Program of Study
Tutorial Studies is a program only in an administrative sense; it serves as an alternative for students who propose a coherent course of studies that clearly will not fit within a regular major. Students in the College may be admitted to Tutorial Studies at any point in their careers; their requirements will then be written to fill the time they have left until graduation. On the whole, the New Collegiate Division prefers to admit students to this format late rather than early: for a senior year in Tutorial Studies rather than a two-year program and for two years rather than three. Admission to Tutorial Studies is handled separately from admission to other New Collegiate Division programs.
Students in Tutorial Studies are held to all College requirements and to the New Collegiate Division requirements, including the production of substantial written work. Tutorial Studies makes no other requirements of students admitted to the program, but particular students may be held to certain requirements judged appropriate by the tutor or the program chairman.
Students in Tutorial Studies have no major; instead, all students have a tutor. A tutor is a member of the Chicago faculty who has agreed to take responsibility for their work. An individual student's education is worked out between the student and the tutor under the general supervision of the program chairman. Because of the special burden placed on the tutor, the rule states: the student and the tutor are admitted together. Students may enter Tutorial Studies only when they have found a tutor and after there has been sufficient discussion among student, tutor, and program chairman to establish to the satisfaction of all three that:
- the student knows what he or she wants to do
- the tutor understands it and wants to take charge of it
- it is something worth doing and something that will constitute an appropriate segment of a College education
- it can be done with the available resources
- it cannot be done effectively within any existing College program.
A student in Tutorial Studies, like other New Collegiate Division students, takes both regular courses and reading courses. Reading courses may be taken with members of the faculty other than the tutor.
In the past, successful Tutorial Studies students have generally belonged to one of two categories:
- students who wish to focus on some relatively narrow topic (the poetry of Baudelaire, for example) but in a rather broad way, that is, in terms of poetics, culture history, psychology, and so on.
- students who wish to construct some more conventional program that the College does not offer: American studies, for instance, or education.
Admissions to Tutorial Studies are made by the master of the New Collegiate Division upon the recommendation of the program chairman. In the nature of the case, requirements in Tutorial Studies can hardly be specified. It is expected that thirteen courses will be devoted to the immediate purposes of the student's project, of which several will be individual study courses with the principal tutor or other faculty members. NOTE: Courses used to meet requirements for the Tutorial Studies major must be chosen in consultation with the faculty tutor and completed subsequent to admission into the program.
Grading, Transcripts, and Recommendations
The independent study and major papers required by the New Collegiate Division are best evaluated in faculty statements on the nature and quality of the work. In support of the independent study grades of Pass, Fail, and Incomplete, faculty supervisors are asked to submit such statements to student files maintained in the New Collegiate Division office. Responses to the major papers and copies of the papers themselves are also available in this collection of statements, which is used to support graduate applications and to evaluate New Collegiate Division candidates for Phi Beta Kappa, College honors, and other awards. Students should request statements of reference from faculty with whom they have worked.
Honors are awarded in all the New Collegiate Division majors. In Tutorial Studies the essential requirement for honors is an exceptionally distinguished senior paper. Papers considered worthy of honors by the initial readers are referred to a third reader whose identity is unknown to the student. In addition, honors depend on the student's grades, especially in the Tutorial Studies program; a 3.50 GPA is roughly the floor but, because a good deal of New Collegiate Division work tends to be ungraded, the GPA standard cannot be stated precisely. Faculty evaluations of ungraded work are taken into account along with grades.