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September 09, 1971 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-9

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Thursday, September 9, 1971


Page Seven

Thursday, September 9, 197'I THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

Gettin-garound all
those requirements
Now that you are in college, you can forget how to forge
your -mother's signature for tardy slips and you can discard the
pack of hall passes you kept in your locker.
Instead you will be faced with new restrictions - called
requirements - against which you will have to again pit all of
your ingenuity in order to preserve your sanity and well-being.
The advice wwhich follows will hopefully aid you in striking
your own path through the University's system of required
folderol. -
Don't trust your academic counselor. Listen to him polite-
ly so he will write in your file that you are attentive and alert,
but check all his advice in your school or college's Official
Publication. Then double check it again with a knowledgeable
junior who has been through it before.
If you don't know any juniors, and are having trouble
understanding the Official Publication, go directly to the Student
Counseling Office, 1018 Angell Hall. Entirely staffed by stu-
dents, this office can offer you frank counseling without ap-
pointments. As well as providing computerized course eval-
uations, the student counselors can tell you which profs believe
in grades, which believe in unstructured classes, and which
believe in freshmen.
If you want something from the University, go get it.
Essentially, every course in the University is open to you -
if you are willing to talk your way into it. To simplify matters
in this regard, ignore listed prerequisites (no one knows your
capabilities better than you do) and sign up for the ones you
Run-of-the-mill underclassmen have not infrequently sign-
ed up for honors recitations or graduate level courses a n d
completed the courses with no one knowing or caring the
difference. In addition, courses in Alice Lloyd's Pilot Program
or East Quad's Residential College, which offer small, seminar-
like classes on unconventional subjects, are theoretically open
to any underclassmen where space allows. As well, don't over-
look Course Mart's offerings -- a group of miscellaneous cours-
es given on a pass/fail basis. Check out each program's course
selections at the start of each term.
Don't feel locked into taking 18 hours a term. Enjoy a
semester here and there, take 13 or 14 hours, read the whole
book list, and still maintain your draft status. You can easily
make up the hours (you need an average of 15 a term to
graduate in four years) by selecting a summer reading course
or arranging for an independent study project with a favorite
professor. For more information about summer reading courses
(no classes, just reading) see the Honors office.-The program
was set up for honors students but don't let that stop you.
Don't feel restricted by the requirements listed for con-
centration programs. It is now relatively easy for students to
construct their own concentration programs under the super-
vision of a professor who agrees to help you. But, if require-
ments on the whole just get you down, ignore them and elect
the Bachelor of General Studies program. As a BGS candi-
date, you can compose a program to your own liking and by-
pass all the distribution nasties like French and geology.


Grinding away in grad school

Graduate school is a serious
As soon as you walk into a
graduate class, you sense the
difference. For the most part,
these 15,000 students are pro-
The faces are older, and, even
in classes in the humanities,
more are men. The aisles are
filled with briefcases. As many
students are wearing suits and
ties as levis.
The professor pronounces his
first words, and they are in-
stantly reproduced in careful
notebooks, cross-filed for use in
future papers or prelims. Every
reference or text the mentor
so much as mentions in passing
will be gone from the shelves
of the libraries and bookstores
the next day.
For many graduate students,
school is a full-time occupation
leading to a clear goal in aca-,
demia or business.
The field of specialization is
a life work. Before class, al-
most no one talks about poli-
tics or football; the subject
will always be the work at hand,
because the students really care.
about it.

