Perhaps one of the most attractive and at the same time daunting aspects of Special Concentrations is the opportunity to take control of one's education.
The choice of courses is one's own and there are few, if any, guidelines as to what constitutes a "regular" Special Concentration. For those students who enjoy this notion, the idea of tutorials within Special Concentrations is the ultimate in controlling one's education. Tutorials allow concentrators to find a qualified tutor, who has expertise in their chosen field, devise a syllabus and reading list, which will meet the concentrator's interests, and benefit from weekly one-on-one meetings with the tutor.
While sophomore tutorial is not mandatory in Special Concentrations, concentrators often choose to set up a tutorial in their sophomore year to ease their transition into the concentration. Honors candidates, who must take a junior tutorial, often do the same although the concentration will also accept relevant tutorials from other departments. For example, a student studying political psychology and government discovers that the Government department is offering a one-time-only junior tutorial on exactly this subject with a visiting professor. If the Government Department is willing to allow this Special Concentrator to enter the tutorial, Special Concentrations would be happy to accept it as a substitute for Special Concentrations 98.
Unlike advisers, tutors do not have to be faculty members. In fact, the majority of them tend to be graduate students. The hardest part of the tutorial process is finding a tutor. Once found, tutors are usually delighted to be paid to work on a one-on-one basis with highly motivated, focused students whose interests coincide with their own.