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This is the third of a series of articles which will be published in the Crimson, written about the work of the various graduate schools by their respective Deans or professors.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, first organized as the Graduate Department in 1872, seeks to foster advanced instruction and research in the fields of language and literature, history and the political and social sciences, philosophy and anthropology, music and the fine arts, mathematics and the various departments of pure science. With Harvard College it constitutes the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and its more elementary instruction stands in close relation to that of the College.
The more advanced work of the School is carried on in seminaries and laboratories and special courses, with a large amount of individual instruction, all planned for the purpose of training students in exact and independent methods so that they may in turn carry on the traditions of sound learning and enlarge the world's knowledge of nature and of man. Its ideal, it has been said, is "to develop Harvard as one of the great centres of the world's scholarship, conserving the learning of the past and constantly widening the bounds of knowledge."
The degrees of Master of Arts is given to properly qualified students for a year of advanced study completed with distinction, and the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded, not upon the completion of a specified curriculum, but upon the reaching of a standard of attainment, tested by examinations and the preparation of an original piece of investigation in the form of a thesis. The minimum period of study for this degree is two years, but students commonly spend from three to five years.
The six hundred students of the Graduate School do not form a homogeneous body grouped by years or in large classes, as in the Law School or the Medical School, but are scattered through a score of different departments. Outside of Conant Hall, the graduate dormitory, the school as a whole has little common life, but in most departments there are clubs or societies of various types which bring together the graduate students in accordance with their special interests. There is also much common association through the Graduate Schools Society of Phillips Brooks House. The favorite haunts of the graduate student are the special laboratories and department libraries, and the desks in the stacks of the Widener Library, where they find facilities for their work which are almost unique among the world's universities.
The more ambitious graduates are encouraged to look forward to research and study elsewhere, in the field, in special scientific establishments, in great libraries and archives, either before the completion of their period of study for the Ph.D. or immediately thereafter. A liberal provision of travelling fellowships facilitates such study and research abroad or in distant parts of the United States.
Of the 5500 men who hold degrees from the Graduate School, the larger number have gone into teaching, chiefly in colleges and universities, many of them directing the most advanced study and research of other graduate schools. Some, like Senator Lodge and Secretary Houston, and the Honorable Mackenzie King, recently Minister of Labor in Canada, have gone into public service, whether in the general work of politics and administration or in scientific or statistical work of a more specialized type. Others have gone into industry as consulting chemists and geologists, or into the newer fields of industrial research. Still others will be found in literary work or social service. With the increasing recognition of the need of experts in American life, the field has greatly broadened and the demand for highly trained specialists has grown much faster than the supply. A university president once remarked that what we need is not narrow men but broad men sharpened to a point. That is the kind of men the Graduate School seeks to supply.
Students interested in the possibilities and opportunities of graduate study are welcome to consult the professors and chairmen of the several divisions and departments of the faculty, while the Dean and Secretary of the school are always available for question or conference.
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