COLLEGE OF SOCIAL STUDIES
You registered last spring for the fall semester. Now is the time to review your selections, discuss your schedule with your advisor, and make whatever changes are needed. If you are abroad, keep in touch with your advisor by email. Please keep in mind the requirements and other considerations given below.
Your CSS advisor for this year will normally be the same as last year, but due to sabbaticals and leaves, he or she may have been replaced over the summer. Please check your portfolio to see if your advisor has changed and, if so, to whom you may have been reassigned. Seek advice from him or her during preregistration in November and April.
In the second semester, you are required to take the junior colloquium, CSS 371, Contemporary Social and Political Theory. In addition, you will take a two-tutorial sequence that is equivalent to two course credits, choosing two of the three junior tutorials that are offered (one each in economics, government, and history); these tutorials can be previewed in Wesmaps. Please send the CSS Administrative Assistant your tutorial preference by e-mail no later than Monday, October 5th. YOU WILL BE PRE-ENROLLED in your CSS classes prior to the spring semester planning period in early November.
Here are some factors to consider and to discuss with your advisor when choosing your electives:
General Education Expectations. If you have not done so already, you should fulfill Stage I expectations by the end of your junior year and you must be Stage II Compliant by the end of your senior year. If you have not yet satisfied Stage I expectations and you have not already submitted a plan that is approved by the CSS co-chairs for completing Stage I and Stage II expectations by graduation, you must submit such a plan (with the assistance of your advisor) to the CSS Administrative Assistant by Wednesday, September 9 for the approval of the CSS co-chairs. To graduate with a CSS major, you must be Stage II compliant.
Research papers. Experience shows that many students who arrive at senior year without having written long research papers have difficulty with theses and senior projects. While the junior tutorials make a small start, you should plan to take some outside courses such as upper-level seminars that require a major research paper.
Additional skills. Students of the social sciences interested in pursuing further research should generally be familiar with the basic quantitative and critical or interpretive techniques used in describing and explaining social phenomena. You might consider taking one of the following courses during your program of studies: ECON 300, GOVT 366, QAC 201, HIST 362, PSYCH 200, or SOC 202. Students may also want to go deeper into the philosophical and historical bases of the social sciences by taking courses in the philosophical classics, and/or in ancient and modern history.
Preparation for the thesis. You may not know your thesis or project topic a year in advance, but it is wise to be thinking about it and, if you have some ideas, to take some appropriate courses. Without the basic courses in a particular discipline (especially if it is one like sociology, which is not taught in the CSS), you may find it hard not only to do good work but also to find a supervisor. Especially if you have a non-CSS thesis advisor in mind, plan to contact him or her well before your senior year. Many faculty members will agree to advise a thesis only if the student has already taken a course or worked with the faculty member in some capacity. Watch, too, for the announcement of the Davenport Grant applications in the spring semester; a well-written thesis proposal could earn up to $3,000 in summer research funds.
Preregistration: You will pe-register for one outside class during the pre-enrollment period beginning in early November for the spring semester. Again, please note that you have already been pre-enrolled in THREE CSS classes (the colloquium and two tutorials).
Grades. Unlike sophomore work, your CSS courses in the junior year are graded on the usual scale of A to F. You may take your other courses either graded or CR/U if the instructor gives you a choice. The results in all courses will be recorded on your transcript by the Registrar's Office in the usual way.
Absence and late papers. Junior tutorials, and junior and senior colloquia are graded and operate under normal University rules, meaning that absence or late work will normally adversely affect your final grade. The University requires the submission of all outstanding work by the first day of the following semester; the instructor, however, has the option of imposing more stringent requirements. The CSS takes these rules seriously, and failure to meet them may result in failure in the course and separation from the major.