in the experience of every undergraduate," Miss Virginia Onderdonk, dean of the College, explained. Instead of a second course in the last term, every junior will undertake a research project in her major or in a related department.
Seniors will take three courses instead of four in the second term and only one in the last term. They will devote the rest of their study time to preparation for their general examinations in May.
For the first time, every student will be required to take two newly devised lecture courses in general education. Distribution requirements will also be increased. The student education committee had recommended curtailing distribution requirements.
The student body expressed overwhelming support for the changes in a recent poll by the Wellesley News. Some feared that the senior generals will be more difficult as a result of the extra time provided for preparation. Many added that they welcomed the increased challenge.
Alan Schechter, assistant professor of Political Science, commented "I think the idea of giving seniors 50 per cent of the third term for the purpose of reviewing their major field is an important addition to the curriculum."