The Government Department has voted to award Masters Degrees to students after only one year of graduate study, beginning this year, Samuel P. Huntington, chairman of the Government Department, said yesterday.
"The immediate cause of our decision was the draft," Huntington said.
"A number of our first year graduate students feel in imminent danger of being drafted," Huntington said. "We thought that the M.A. would help them get part-time teaching positions in colleges and junior colleges in the Boston area, and thus obtain occupational deferments."
The change also has "a long-range explanation," Huntington added. "It's better to have a degree for people who have successfully completed a year of graduate training but who shouldn't be candidates for the Ph.D. The new system will ease us in weeding these people out."
Other Government M.A. requirements have been similarly relaxed. "Previously we required everything required for the Ph.D. except the thesis," Huntington said.
Requirements have been reduced to one year of residence, which includes eight half courses; a B average for the year; one seminar paper with at least a B; and a "minor language requirement." According to Huntington, this last can be fulfilled by either "competence in one language or by a statistics course."
The previous two-year term of residence included 16 half courses and three or four seminar papers along with the "major language requirement." This meant that a Masters or Ph.D. candidate had to be extremely fluent in one language or to have taken advanced statistics course, and to have had a minor language as well.
The Government Departmental had also asked Masters candidates to take the Ph.D. general examinations, Huntington said.
"We are basically a Ph.D. program," he added. "We don't want people to come here just for the Masters."
Although a student was theoretically granted an M.A. after two years in the past, in practice the department gave no terminal Masters.
"Many of us in the department felt it was unrealistic to have such high requirements for the M.A.," Huntington said, adding, "we were out of line with the requirements of other departments."
The change, similar to one instituted by the Department of Social Relations about a month earlier, will not effect the Government Department's Ph.D. program. According to Huntington, the norm there will remain at about five or six years of study.
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