Science Requirement

General Information: 
Office of Academic Planning and Administration
202 Hamilton
212-851-9814
cc-apa@columbia.edu

Science Requirement Website

The objective of the science component of Columbia College’s Core Curriculum is identical to that of its humanities and social science counterparts, namely to help students “to understand the civilization of their own day and to participate effectively in it.” The science component is intended specifically to provide students with the opportunity to learn what kinds of questions are asked about nature, how hypotheses are tested against experimental or observational evidence, how results of tests are evaluated, and what knowledge has been accumulated about the workings of the natural world.

Three courses bearing at least 3 points each (for a total of at least 10 points) must be completed to meet this portion of the Core Curriculum. All courses used to satisfy the science requirement must be taken for a letter grade.

Students normally take SCNC CC1000 Frontiers of Science in their first year in the term in which they are not taking ENGL CC1010 University Writing .

For the remainder of the requirement, students may choose any two courses from the list of approved courses below. These courses may be taken in the same department or in different departments. However, at least one course must be taken in the Departments of Astronomy; Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology; Physics; or Psychology.

Students who wish to request an exception to these policies must petition the Committee on Science Instruction (202 Hamilton) prior to their final term at the College.

Guidelines for Courses Approved for the Science Requirement

Unless otherwise indicated, students may not use Barnard College courses to fulfill the Columbia College science requirement.

Students who wish to have a course not included on the lists below count toward fulfilling the science requirement must petition the Committee on Science Instruction (202 Hamilton) prior to registration for the term in which they intend to take the course.

Students should pay careful attention to the prerequisites and instructor approvals required for certain courses. Prerequisite and instructor approval requirements can be found in the course descriptions for each course located in specific departments' sections of this bulletin.

While students are not required to complete a two-term sequence, students may choose to do so. For this reason, the Committee on Science Instruction has indicated recommended sequences below. Unless otherwise noted, the first course in the sequence must be taken before the second course in the sequence.

Courses Designed for Nonscience Majors

Astronomy
ASTR UN1234The Universal Timekeeper: Reconstructing History Atom by Atom
ASTR UN1403Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
ASTR UN1404Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology (Lecture)
ASTR UN1420Galaxies and Cosmology
ASTR UN1404
 - ASTR BC1753
Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology (Lecture)
and Life in the Universe
ASTR UN1453Another Earth
ASTR UN1610Theories of the Universe: From Babylon to the Big Bang
ASTR BC1753Life in the Universe
ASTR BC1754Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology
ASTR UN1836Stars and Atoms
Recommended Sequences:
ASTR UN1403
 - ASTR UN1404
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
and Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology (Lecture)
ASTR UN1403
 - ASTR UN1420
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
and Galaxies and Cosmology
ASTR UN1403
 - ASTR UN1836
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
and Stars and Atoms
ASTR BC1753
 - ASTR UN1404
Life in the Universe
and Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology (Lecture)
ASTR BC1753
 - ASTR BC1754
Life in the Universe
and Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology
Biology
BIOL UN1002Theory and Practice of Science: Biology
BIOL UN1130Genes and Development
Computer Science
COMS W1001Introduction to Information Science
COMS W1002Computing in Context
Earth and Environmental Engineering
EAEE E2100A better planet by design
Earth and Environmental Sciences
EESC UN1001Dinosaurs and the History of Life: Lectures and Lab
EESC UN1003Climate and Society: Case Studies
EESC UN1011Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future
EESC UN1030Oceanography
EESC UN1053Planet Earth
EESC UN1201Environmental Risks and Disasters
EESC UN1401Dinosaurs and the History of Life: Lectures
EESC UN1411Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future: Lectures
EESC UN1600Earth Resources and Sustainable Development
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
EEEB UN1001Biodiversity
EEEB UN1011Behavioral Biology of the Living Primates
EEEB UN1010Human Origins and Evolution
EEEB S1115QThe Life Aquatic
Recommended Sequences:
EEEB UN1001
 - EEEB UN3087
Biodiversity
and Conservation Biology (see Additional Courses Approved for the Sequence Requirement)
EEEB UN1010
 - EEEB UN1011
Human Origins and Evolution
and Behavioral Biology of the Living Primates
Electrical Engineering
ELEN E1101The digital information age
Food Studies
FSEB UN1020Food and the Body
FSPH UN1100FOOD, PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLIC POLICY
Mathematics
PHIL UN3411Symbolic Logic
PHIL GU4424Modal Logic
Physics
PHYS UN1001Physics for Poets
PHYS UN1018Weapons of Mass Destruction
Psychology
PSYC UN1001The Science of Psychology
PSYC UN1010Mind, Brain and Behavior
Recommended Sequences:
PSYC UN1001
 - PSYC UN1010
The Science of Psychology
and Mind, Brain and Behavior
PSYC UN1001The Science of Psychology (and any PSYC course numbered 22xx or 24xx. 2600-level psychology courses may not be used to fulfill the science requirement.)
Science
SCNC W1800From the Conservation of Energy to Energy Conservation
Statistics
STAT UN1001Introduction to Statistical Reasoning

