Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/203

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SCIENTIFIC COURSES OF STUDY.

between them is to be found in an average, and not in a coincidence of details. The classical student will more keenly appreciate the exact meanings of words; but his scientific rival will gain a deeper insight into things: the one may perhaps be more facile and elegant in literary expression; the other, stronger in powers of thought.

First, let us discuss the requirements for admission to scientific courses—what is, and what ought to be done. For entry upon an ordinary classical course a student is examined in the so-called "English branches," in Latin, in Greek, and in mathematics; the amount required of each being different in different institutions. For the scientific course we may properly demand the same English branches and mathematics, so that the question really is, "What shall we substitute for the Latin and Greek?" Now, every good high or preparatory school furnishes instruction in a variety of topics available for this purpose. If the classical student is obliged to know some classics before he can enter college, why should not the scientific student be required to know some science? Or, instead of this, a certain amount of preparation in modern languages might be demanded. French, German, chemistry, and physics, make a good list from which to select subjects, and any two of these might be chosen.[1] These studies, properly learned, will cover the ground, and, at the same time, bear directly upon the subsequent work of the scientific course. If a college cannot get students well fitted in the subjects named above, substitutes might be accepted; as, for instance, additional mathematics or Latin. The Latin, however, is to be regarded merely as a makeshift; a sort of token that the student has had a certain amount of mental discipline. It should never be demanded except when the other more important studies are lacking. But the essential thing is, that the candidate for admission shall have spent as much time and done as much work in preparation for college as the student who intends to follow classical studies. This requirement is not severe by any means, and it is unquestionably just. A scientific course of study ought not to be established upon any weaker basis.

But how many of the colleges which grant the Bachelor of Science degree come up to this mark? Unfortunately, very few. As a general rule, not only in Ohio, but throughout the West, the requirements for admission to a scientific course are the same as for the classical course, minus the classics. In some instances a portion of the Latin requirement is retained, and in a few more other studies are substituted in part for the classical branches. In one college, a little more mathematics is demanded of the candidate for admission in science; in

  1. ↑ The University of Cincinnati, for admission to the scientific course, requires algebra, to permutations and combinations; the whole of geometry; the whole of plane trigonometry; elementary inorganic chemistry, including familiarity with laboratory manipulations; elementary physics (Balfour Stewart or Norton); and the elements of either French or German.