The question of the three years' course and the attainment of the A. B. degree and, in the same connection, the bestowal of the A.M. degree, has given rise the last few years to considerable discussion. We do not intend at present to consider the question of the three years' course, - that is as yet far from being satisfactorily determined. But there is one question concerning the A. M. degree which the Faculty has yet not definitely settled, but action on which this year must apparently set a decided precedent.
According to the regulations of the Faculty, the degree of A. M. has been given a year after the degree of A. B., and the latter degree has generally been received at the end of a four years course. The last two years it seems that graduating men have received their A. M. degree and to seniors now desiring to do the same thing it is a serious question whether they will be permitted to do so. With the inclination on a part of the Faculty to shorten the college course and the desire of many undergraduates to complete their course as soon as possible it seems as advantageous to make the A. M. degree as conveniently obtainable as the A. B. degree, provided the value is not lowered. In other words, if it is desirable or advantageous that the A. B. degree be received in three years, why not the A. M. in four years and at the same time as the other? It seems very natural that if a man can obtain his degree of A. B. in three years, provided he takes the necessary number of courses so that he has fulfilled the requirements for the degree, that the work of his fourth year should count for the degree of A. M. That this was desired by members of the last two classes and granted even under a a suspension of the rules shows that it was a needed advantage. For, manifestly, if a student has won his degree of A. B. in three years, if he has taken the requisite, number of courses and passed them satisfactorily, the degree of A. B. has not been lowered. Now if such a student wish to obtain the degree of A. M. in his fourth year and is capable of so doing, the value of the degree is not lowered thereby. We understand that this year there are such cases before the Faculty, and the result will be awaited with considerable interest.