Applications to the Social Studies Department have decreased by almost 15 per cent this year, despite a 20-per-cent increase in enrollment openings, Michael L. Walzer, chairman of the Social Studies Department, said Thursday.
"Students may not be applying to the department since it is no longer so 'elite," Walzer said. "However, the application decline could be due to the new requirements we added last year," he added.
The Social Studies department made senior theses mandatory for concentrators graduating after this year, and it now requires them to take Ec 10 and two half courses in either social theory or political philosophy.
'If the application decrease is due to the loss of Social Studies' 'elite' status, it's all for the better," Paul C. Martin '52, Dean of the Division of Applied Sciences and chairman of the Task Force on Concentrations, said yesterday.
The Task Force on Concentrations, one of the seven committees Dean Rosovsky established to review undergraduate education in 1975, initiated the move to open all limited concentrations last spring.
The Faculty voted on December 13 to open the five limited concentrations by increasing enrollment by 20 per cent each year, in order to avoid suddenly over-burdening their teaching staffs.
"I think the decline is due mainly to our new requirements," Robert L. Amdur, associate professor of Social Studies, said yesterday. "Social Studies is losing the reputation of being a place where you can do whatever you want."
Students may have been attracted to the smaller size of the department, as well as its 'elite' status." Katherine H. Auspitz '63, associate professor of Social Studies, said Thursday.
"Freshmen don't really know what they're getting into when they choose a major, since in the Yard they have no contact with upperclass concentrators." Auspitz added