The Centennial History of Tufts College, 1952

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An Individualized Course of Study

An Individualized Course of Study


The founders of Tufts were determined

to build a strong institution that would follow the via media. In looking back it seems that moderation has been the watchword of the college in the various religious, social, political and educational storms that have swept over America during this first century of the
college. Over and over Tufts' stand in these controversies was one of upholding not one extreme or other but rather standing for the common-sense course that ultimately leads to sure progress.

Tufts is an independent college. It has

been alert in testing ideas but cautious about accepting the new merely because it was novel or had achieved famous endorsement. The college, however, has made its share of educational innovations. In 1892, for example, it was at Tufts that the "term hour"


system now almost universally used throughout the country in assessing academic work was invented and first established. Tufts was possibly the first college of distinguished academic reputation in the country to allow
the substitution of two modern languages for Greek in its admission requirements, a plan that later won universal acceptance and in turn has seen later modifications. Today the college emphasizes general education but not in a way to challenge Tufts' basic philosophy, which is to provide for each student by proper guidance a special curriculum best for the individual. Tufts thus has solved the difficulty of the "lock step" of blanket requirements and also the abuses of the free elective system.