Course and Language Requirements

Course Requirements

All students take 14 courses for B or better (maintaining at least a B+ average). Language requirement courses will not count toward the 14 course total. These courses must include at least 5 CHSS courses, i.e., courses that carry CHSS numbers. Students must also take 2 quarters of individual “reading and research” classes with a CHSS faculty member, leading to a research paper to be completed by the end of year 2. This paper must attain a grade of A- or higher.

In addition to formal graded courses, the Committee conducts an informal, bi-weekly “Seminar on Important Things.” It is intended to bring together students and selected faculty to discuss topics of general interest in the field; it should provide common ground for students whose quite varied interests might not otherwise draw them to the same classes. Topics are chosen by the participants and change from quarter to quarter. Often it is a recent book or books that is the focus of attention. First and second year students are required to participate in the Seminar, but do not receive a grade for doing so. Students in all options can double-count as many courses as they like for the different course requirements in their options. However, no student can graduate having completed fewer than 14 courses.

Language Requirement

Students must receive a “high pass” in an ancient or modern language relevant to the student’s research. If the research is in English or the student’s native language, then a pass in another modern language will suffice. In exceptional cases it may be more appropriate to substitute a different kind of expertise, such as Statistics or Computer Science, and the Committee may grant approval for this by petition.