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University's Care of Body and Mind

Nature volume 140, page 419 (04 September 1937) | Download Citation



RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, founded in 1824 at Troy, New York, claims to be the oldest institution of higher learning in any English-speaking country that has devoted itself continuously to instruction and research in science and engineering. In a recent bulletin, it directs attention to the very thorough provision it has made not merely for the technical efficiency of its graduates but also for ensuring the physical fitness and bodily vigour of its undergraduates and for developing in them a broad and balanced mental outlook. Applicants for admission are examined physically ; and if corrective exercises seem advisable they are prescribed by the Department of Physical Education. Every undergraduate is required to take during the first year a comprehensive course in physical education, including personal hygiene, recreational games, gymnastics, swimming and athletics. Medical advice and hospital care in case of need have been made available for all students. A member of the staff of a neighbouring hospital is in attendance daily for an hour and a half in the gymnasium for consultation. In the first year every undergraduate has to qualify in English, drawing, history, graphics, mathematics, physics and chemistry, and has to prepare a thesis during the summer vacation. The English course covers the material and methods of composition as illustrated by the successive steps in the preparation of a comprehensive article on a subject of immediate interest, the preparation and delivery of incidental speeches and a survey of contemporary ideas and current usages. Except in the case of students of architecture, all undergraduates also take a brief course introductory to professional study, designed to acquaint them with the materials and methods of study in different fields, to introduce them to the members of the faculty whom they will eventually meet in their work, and to indicate the nature of the openings which will be available to them upon graduation.

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