Science Courses

The Science and Quantitative Reasoning Education Office is responsible for certifying courses as meeting the science requirement. For further information, contact Dean Sandy Chang.

Guidelines for Science Courses

A course may be used to satisfy the science requirement if it meets the following criteria:

  • The primary subject matter of the course is the systematic study of some manifestation of matter or life. Courses whose primary focus is on human behavior; mathematics, statistics, or computation; design issues in engineering; or the societal context of the discipline (e.g., history, philosophy, ethics) are not in general appropriate for an SC designation.
  • The course should not emphasize rote learning of facts and procedures. Science courses should help students to understand, appreciate, and apply the methods of science through which facts and procedures are developed.
  • The exercises and grading procedures assigned in the course should reflect the two criteria above, through problem sets, laboratory work, fieldwork, or other exercises appropriate to the particular discipline, at a level that is at least comparable to that of introductory courses for science majors.

Examples of problem sets and exam questions should accompany course proposals for potential SC courses. For courses with assigned projects, a description of expectations as to the science component of the project should be included.

Instructors for potential introductory-level SC courses, in particular, are urged to initiate discussion with the Science and Quantitative Reasoning Education Office in advance of submitting a course proposal.