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How long has Amherst had open curriculum? Judging by the table referenced in the above post, which goes back to 1980, there doesn't seem to be a significant change in numbers of individual majors in math and sciences since 1980 to 2009.
I'm not an expert on Amherst history, but most open curriculums were products of the 60s and 70s. They were kind of the rage at the time
Amherst College is currently one of the few American colleges to have an open curriculum, without distribution requirements. However, this curriculum was only put in place beginning in the 1960s. Before that, Amherst had a traditional curriculum, with various requirements for graduation.
I currently have daughters at both Brown & Amherst who specifically chose the schools with the open curriculum in mind as a priority
Finally, the # of majors in hard sciences at these schools doesn’t necessarily correspond to the concept that English & History majors rarely or never take science courses at these schools.
Maybe this is a dumb question, but given that your daughters have wide-ranging interests (good for them) and have (or will) take courses in a variety of departments (again, good for them) -- then why was the open curriculum a priority ?
Or to put it another way: what is the downside of schools with distribution requirements, if your course selection will be broad enough to fufill distribution requirements anyway ?
Based on the available data, it would seem that Amherst has both a low number of math/science majors (at least relative to other top LACs), and relative disinterest in math/science among the humanities majors.
And none of the students I know personally at Brown or Amherst fall into the purported categories discussed in this thread.