The university has preserved its commitment to the liberal arts, but it has also integrated other kinds of learning into the curriculum. The first elective course in civil engineering, for example, was offered in the academic year 1893-94. Bachelor of science degrees in education were awarded for the first time in 1925.
The 1970s were characterized by a strong interest in interdisciplinary studies, including the establishment of the College Major and the initiation of Freshman Adviser Seminars and the Freshman Humanities Semester.
New programs in computer science and computer-aided design were introduced in 1979-80 and in 1982-83. The 1990s saw great advances in general education when the faculty adopted the Common Learning Agenda, a broad-based curriculum for all students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Bucknell Plan for Engineering Education, a new curricular plan for all students in the College of Engineering.
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