The Atlantic

The Tyranny of the College Major

Colleges should require students to take more courses outside of their discipline.
Source: Elaine Thompson/AP Images

The American bachelor's degree has over the last 150 years become centered on specializations, majors, each student's home department. General Education, the classes each student must take outside of the major, is still part of every degree—but it has become weaker and unfocused, disrespected and eroded.  The degree has not gotten tougher as the world has gotten tougher. Instead, legislators and administrators have simplified the degree into lists of outcomes, efficiency initiatives, graduation targets, and courses that can double count for more than one requirement.

It is past time we re-examine, strengthen, and add to the bachelor’s degree.

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