Sharply reversing a trend which seemed destined to swamp it under Government and Economics, English as a field of concentration was boosted 50 per cent over last year by the 117 Freshmen who picked it. Out of a total of 916 study cards expected, 30 are still due the Committee on the Choice of Electives.
Fifteen years ago, English, which has always headed the humanities, had an unquestioned supremacy, but Economics replaced it in 1929. The years 1934-36 saw English once again in the lead, but last year it hit rock-bottom, taking fourth place under Government, Economics, and History. No general tendency is obvious in the upswing of English.
Ec holds a narrow margin of two students over Gov, which has 82, but both have dropped from 90 and 92 respectively. History has lost even more ground, taking fourth place with 72 against 88 last year.
Much of the slack in these branches of social science has been taken up by the new "Area of Social Sciences" which needed 15 concentrators to become established. Unexpectedly, this field was oversubscribed when 36 applied where only 30 can be accommodated by the Faculty.
Natural Sciences Steady
In the Natural Sciences, slight drops in Chemistry, Biology, and Bio-chemical Sciences were offset by an increase of almost 100 per cent in Engineering Sciences, which has 58 concentrators compared with 32 last year.
Of the smaller fields, the Department of Romance Languages has registered a decline, History and Literature stands at 47, while Fine Arts has nearly disappeared with only three men enlisted this year instead of 16 before.
Whereas formerly it was thought that English would continue its downward tendency to be replaced by the Natural Sciences which showed a marked gain with last year's Freshmen, it is now apparent that an equalizing force is foremost between the desire to concentrate heavily for "practical" reasons and the recognition of the need for a liberal arts education.