History and Literature Sees Rise in Applicants

During the first three weeks of April, a sizable percentage of the class of 2000 is expected to apply to honors-only concentrations.

Last year, more than 10 percent of the first-year class were accepted to and declared concentrations in honors-only areas.

There are seven such concentrations: Comparative Study of Religion, History and Literature, History and Science, Literature, Social Studies, Visual and Environmental Studies and Women's Studies.

This year, History and Literature received approximately 80 applications. This is an increase of about 10 students from last year, when the number of first-years accepted to the program was 55.

The other concentrations have either not yet received all their applications or not yet released the number of applicants.


The number of students who will be accepted to an honors-only concentration depends on the quality of the applicants, said Director of Studies for History and Literature Janice Thaddeus.

An honors-only concentration could hypothetically accept everyone who applied, said Andrea Walsh, acting director of studies for the Women's Studies concentration.

The group of applicants is "self-selecting," Walsh said.

When students are rejected, it is usually because of grades or proposed courses of study.

"A lot of freshmen change concentration in the fall of the ensuing year," said Associate Registrar Thurston A. Smith. For instance, some people are not accepted to Social Studies until their grades for the full year have been recorded, Smith said.

If all applicants to Women's Studies, for example, had at least a B to B+ average, it is "highly probable" that most would be accepted, Walsh said.

Sometimes, the proposed plan of study can affect the chances of an applicant being accepted.

"We discourage students from applying if they have a joint concentration plan that seems totally unworkable," Walsh said.

By April 21, the last applications for honors-only concentrations are due, and students should find out if they were accepted or not shortly afterward.