The oldest organization of its kind in the United States, the Experimental College
at Tufts University serves as a major focus for educational innovation,
expansion of the undergraduate curriculum, and faculty/student
collaboration within Arts, Sciences, and Engineering.
It would seem safe to say that after 50 years as a vital,
thriving part of the university, the Experimental College is no
longer an "experiment." Yet our commitment to keeping Tufts an
exciting place to learn and teach remains as strong as ever.
Through its innovative, interactive, and interdisciplinary
programs, the Experimental College strives to enrich the
intellectual experience of undergraduates at Tufts. These programs
serve as an incubator for new ideas about teaching, learning, and
curriculum. They also aim to engage students actively in the design
and delivery of new academic initiatives, often in collaboration
with faculty. Shared governance, collaborative learning, and
involvement with the community are hallmarks of the ExCollege.
The Importance of Students
Student participation has always played a key role in the
administration and activities of the Ex College. Since 1966 students
have been full voting members on our governing board, have served on
committees that evaluate all course proposals, and have taught
courses of their own design. Nearly 1500 undergraduates take
advantage of our academic offerings each year -- enrolling in over
100 courses, including our peer-taught, first-year seminar programs:
Explorations and Perspectives.
ExCollege courses are aimed at students looking for something new. While wide-ranging,
they tend to involve issues of current importance and/or
interdisciplinary subject areas that do not significantly overlap
what's being offered in the traditional departments. They are also
intended to be discussion-based and participatory in nature.
Interactive and collaborative teaching methods are strongly
encouraged, and many instructors have incorporated such dynamic
elements in their teaching as small-group work, case-study method,
role-playing, simulations, and service learning. ExCollege
courses earn regular Tufts credit and count toward graduation.