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Faculty Change Rules

Exam, End of Term Regulations Altered

By Matthew Palmer


Faculty members approved new term and exam regulations and discussed new degree programs in three departments at their monthly meeting Wednesday.

The changes by the Faculty Policy Committee’s Subcommittee on Exam and Term Regulations prohibited tests from being given after the Friday preceding the Reading Period in classes with final exams. Courses without a final may have one in-depth assignment.

Additional changes allow professors to administer six take-home hour exams beginning at 1:30 p.m. and due at 7:30 p.m. the same day. This option could be used by humanities classes for longer writing tests.

The subcommittee also mandated that evening tests begin no earlier than 7:30 p.m. A syllabus must be distributed in the first week of an undergraduate class instead of the third week.

All changes will take effect beginning in fall 2000.

Materials Science Professor Donald R. Sadoway, who chaired the subcommittee, said the changes were due to “the rise in the number of reported violations of existing regulations and a rise in out of class-time testing.”

“I hope [professors] will perceive these regulations not as obstacles, but as guidelines,” said co-chairman of the Student Committee on Educational Policy Peter A. Shulman ’01.

Physics plans to add new degree

Citing decreasing interest, the Physics department has created a new undergraduate degree, to be voted upon at the May faculty meeting.

Course 8-B will include eight physics courses, five fewer than a normal physics degree, and a three course focus in any subject in addition to current HASS requirements.

Professor Thomas J. Greytak ’62 said the major should attract students who want to branch out into other physics disciplines and those reluctant to take higher-level physics courses.

Undergraduates majoring 8-B, which is similar to a successful program at Harvard University, will still receive to a Bachelor of Science in Physics.

Bioengineering expands offerings

Students considering bioengineering may soon have two new options: the department plans to add Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees.

The five-year M.Eng. program in Biomedical Engineering, which could start fall 2000, was designed for students pursuing a biomedical or biotechnology career. About fifteen applicants will be accepted from any MIT engineering or science department.

Professor of Bioengineering William M. Deen said the Master’s program in Bioengineering could give students a terminal degree if they choose not to pursue a Ph.D. or an initial MIT graduate degree.

Next year, the Division of Health Sciences and Technology is expected to propose a new parallel degree, an M.Eng in Medical Engineering.

Also proposed is twelve-month M.Eng degree in Materials Science and Engineering, which will incorporate a new curriculum with existing graduate courses. In addition, students will complete an off-campus project-based thesis.

All proposed degrees will be voted upon in the May faculty meeting. Related stories:

Faculty Approve New Communications Requirement
March 17, 2000
Faculty Committee Re-examines End-of-Term Rules
June 4, 1999
Faculty Discuss Policy, New Degrees
April 28, 1999