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Caliber of 'humanities'

melmanmelman Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
edited January 2008 in Olin College
I gather Olin utilizes Babson College for entrepreneurial/business courses and perhaps Brandeis for study in the humanities. Can anyone comment on the caliber of these courses? It is important to me that that third leg of the 'Olin Triangle' be robust and on par with the engineering instruction. Thanks!
Post edited by melman on

Replies to: Caliber of 'humanities'

  • chrisdchrisd Registered User Posts: 497 Member
    My daughter took some humanities courses at Wellesley while she was a student at Olin. She took a social sciences class at Brandeis.
  • crazyyakcrazyyak Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Here's the deal. Olin does not offer a huge amount of humanities courses itself, but not too bad considering our size. First of all, you will take your foundation AHS (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, sometimes with Entrepreneurship added in for AHSE) at Olin, taught by one of our professors. You have about 6 or seven choices there, and they're all pretty cool. There's always one for music composition (which I took) and some anthropology and some history of technology and a few other things. After that, it's pretty much up to you. There are some AHS courses at Olin offered every semester, but it might be hard to get a concentration out of them, because they are usually pretty different from each other. Some people go over to Babson, mainly for more entrepreneurship classes, some people go to Brandeis, but mostly for more in depth science classes than we have. The majority of people go to Wellesley for their AHS, which is another top-notch school. AHS isn't necessarily as robust part of the triangle as engineering is. But it's a good chunk of the course plan now and will probably be more so in the future. Olin is always changing....

    -Molly '09
  • melmanmelman Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thanks for your take on this... How does this cross registration work out logistically? What are the provisions for transportation to and from Wellesley, etc and do the powers that be make it relatively seamless/easy? And on a similar note, what role does advising play in these decisions?
  • crazyyakcrazyyak Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    In short, it's pretty easy. I have taken one class at Wellesley, and it mainly entailed filling out a form or two and checking with the professor by e-mail to make sure I had the right prerequisites (they often waive some requirements because they like having Oliners and know that we are generally good students). If you can't find a ride with someone else, there is a shuttle that runs on the hour (half hour? I can't remember) back and forth from Wellesley on weekdays. Babson is in walking distance. Brandeis is a bit farther away, but if you don't have a car and can't find a ride, Olin will give you taxi vouchers. The semesters are pretty much on the same schedule, give or take a week, and generally work out well. Your adviser is there for you to help you figure out decisions for what classes to take, but they are only as hands-on as you want them to be. My adviser has totally been supportive of all the weird directions I have wanted to go, and that has been the feeling that I have gotten from other people as well. Happy to be of help...

    -Molly '09
  • WendyMouseWendyMouse Registered User Posts: 740 Member
    The shuttle runs on the half hour until about six at night. The schedule has changed somewhat since its debut in Spring '07. I believe it now stops at Babson.

    The days of the week Olin classes are offered are in sync with Wellsley's, which makes scheduling easy.

    My ex-roomie's boyfriend graduated in '07. Senior year I remember him borrowing an Olin van. I forgot how he pulled that one off.

    I knew one Olin student who biked to class at Wellesley (this was three semesters before the shuttle).
  • crazyyakcrazyyak Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    You can usually rent the Olin van for appropriate club or class related activities. People don't usually borrow them to get to Wellesley, especially with the shuttle running.

    -Molly '09
  • melmanmelman Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Is there a director/team/template for helping Olin students choose and integrate their 'liberal arts' into the curriculum? How's the advising in general?
  • crazyyakcrazyyak Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Abbreviation alert!
    AHS=Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
    AHSE=Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Entrepreneurship
    These are sometimes interchangeable. A lot of us are too lazy to include the E, but it's there.
    E!=entreprenurship. I thing the ! is to make sure we don't confuse it with engineering.

    There is an AHS committee which (I think) deals with integrating AHS in the curriculum, as well as the hiring of faculty and formation of new classes. Advising really depends on the specific faculty member who is your adviser, and how much advising you request from them. In my case, I have had the same adviser for the past three years and plan to stay with her for the fourth. You can change your adviser every year if you want to, depending on where you go with your major or interests, or if you just don't meld with your current adviser. Some advisers are easy to get in touch with, others are not. But it's really easy to talk to professors who might be able to help you with your questions even if they aren't your adviser. You might want to check out the advising section of the student handbook available from the star dot olin dot edu website.

    Also, I can describe the AHS concentration and capstone program, that all students must complete. Pretty much, you have to take 28 credits of AHSE (about 7 classes), but a certain number of them have to be AHS rather than E!. At least two of these have to be related in some way that can be used to create an AHSE capstone (you can do it in AHS or E!) that is either 4 credit project that you design yourself, or an upper level class. There is a lot of freedom to study all kinds of things, but you're supposed to develop some depth, too.

    Feel free to ask more questions. I might be one of a few people answering them, because Olin is back from winter break, but I am studying away this semester and I haven't left yet, and am increasingly bored. :)

    -Molly '09
  • melmanmelman Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    Thanks, Molly! Seems like the AHSE! aspect of Olin can be a bit patchy, and largely as successful as you make it. So... how do YOU like Olin? Would it do it again?
  • crazyyakcrazyyak Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I'm going to start a new thread....
  • joyjoy1321joyjoy1321 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    "Seems like the AHSE! aspect of Olin can be a bit patchy, and largely as successful as you make it"

    This is true...It takes more work at Olin to do AHS than it might take at a school with many different majors. But because you have 4 schools you can take classes at you do have the chance to do something unique with it. And the only complaint I know most people have is there is too much they want to take but they can't fit it all in, rather than there is nothing that interests them.
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