Sandel Wins Enrollment Battle

Flagship moral reasoning course has more students than intro classes

Justice triumphs again.

After a hiatus last year, Moral Reasoning 22, “Justice” is once again the most popular class at the College, boasting an enrollment of 1,115.

Introductory economics and life science courses, which were the two most popular classes last fall, round out the top three for largest undergrad enrollment.

“Students are drawn to Justice because they love the challenge of thinking through their moral and political convictions with the help of some great books and 1,000 of their classmates,” Sandel wrote in an e-mailed statement.

Sandel wrote that the large class size would only benefit students. In 2005, Justice was capped for the first time at 1,000 students.

“The size of the course has one big advantage,” Sandel wrote. “The discussions that begin in class spill out of Sanders Theater and into the houses and the dining halls.”

There were so many students present for the opening lecture that an additional room with a video feed was set up beneath the auditorium in the Cambridge Queen’s Head pub.

Suneel K. Chakravorty ’11, who is taking Justice this semester, said that he found the course’s size to be “overwhelming, but not impersonal.”

“The dialogue is very engaging and one-on-one,” Chakrovorty said. “The professor poses questions to the class, it is very interactive, and we feel involved.”



Justice is not the only course that has seen increases in its enrollment figures.

Enrollment in Government 20, “Introduction to Comparative Politics,” taught by Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences Steven R. Levitsky, nearly doubled this year, increasing from 151 to 276 students.

Levitsky said yesterday that recruiting additional teaching fellows has proven to be “extremely difficult.”

He jokingly added that if the class became any bigger, they might have to look for homeless people to fill in as teaching fellows.

Social Analysis 10, “Principles of Economics,” popularly known as “Ec 10,” attracted 814 undergrads, down from 965 last fall.

Beren Professor of Economics N. Gregory Mankiw, who teaches the course, said yesterday that the high enrollment would have little effect on the quality of the course.

While “recruiting teaching fellows has become more challenging,” the basic teaching style and course structure is still the same, and there is plenty of space left in Sanders Theater, Mankiw said.

Life Sciences 1a, “An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences” came in third with 601 undergrads.

387 students will take Economics 1010a, “Microeconomic Theory.”