Considerations for Students Intending to Major in the Sciences
Many courses in math and the sciences are two-part courses, with the first course in a sequence offered only in the fall, and the second part offered only in the spring. Examples of such sequences are:
- CHEM 6 or 6A/Principles of Chemistry I (Fall only); CHEM 7/Principles of Chemistry II (Spring only)
- MATH 7/Calculus & Analytic Geometry I (Fall only); MATH 8/Calculus & Analytic Geometry II (both Fall and Spring)
- PHYS 1/Introductory Physics I (Fall only); PHYS 2 Introductory Physics II (Spring only) [not intended for potential physics majors]
- PHYS 11/University Physics I (Fall only); PHYS 12 University Physics II (Spring only) [required for physics majors; MATH 7 or equivalent is a co/prerequisite]
In addition, other courses, while not sequenced, are only offered in the fall or spring. Examples of these courses are:
- BIOL 7/ Ecology & Evolution (Fall only)
- NEURO 1/ Introduction to Neuroscience (Fall only)
- BIOL 9/ Diversity of Life (Spring only)
Suggested courses for specific majors/minors, as well as for those who are premed/pre-health can be found at the following location: Intended Major/Minor
Prospective Neuroscience Majors
Students interested in majoring in neuroscience should review the changes to the neuroscience major.
These students should register for both NEURO 1 and CHEM 6/6L in the fall. Prospective majors should email their interest to Dr. Roger Knowles (email@example.com) in order to be moved off the waitlist. Students undecided between biology and neuroscience can choose either BIOL 7 or NEURO 1, along with CHEM 6, in the fall.
- Chemistry–required (taken at Orientation)
- Biology–optional for students–mostly for students earning AP credits in Biology or whose background knowledge is exceptional. Taken at Orientation–if passed, the student only takes BIOL 7L and is waived from BIOL 7 lecture.
Math Requirements for Science Students
- Neuroscience—MATH 3/Statistics
- Biochemistry and Chemistry—MATH 7,8/ Calculus I and II
- Biology–no specific math required, although MATH 3 and/or MATH 7 may be taken to fulfill major requirements
- Physics—MATH 7,8/ Calculus I and II
- Pre-Med—Statistics is strongly recommended for medical school, whereas Calculus is not essential for medical school admission and calculus-based physics is not required for the MCAT.
- Students taking two lab sciences may wish to postpone math until their second semester or second year, unless they have a strong background in math and science (e.g. AP and/or Honors courses in high school).
- Students taking BIOL 7, CHEM 6, PHYS 1, and PHYS 11 must all register for a corresponding lab section (PHYS 1 and PHYS 11 share a lab: PHYS 3L). You may choose the lab that best fits your schedule; however, your chances of getting into a particular lab section are greatest if you register for a section where there are still seats available or the waitlist is small or nonexistent (look under the course offerings and find your lab section: “MAX:” tells you the number of seats available; “USED:” tells you the number of students already enrolled; “WAIT:” tells you the number of students currently on the waitlist).
- Students taking MATH 7 must also register for a recitation section (MATH 7R); see note for labs above about getting into a particular section.
- It is not recommended that students take MATH 3/Statistics in the fall of their first year.
- If students wish to take only ONE science in their first semester, it should be CHEM 6/6L, since CHEM 6/7 courses are pre-reqs for other science classes, including BIOL 22/Molecular & Cellular Biology. Students do not need BIOL 7 to take BIOL 9 in the spring.