Flyby Looks Back at Concentrations

Crimson file photo

Whether you're an indecisive sophomore or overachieving freshman, picking a concentration probably plagues your every waking moment. If you're still undecided, hopefully some advice from your predecessors will help; here's what Harvard students of years past have said about several concentrations, as reported in The Crimson.

ENGLISH: According to J.S.P. Tatlock in a Crimson article from April 4, 1927; "English literature (including American literature) is one of the most immediately attractive fields of study, and one which everybody knows something of before he comes to college."

EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCES: EPS didn't exist back in the day, but Crimson writer R. A. Daly praised Geology in a 1927 article: "During his daily walks, from railway train, steamer, or motorcar, he can see the earth evolving; he can see her majestic rhythms, her wonderful adaptations to life, her profound control over human history. Such permanent enrichment of life comes to the man who elects a full course in general geology."

GOVERNMENT: According to an article from May 27, 1938, the increasing number of government concentrators can be attributed to "the fact that students who were not really interested in the subject concentrated in it in the belief that it would help them in Government or business. As taught here, the field is theoretical."

ECONOMICS: The same May 27, 1938 article called it "a field whose importance is becoming more and more widespread" but "a subject in which one cannot gain practical experience in College."

SOCIOLOGY: Even in 1948, this concentration was very important; an April 27 article stated "Until men eschew relations with women, men, and the animal kingdom, Social Relations is pertinent of the livelihood and enjoyment of every student."

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