Additional Courses Approved for the Science Requirement

Most of the following courses have required prerequisites and/or require instructor approval. Prerequisite and instructor approval requirements can be found in the course descriptions for each course located in specific departments' sections of the on-line bulletin.

Astronomy [ASTR]
Any 3-point course numbered 2000 or higher
Biology [BIOL]
Any 3-point course numbered 2000 or higher
Chemistry [CHEM]
CHEM UN1403General Chemistry I (Lecture)
CHEM UN1404General Chemistry II ( Lecture)
CHEM UN1500General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM UN1604Intensive General Chemistry (Lecture)
CHEM UN1507Intensive General Chemistry Laboratory
Any course numbered 3000 or higher
Computer Science [COMS]
COMS W1004Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Java
COMS W1005Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in MATLAB
ENGI E1006Introduction to Computing for Engineers and Applied Scientists (Effective beginning Spring 2017)
COMS W1007Honors Introduction to Computer Science
Any 3-point course numbered 3000 or higher
Earth and Environmental Sciences [EESC]
EESC UN2100Earth's Environmental Systems: The Climate System
EESC UN2200Earth's Environmental Systems: The Solid Earth System
EESC UN2300Earth's Environmental Systems: The Life System
EESC UN2330Science for Sustainable Development
Any course numbered 3000 or higher
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology [EEEB]
EEEB UN2001Environmental Biology I: Elements to Organisms
EEEB UN2002Environmental Biology II: Organisms to the Biosphere
EEEB UN3087Conservation Biology
Any course numbered 3000 or higher except W4321 and W4700
Mathematics [MATH]
Any 3-point MATH course numbered 1100 or higher
CSPH GU4801
CSPH G4801Mathematical Logic I
CSPH GU4802Math Logic II: Incompletness
Physics [PHYS]
PHYS UN1201General Physics I
PHYS UN1202General Physics II
PHYS UN1401Introduction To Mechanics and Thermodynamics
PHYS UN1402Introduction To Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics
PHYS UN1403Introduction to Classical and Quantum Waves
PHYS UN1601Physics, I: Mechanics and Relativity
PHYS UN1602Physics, II: Thermodynamics, Electricity, and Magnetism
Any 3-point course numbered 2000 or higher
Psychology [PSYC]
With prior departmental approval, any 3- or 4-point course numbered 32xx, 34xx, 42xx , or 44xx
Statistics [STAT]
Any 3-point course except STAT W3997

Special Summer Program

The following special program fulfills two of the three terms of the science requirement.

Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability [EICES]
Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U). Locations change yearly and there is rolling admissions. *
*

Please check with EICES for details: http://eices.columbia.edu/education-training/see-u/ 

Summer Session Courses

Students who wish to take summer courses may do so through the Summer Session offered by the School of Continuing Education. For policies regarding summer study, see the Academic Regulations—Summer Study section of this Bulletin. For a list of summer courses approved for the science requirement, students should consult the annually updated List of Approved Summer Courses.