The Future of the University

Will the traditional university survive? Tim Swanson has some interesting ruminations on the topic over at Mises.

I occasionally entertain the idea of getting a degree, but given the fact that my stack of interests performs a context switch at random intervals, I can't see myself being able to stay interested in each course for a semester at a time and then moving on to the next semester. It would be nice to be able to attend a university that would hold my interest and would produce a degreed me who knew how to find and was qualified for various kinds of jobs that were compatible with my way of thinking, but I'm not very optimistic about that possibility in the current university system.

Anyone know of a university with an ADHD degree program for people who are interested in everything for part of the time but nothing all of the time?

Share this

"Anyone know of a university

"Anyone know of a university with an ADHD degree program for people who are interested in everything for part of the time but nothing all of the time?"

I can't think of a specific University (or more accurately College), but there are a few that have generic "Liberal Arts" degrees. You do have to have the disipline to focus on one course for either a quarter or a semister--quarters might be better for the ADHD types, as you have to focus more for a shorter period--but you are allowed a bit more latitude in the classes you take.

I'm in the same boat as you,

I'm in the same boat as you, Sean. I think universities need to move more in the direction of organizing themselves around the unit of single courses rather than bundled degrees. That way I could, say, mix and match classes on comp-sci and pop-gen in order to specialize in computer modeling of population genetics. Or mix and match courses in economics with courses in constitutional law without having to find a university that offers a special law-and-econ degree. The possible permutations are vast, and students would be much freer to craft their own course and change directions on the fly rather than feeling locked into a particular canalized path.

I went to the Gallatin

I went to the Gallatin School at NYU which was an individualized study program. After you get through the basic requirements of NYU in general, you can pretty much do whatever you want in Gallatin. I took classes in all sorts of things such as physics, architecture, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, history etc. ad nauseam. To get your degree you have to pick a topic, assemble a collection of about 30 works in various fields ranging from ancient to modern times and go through an oral presentation/debate with 3 professors of your choosing. Since then I have worked for a scientific journal, a gaming website and a car dealership.

As I understand it, programs such as this are fairly common now.

Take up journalism. You'll

Take up journalism. You'll get to look into new things at least on a weekly basis which comes to an end with a massive brain dump on Friday. If writing is one of the things you loose interest in, then there's always entrapenurship (spell check!). Start a biz, hire some people, and repeat every 6 months as you move on to the next "product line". :-)

I can personally recommend

I can personally recommend Dr John Bear's guide to alternative degree programs, as a book that might help. It showed me how to get a degreee through the mail that got me into law school, and showed me why I didn't want to go to law school through the mail. (These days such programs are online rather than through the mail.)
There are gimmicks like credit for life experience and testing out that can be shortcuts through the usual 4+ years. Some schools do intensive 2 week seminars, some do self-paced study where you can take a month or a lifetime to finish a module. Another approach is just go hang out at a university for awhile, no need to apply or pay tuition.