Caltech Curricular Changes
November 3, 2019
Author: Bianca Yang
There are two things that bother me about Caltech’s curriculum:
- Not enough mandated PE (only 3 terms out of a standard 12 are required)
- Too many social sciences and humanities (12 terms of mixed SS and humanities are required)
Why should we have more PE? Most people do not moving their bodies enough. Lack of physical fitness decreases mental functioning and happiness levels. Encouraging students to get more vitamin D (from the sun) and improve their agility / flexibility / strength would contribute to the health and happiness of all students.
My proposal is to mandate 8 terms of PE, with two terms to be taken each year. Good PEs are notoriously hard to get into. There are a few solutions:
- Expand the PE choices.
- Expand the time slots for the existing PE choices.
Why should we reduce the HSS requirement? Most HSS classes are total BS and contribute nothing towards making people more successful in their future careers. Caltech also does not have nearly enough variety in its HSS catalog to justify the number of courses we have to take. I breezed through my social sciences requirement because I wasted a lot of time on SS classes required for the business major I eventually dropped but I seriously struggled to not mentally implode from the uselessness of the remaining three advanced humanities I had to take.
I propose we cut the humanities requirement to two advanced classes and three advanced social sciences requirement.