COLLEGE OF SOCIAL STUDIES
Professors: Richard P. Adelstein, Economics; Stephen Angle, Philosophy; John Bonin, Co-Chair, Economics; Marc Eisner, Government; Richard Elphick, History; Brian Fay, Philosophy; Giulio Gallarotti, Government; Joyce Jacobsen, Economics; James McGuire, Government; J. Donald Moon, Government, Co-Chair; Wendy Rayack, Government; Peter Rutland, Government; Ronald Schatz, History; Nancy Schwartz, Government; Gil Skillman, Economics
Associate Professors: Erik Grimmer-Solem, History; Elvin Lim, Government; Cecilia Miller, History; Wendy Rayack, Government; Sarah E. Wiliarty, Government
Assistant Professors: Sonali Chakravati, Government; Anne Peters, Government; Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock, History
Departmental Advising Experts 2013-2014: John Bonin, J. Donald Moon
The College of Social Studies (CSS) offers a distinctive blend of teaching methods, subject matter, and educational structure. Its collegial organization combines tutorials and 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, 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.
Interested students apply for admission to CSS during the spring of their first year. Each applicant is interviewed by a team of CSS tutors and students. All CSS majors must complete ECON101 and one other economics course or ECON110. The CSS economics requirement is fulfilled by completing either ECON 101 and one 200-level economics course with a C+ or better for the two classes averaged together, or ECON 110 with a grade of C+ or better. AP exams in both microeconomics and macroeconomics with scores of 4 or 5 will also meet the requirement, as will an IB exam in economics with a score of 5 or higher. Completion of the University's general expectations at both Stages I and II is also required of CSS majors, although majors have until the end of the junior year to complete Stage I expectations.
Sophomore year. At the heart of the program in the sophomore year are the weekly tutorial and 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 eight weeks each, and each student takes a trimester tutorial in history, government, and economics. Due to 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 courses within and outside the social sciences complete the sophomore program. Comprehensive examinations, administered by external examiners at the end of the sophomore year, produce the only official grade for sophomores.
Junior year. The second semester of the junior year involves a philosophy colloquium on the modes of inquiry in the social sciences and 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 to 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 the CSS library reinforce the collegial atmosphere of CSS. Social events (Monday luncheons, the Friday post-tutorial social hours) and special programs such as semester banquets and occasional lectures are regular features of college life, as are informal talks and discussions.