More sophomore enrollment in language concentrations, humanities remain dominated by history concentrators| Apr 22, 2015
The Spanish and Portuguese department experienced a significant increase with 16 new concentrators this year compared to three sign-ins last year, according to Spanish and Portuguese department representative Germán Labrador Méndez said.
He said that this year’s increase in Spanish and Portuguese majors could be explained by the ongoing internationalization of the University campus, noting that many of the concentrators the department received this year speak multiple languages or have international backgrounds.
He also explained that the increase in enrollment reflects the growing importance of the Spanish language in the United States.
“Spanish is really getting important in the States,” Méndez said,"especially in real life and in future jobs in the field of medicine, in the field of law, in the field of international relations or in the field of business."
The department’s interdisciplinary nature suits many students, whether they are interested in the sciences, humanities, arts or politics,Méndez added.
Mary Hui ’17, an aspiring foreign correspondent, explained that the Spanish and Portuguese department’s small size and flexibility, as well as her love for Spanish language, convinced her to join.
“Originally, I was thinking about [being a] politics major with a Spanish certificate, but I realized it wouldn’t be enough [for me to master the language],” Hui said. “The flexibility afforded by a small department would allow me to do something more creative and have more flexibility for my independent work.”
Other language departments also experienced an increase in enrollment this year. Both the German and the French and Italian departments received seven concentrators this year, increases from last year’s five and four, respectively. Slavic languages and literature received three, an increase from last year’s one sign-in.
Seventy-five students declared a concentration in History, according to History department representative Yair Mintzker. Although the number of concentrators decreased this year compared to last year’s 90, the number still makes History the most popular department in the humanities.
Mintzker said that although the number of Class of 2017 concentrators decreased compared to last year, it is still in accordance with the department’s numbers from previous years. The Class of 2015 had 78 history concentrators.
With 48 concentrators, the Englishdepartment has the second-largest number of Class of 2017 concentrators, according to estimates from the University's College Facebook. The enrollment in the English department remains the same as last year.
Tamsen Wolff, the English department representative, did not respond to requests for comment.
Philosophy, which received 35 student sign-ins, experienced an increase in enrollment, compared with last year’s 23 concentrators, according toPhilosophy department representative John Burgess.
According to department representatives, enrollments in other humanities departments included eight in religion, compared with 10 last year; eight in Near Eastern studies, compared with last year’s 12; seven in East Asian, compared to nine last year; 22 in Art and archaeology, compared with last year’s 20; seven in Music department, which is the same number as last year; 14 in Classics, compared with last year’s 11; 10 in architecture, compared to 11 last year; and 17 in Comparative Literature, compared to 16 last year.
Overall, 284 students in the Class of 2017 declared concentrations in the humanities by the end of the sophomore concentration declaration period on Tuesday. The number is a slight increase from 280 in the Class of 2016.