Although concentrators in the field of History and Literature call the work intellectual and humanistic, and feel that the very important tutorial work is handled in an understanding and stimulating manner, they find, however, one fault. Much of the work, particularly on the literary side, could be handled more efficiently in tutorial than in regular courses.
The calibre of the tutors and the importance of tutorial being what it is, a course reduction should be given in this field for an A.B. degree. If honor students were to spend with their tutors the time so gained, the ground could be covered more rapidly, and the emphasis placed on the points which are particularly important to the field. There is not time for students to cover these points in courses. It would take time to introduce this innovation, and two or more tutors would have to be added; but as a progressive move it would be sound.
One other change heartily recommended in the field is a special oral exam in the Senior year for men who have failed the Junior departmental. Under present conditions men passing the Junior exam with an honor grade are accepted as honor candidates, and during their last year are allowed to concentrate on one period and to write a thesis. Those not so fortunate are required to pass an examination at the end of Senior year which involves only a mere detailed rehashing of the material they have already covered. It may be said that men who fail the Junior departmental are not ready to specialize, but in any event they merely drift for a year.
An oral exam on some special field in which such men would work would eradicate this wrong. Although those taking such an examination would not get an honors degree, the stagnating influence of repeating the same work would be eliminated.