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Professors: Richard P. Adelstein (Economics), Brian C. Fay (Philosophy), Peter Kilby (Co-chair) (Economics), Donald Moon (Government), David W. Morgan (History), Peter Rutland (Government), Ronald Schatz (History), Nancy Schwartz (Government), David A. Titus (Government)

Associate Professors: Giulio Gallarotti (Government), Cecilia Miller (Co-chair)(History), Gil Skillman (Economics)

Assistant Professor: Tanya Rosenblat (Economics)

Instructor: Arash Abizadeh (Government)

Departmental Expert in Advising (2000-2001): Cecilia Miller


The College of Social Studies (CSS) offers a distinctive blend of teaching methods, subject matter, and educational structure. Its collegial organization combines tutorials and interdisciplinary courses in social theory within the college with individually selected courses from other departments and programs in the University to achieve an integrated education in the social sciences. Founded in 1959, the CSS has provided an unusual educational opportunity for many Wesleyan students, whose careers upon graduation have ranged from medicine to law, forestry to college teaching, international business to acting.

Admission to the CSS. Interested students apply for admission to the CSS during the spring of their first year. Each applicant is interviewed by a panel of CSS tutors and students. All CSS majors must complete both ECON111 and ECON112 by the end of the sophomore year; students are strongly encouraged to fulfill this requirement during their freshman year. Completion of the University’s generalization expectations at both Stage 1/2 is also required of CSS majors, although majors have until the end of the junior year to complete Stage 1 expectations.

Sophomore year. At the heart of the program in the sophomore year are the weekly tutorial and weekly tutorial essay that are designed to develop conceptual and analytic skills as well as precision in writing and argument. The academic year is composed of three trimesters of nine weeks each, and each student takes a trimester tutorial in history, government, and economics. Because of their intensive nature, tutorials account for more than half of the student’s academic work during the year. A semester-length colloquium in social theory in the fall and selected "generalization" courses within and outside the social sciences complete the sophomore program. Comprehensive examinations, administered by the CSS tutors at the end of the sophomore year, produce the only official grade for sophomores.

Junior year. The junior year involves a first-semester philosophy colloquium on the modes of inquiry in the social sciences and in the second semester, a sequence of two seven-week tutorials building on the sophomore tutorials, each carrying one course credit. Students will also take several of their elective courses in the three CSS disciplines, for the purpose of enhancing research skills and the ability to accomplish major writing projects in the social sciences. Juniors also have the option of studying abroad in their first semester.

Senior year. In addition to a CSS seminar in the first semester, the senior year involves a substantial piece of written work. This is often but not invariably an honors thesis. In all cases it is a large-scale, sustained, and serious investigation of an intellectual problem.

The Common Room, seminar rooms, and a common library reinforce the collegial atmosphere of the CSS. Social events (Monday luncheons, Friday social hours) and special programs such as semester banquets and occasional lectures, are regular features of college life, as are informal talks and discussions.

Students from other departments and programs may be admitted to the CSS junior colloquium and the senior seminar on a limited basis.



Last Update 8/00

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