Erik Tillman has a question.

Can anyone offer some advice on whether it’s worth it, how to decide whether to pursue it, what it actually entails… anything? I’m thinking of maybe combining bio and philosophy into a bioethics-type program. Maybe.

Not worth it. First, why not be a biology major or a philosophy major or (even better) a double major instead? If you are really interested in bio-ethics then you ought to study a lot of both biology and philosophy at Williams. (I would especially recommend learning all the technical details associated with the BiGP program.) Second, even if you are not interested enough in, say, biology to double major, philosophy is still a natural home for a budding bio-ethicist. You can certainly do a bio-ethics thesis and might even be able to swing an independent study. (You should already be taking classes with an eye to establishing relationships with philosophy professors (who?) with an interest in the topic. Third, a contract major is a pain. There is a big bureaucratic process to go through and you need to sweet-talk professors to make it all happen. The College makes the process tough on purpose to weed out those who aren’t that serious or who would be just as well served by a regular major.

There is nothing wrong with a contract major, but the costs are high.

Are there an contract majors among our readers?

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