The faculty adopted a revised curriculum requiring four full courses instead of five for underclassmen. Three full courses for seniors were supplemented by tutorials, a comprehensive examination and a long, independent paper. Hygiene and education courses for freshmen, the last compulsory courses in the Vassar curriculum, were abolished. In presenting the proposed plan to the faculty on January 15, 1933, President MacCracken explained that it was designed to allow students on concentrate more on individual work. "Its essential feature," he said, "is a simplification of the curriculum by reducing the number of courses and class hours. The present curriculum is effective but has become too complicated. It leaves no time for the most desirable work, advanced in quality and solid in quantity."
Studied and modified over the next two years by the faculty working as a committee of the whole, the curricular changes were adopted by the faculty on February 18, 1935, by a vote of 72 to 4. The Miscellany News hailed the day as "one of the most momentous days in the history of Vassar College," offering "a drastic reduction" in the courses required for the degree, and needed modification "in the proportioning of students' time and in techniques of work. Student dreams, long thought Utopian, for increased concentration and for more individual work, will finally become actualities. We find ourselves in the rosy-fingered dawn where faculty and students will take a collective responsibility in the process of education....
"But the work," the editors warned, "is still only half done. Old fashioned methods of teaching and of learning must go—along with the old curriculum. We are confident that they will, that the new plan will be put into practice with the same spirit in which it was made, for otherwise we should have the strange anomaly of a new framework covered by old shingles."