What college students of today may choose to study, and what they and their parents regard as the most important subjects in the college curriculum, are revealed by the fact that more men at the College are specializing in English Literature than in any other subject, while Economics stands second in popularity and Chemistry third.
363 Have Chosen English
Every student in the College is now required to take during his four years at least six courses in some one field of study. Beginning with the class of 1922 every student must pass, before he can graduate, a "general examination" in this field. The institution of these general examinations by the University has attracted widespread attention and comment. This year there are 363 men who have chosen English Literature as their field for specialization, or "concentration"; 314 have chosen Economics; 200 are specializing in Chemistry; 178 in Romance Languages; 126 in History; 87 in Government; and 63 in Mathematics.
Comparison of these figures with those of recent years shows one striking change, which is easily explained. In 1914 Economics led in popularity, with English second. In that year there were approximately four men specializing in Economics for every three in English. Since then English has taken the lead. The reason is that beginning with the class of 1917, men specializing in the division of History, Government and Economics have been obliged to take a general examination. This requirement has been confined to this one division, and has had the effect of discouraging many men from concentrating in Economics. These men seem to have turned to English as the alternative.
Drift Back to Economics
Beginning with the class of 1922, however, the General Examination, instead of being confined to one division, will be required of practically every man in College. Those who specialize in English and other subjects will have to undergo comprehensive tests similar to that which has been the rule in Economics. In view of this prospect, there are already signs of a drift back toward Economics. But English still leads.
Other changes in the past few years have been a decline in the number of men specializing in German, an increase in those specializing in Romance Languages, both changes being due to the war, and an increase in the popularity of Chemistry.
The figures for this year are as follows: *This figure does not represent the real popularity of Engineering, as most men whose tastes and abilities lie in this direction are registered in the Engineering School rather than in the College.
*This figure does not represent the real popularity of Engineering, as most men whose tastes and abilities lie in this direction are registered in the Engineering School rather than in the College.