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The following article is reprinted from the Harvard Engineering School Supplement of the current Alumni Bulletin.
The Engineering School is operating on essentially the same plan that was established when the work of instruction was reorganized ten years ago. Provision was then made for three groups of students: (1) undergraduates entering the University as Freshmen or by transfer from other colleges or engineering schools: (2) graduates of arts colleges and (3) graduates of engineering colleges.
For undergraduates, four-year programs of study consisting of mathematics physical sciences, engineering studies, and general studies, were planned, which provide a sound, broad, scientific training that recognizes the main fields of engineering, but without specialization. The Freshman year is practically common to all. Some of the programs begin to be differentiated in the second year, and others in the third; but in mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering the first three years are practically identical. The schedule of studies is simple and progressive, but rigorous. Not more than five subjects may be taken simultaneously. Routine so-called practical work and ephemeral descriptive instruction are minimized. And students who enter upon one program may readily change to another, as their plans for the future develop.
Sanitary Engineering is now on a graduate basis; but a four-year program in Sanitary Chemistry is offered. Metallurgy is also primarily a graduate study; but, when the program in Mining Engineering was re-organized recently, provision was made by means of options for those who wish eventually, as graduates, to specialize in mining engineering, in metallurgy, or in mining geology.
Such studies as can be taken in the College are scheduled, as far as possible, in the first two years, for the purpose of giving students an opportunity to test their tastes and abilities. Those who have tried engineering and decided they wish to transfer to the College may do so as late as the end of the second year, with full credit for what they have taken in the Engineering School. This has proved to be an advantageous arrangement for the students, and saved much unhappiness and waste of time. Twenty per cent of those who have entered here, so far, as Freshmen have thus transferred. Similarly, those who first enter the College may there take the studies of the first two years of one of the engineering programs. Many do so and transfer to the Engineering School after one or two years; but the transfers in this direction are fewer.
For those who desire business training with an engineering education, five-year programs are offered in cooperation with the Graduate School of Business Administration. Students who take these five-year programs get a full year of instruction in business, in addition to all the scientific, engineering, and general studies of a four-year program.
When college studies were scheduled for the first two years of the various programs, and engineering subjects in the last two, we were planning also for college graduates. Such men are usually fitted to enter with third-year standing: and we wish to offer them a clear-cut schedule of engineering studies, by which they can complete the requirements for an engineering degree in two years of study here, or in three years if they wish to take a year of business studies. There is also an effective, workable plan by which a degree in Harvard College, as well as our engineering degree, may be won in five years. And we now offer college graduates a master's degree for the postgraduate study necessary to win an engineering degree.
Graduates of engineering colleges are well provided for here. Our professors, each in his own field, have something to offer to men who as undergraduates give promise of real usefulness in the work of development, design, or research. Opportunities for graduate study and research are offered in all the departments of the School.
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