Major Declaration time is here! And earlier this week, the B&W posted its first ever “Disillusioned Majors Guide,” advising students to avoid History, Classics, Comp. Lit, and nearly everything else. There is only one proper recourse for the liberal arts major: don’t major in anything. At all. (Note: This was not included in the upcoming March issue. It is an online EXCLUSIVE!)
For those who just can’t decide what to declare, or don’t enjoy, ummm, too much learning, consider a concentration. Just a concentration. You should be able finish up the requirements for something in the next couple of years.
What will you lose by not majoring? Nothing. Concentration is a minor on steroids. You usually need to take nine classes in your field, at most. You also get the mythic liberal arts education. May your schooling range wide and far, and not get artificially pigeonholed into a restricting discipline!
As long as you take real classes outside your concentration—don’t take Surfaces and Knots three times—grad schools aren’t going to care, and you will be happier that you don’t have wackass requirements wrecking your schedule. If you are eyeing graduate work in, say, English, surely a concentration is fine as long as those admissions officers see all those crazy history and physics and film classes you took. Or future chemists can say “Look! I concentrated in chemistry! And I took lots of math on the side! And I speak Russian!” It’s not just for hippies.
Columbia College Dean of Academic Affairs Kathryn Yatrakis is a well-known fan of the concentration. While Columbia students race to finish their Economics-English-EALAC three-thesis triple major, she just wants us to close our eyes and concentrate.
There’s a big school out there, she must be thinking, and it wasn’t made for those damn majorettes. It was made for those who want their education comprehensive, expansive, and made of 100% concentrate.