“Shopping” for the Class—But Not Totally at Your Pleasure


Yale has a unique style in her educational system which is known as the “shopping pe-riod”. It is Yale’s course selection period during the first two weeks of classes which allows you to participate in courses that interest you without enrolling in them right away. By way of such “shopping period”,you get to know the essence of a subject whose course title sounds attractive; you get to find where your lifelong research interest lies.

耶鲁的教育体系有其别具一格的一面,那就是她的“试听阶段”。所谓的“选课 试听阶段”指的是新学期伊始前两周的试听课阶段,这时你可以选择去试听自己感兴 趣的课程,而不用马上做出决定最终是否选修这门课程。通过这个独特的“试听阶段”, 你开始真正了解一门课程名称很吸引人的课程的实质,你也会逐渐发现自己毕生的研 究兴趣所在。

After you arrive on campus, you choose courses to visit during the course selection period. What’s more, in the first five minutes of the class, whenever you feel the lecture is too boring for you to follow, you can leave the classroom at will. Then from those you visit, you will enroll in four or five a semester. Please be aware that classes conducted during the first two weeks of the term are regular, full-fledged classes with readings and homework. Be prepared to keep up with assignments and participate fully in each class that you may wish to visit.

开学以后的选课阶段,你可以随意选择去参加哪些课程。此外,在课程的前五分钟, 如果你觉得这门课程太无聊了,那么你可以随意离开这个教室。接下来,每学期你都要从你试听的课程中选择四到五门来正式注册。试听课阶段的课程也是正式的常规课 程的一部分,老师也会布置课下阅读和作业,所以一旦你想选某一门课,千万记得按 时上课并完成课后作业。

However, in order to ensure that study is neither too narrowly focused nor too diffuse, Yale College requires that study be characterized, particularly in the earlier years, by a reasonable diversity of subject matter and approach,and in the later years by concentration in one of the major programs or departments.

然而,为了确保学生的学习面既不过于狭窄也不过于分散,耶鲁学院要求学生在 大学学习的前两年尽量选修丰富的学科门类,学习尽可能多样的研究方法,随后的学 习时光则要求学生集中在自己的某个专业项目或是方向上。

Students are required to take no fewer than two course credits in the humanities and arts, two course credits in the sciences, and two course credits in the social sciences. In addition to completing courses in these disciplinary areas, students must fulfill skills requirements by taking two course credits in quantitative reasoning, two course credits in writing, and courses to further their foreign language proficiency. Depending on their level of accomplishment in foreign languages at matriculation, students may fulfill this last requirement with one, two, or three courses or by a combination of course work and approved study abroad. These foundational skills hold the key to many things students will want to know and do in later study and later life. The distributional requirements are the only specific rules limiting the selection of courses outside a student’s major program.

学生要选修至少2学分的人文艺术类课程、2学分的自然科学课程以及2学分的 社会科学课程。除此以外,学生还必须要通过修习2学分的定量推理课、2学分的写 作课以及能够提高他们外语水平的外语课,通过这些课程的学习来达到对学生技能方 面的要求。依据学生大学人学时的外语水平,学院会要求学生选修一门、两门或是三 门外语课,或是让他们既修习课程又参加校方批准的出国留学来完成学院对外语方面 的要求。这些基本技能对学生以后的学习和生活都至关重要。除学生的专业以外,学 院对学生选课的惟一具体规定就是对课程分配方面的要求。

Besides the distributional requirements, you are free to pursue your own interests. There is no restriction in your choice of subjects other than your major-such a flexibility in class shopping. It is said that there are about two thousand subjects which cover nearly all fields of inquiry available for the students to choose. With so many options, sometimes it is really difficult for you to make a decision as to which to follow, because most courses are so fascinating that you do not want to miss any of them.

除了对课程分配方面的强制规定外,你可以随意选择自己感兴趣的科目,即便是 对你专业以外的课程学院也没有任何限制。据说耶鲁开设了 2000多门课程来供学生 选择。面对这么多的选择,你有时很难决定到底要选哪几门课,因为大多数课程都是 那么的吸引人,以至于你哪一节课都不想错过。

“Shopping” for the class is a pleasant academic travel, though it is not totally at your pleasure.