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Social Studies Requirements Get Tougher

By Cynthia A. Torres

Students entering Social Studies next fall will have to fulfill more requirements than concentrators in past years as part of an effort to provide more structure in the curriculum, Michael L. Walzer, chairman of the committee, said yesterday.


Social Studies concentrators will now have to take Economics 10, "Principles of Economics," and two half-courses in political philosophy, moral philosophy or social theory, according to a list handed to potential freshman concentrators as they came into accept or decline acceptance to the department last week.

The requirements will give students a better background for tutorials and senior theses and may encourage concentrators to enroll in more specialized courses as upperclassmen, Walzer said.

Less than two months ago, the department made senior theses mandatory for all concentrators, beginning with the current sophomore class.

Robert L. Amdur, head tutor in Social Studies, said yesterday the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies met two weeks ago and unanimously agreed to require Ec 10.

Walzer said that discouraging students who are uninterested in political theory from entering the program was a factor in upgrading the requirements but he said more students applied to the department this year than last year.

Many concentrators enroll in these courses anyway, although exact statistics are unavailable, Walzer said.

Students were told the department was considering strengthening requirements at concentration meetings held in the Freshman Union last month, but it is possible all applicants were not informed of the upcoming changes, he said.

Surprise, Surprise

Jennifer A. Widner '80, who will concentrate in Social Studies, said yesterday she had not known about the more stringent requirements until after she was accepted.

The committee should have told students about the changes before accepting them, she said, adding that the announcement surprised her.

Edith E. Scott '80, another Social Studies concentrator, said yesterday she does not think the new requirements would be a deterrent to students interested in a Social Studies major.

"The requirements are broad enough so that people who are interested in learning about social theory would stay interested," she said

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