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The Dartmouth
February 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

COC approves new engineering-physics major

The Committee of Chairs voted unanimously to adopt a new engineering-physics major, which will go into effect next fall, and discussed grade inflation at its meeting yesterday afternoon.

The new major is designed for those students "who want to sit on the fence" between physics and engineering, instead of focusing on either one, Physics and Astronomy Chair Mary Hudson said.

This major would differ from a modified major or major and minor combination in that engineering and physics would each make up half of the requirements, she said.

"Several students are enthusiastic" about the new major, Hudson said. She added that other schools also have this major.

Registrar Thomas Bickel also gave the College's annual report on grading.

Bickel said though the College's efforts to curb grade inflation were not going as planned "we are not at the point where 50 percent of our grades are B pluses or A minuses."

German and Comparative Literature Professor Susanne Zantop pointed out that since each new class entering the College is "better," it was only natural that grades would increase.

A few members of the committee expressed concern that some students were abusing the course withdrawal option implemented in the summer of 1995 in order to boost their GPAs.

They said the College should attempt to keep track of students who use the withdrawal option and then enroll in the same class the next term it was offered -- effectively being taught the same material twice.

Bickel said it is possible to find out how many students are abusing the course withdrawal system in this manner.

The final item on the agenda was a discussion of a self-evaluation the COC will conduct next term.

Professor of Religion and Chair of the Committee on Organization and Policy Susan Ackerman said some of the COC subcommittees' jurisdictions may overlap.

College President James Freedman presided over the meeting.