Graduate classes will not stop
for the Black Action M o v e-
ment or any other class strikes.
You begin to feel that with the
bombs coming and ten minutes
to go the class would go on -
the last ten minutes of precious
knowledge would be communi-
cated, on schedule,
Competition is keenly felt.
There aren't that many jobs
for Ph.D.'s today, so the grad-
uate with a better record stands
a better chance. Papers will
always be handed in when they
are due - or before, except in
the most unusual and well-
documented circumstances. And
papers will be as long as re-
quired - if not longer.
Not all graduate students fit
this mold, of course. For some
grads, school is an escape from
the grind of the "real world,"
a way to prolong the carefree
existence of undergraduate days
with a minimum of inconven-
Life as a grad can be com-
fortable and pleasant compar-
ed to the drag of working in
some office from 9 to 5 every
Other grads realize even ear-
lier the relative advantages of
being a student, and never leave
academia at all. Some go right
through from freshman to pro-
professor or researcher.
You will find some happy
freaks in your classes, but even
they will have some real feel-
ings for the subject and its de-
Even the most alienated of

grads confess to a love-hate
relationship with their fields,
and alternate periods of read-
ing comic books incessantly
with furious activity which al-
lows them to make it through
another term.
In some instances, you can
get by doing nothing. S o m e
masters degrees can be ob-
tained with little effort, but the
doctorate is another thing al-
together. In general, qual-
ity work is demanded and pro-
There are rewards for the
graduate student, too. Classes
are on a higher level, as be-
fitting future equals of the pro-
fessors. Classes are also small-
er, and much more individual
instruction develops both in
class and out.
Your ideas will be consider-
ed carefully, and your papers
will be thoroughly studied. You
will receive a rigorous training
in your field.

Some grads are unhappy with
the demand for specialization,
but as yet there is no pro-
gram to allow a student to de-
velop a wide-ranging plan of
studies leading to some kind of
general graduate degree.
Most degree programs are
highly structured, although the
amount of requirements varies
greatly among departments.
But most students find the: re-
quirements do provide the edu-
cation they need.
When reforms are called for,
students and faculty tend to
work closely together with lit-
tle friction and a sense of being
colleagues. Many graduate prob-
lems have come in clashes with
the University administration
rather than with the faculty, as
in the question of teaching fel-
lows' status as employes.
In many departments, grads
become close to each other and
to the faculty, especially in the
smaller areas.

U t ._,..

-Daily-Jim Judkis
Rackham Building: Home of the grad school

Creating a program to suit you

(Continued from Page 3),
ditional, they are the student's
own, created with no require-
ment in mind but the fulfill-
ment of their individual aca-
demic goals.
The BGS program, and other
programs which offer alterna-
tives to traditional degree re-
quirements, seem to be gaining
w i d e acceptance at colleges
across the country.
In the Daily's survey of 30
g r a du a t e and professional
schools, most admissions offic-
ers indicated that the type of
degree held by an applicant is
not as important as the stu-
dent's undergraduate academic
performance and the courses he
selects to fill his program.
And it is here that graduate
and professional schools express
their only reservations about
the BGS program. They believe
that if a BGS student wishes to
enroll in a specific graduate

program, like physics or psy-
chology, the student should in-
clude in his undergraduate, pro-
gram sufficient courses in that
In addition, certain graduate
departments find skill in for-
eign language an important pre-
requisite for admission. T h e y
will accept a student with a
BGS degree, but he will have
had to take undergraduate lang-
uage courses.
Although the program was
formulated as a result of the
fight to eliminate the language
requirement, according to the
Morris report, m a n y students
are attracted to the program for
reasons other than their dis-
like for language courses.
S o m e of these reasons in-
- The desire not to be re-
stricted by the specific require-
ments of a concentration pro-
gram. Instead, while many have

elected courses in their field of
interest similar to the courses
required by t h e concentration
program, they are able to avoid
courses they do not w a n t to
- The desire to pursue a
wider range of study than the
BA, w i th its several require-
ments, allows;
- The desire to avoid certain
distribution requirements, such
as three semesters of natural
science courses;
- A dislike for the hassles of
pre - classification interviews,
which are not required of BGS
students; and
- The desire to take m o r e
credits outside the literary col-
lege than the BA allows.
The Morris report also chal-
lenges the widely-held view that
the BGS is an escape route for
students with little interest in
academics, or who could n o t
fulfill the LSA language a n d
distribution requirements.

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,,,,_,.,r ..

Pei i










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