Science Pre-Summer 2012

The science requirement aims to develop critical awareness of the methods and limits of scientific inquiry, while fostering observational and analytical skills, particularly in reference to the natural world. When choosing a science course, students should make sure they have reviewed and met the specified prerequisites for the course prior to enrollment.

Students who are considering careers in science-related fields, including health-related professions, are urged to begin their study of science within the first semester or two after matriculation at GS.

To fulfill the science requirement, students must successfully complete three courses selected from the following Columbia departments or from the list of approved courses:

  • Astronomy
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences (Columbia department only)
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
  • Physics
  • Psychology (Columbia courses The Science of Psychology (PSYC W1001), Mind, Brain and Behavior (PSYC W1010), and any 2200- or 2400-level course)

List of Approved Science Courses

The list of approved courses that fulfill the science requirement includes recommended sequences, science courses for non-science majors, and approved courses from departments not listed above and Barnard.

The principal objectives of Frontiers of Science are to engage students in the process of discovery by exploring topics at the forefront of science and to inculcate or reinforce the specific habits of mind that inform a scientific perspective on the world. Sample topics include the evolution of human language, brain dynamics, global climate change, the nanoworld, and biodiversity, among others.

Frontiers of Science satisfies one of the three required courses of the science requirement for General Studies.

GS students interested in taking this course should have earned a minimum score of 16 on the GS Quantitative Reasoning Test and should also read the first chapter of the electronic textbook Scientific Habits of Mind and take the self-test prior to enrolling in the course.

Courses Designed For Nonscience Majors

Astronomy [ASTR]
ASTR C1234The Universal Timekeeper: an Introduction To Scientific Habits of Mind
ASTR C1235The Universal Timekeeper: an Introduction To Scientific Habits of Mind
ASTR W1403Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
ASTR W1404Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology (Lecture)
ASTR C1420Galaxies and Cosmology.
ASTR C1610Theories of the Universe: From Babylon to the Big Bang
ASTR BC1753Life in the Universe
ASTR BC1754Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology
ASTR C1836Stars and atoms
Recommended Sequences:
ASTR C1234
 - ASTR C1235
The Universal Timekeeper: an Introduction To Scientific Habits of Mind
   and The Universal Timekeeper: an Introduction To Scientific Habits of Mind
ASTR W1403
 - ASTR W1404
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
   and Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology (Lecture)
ASTR W1403
 - ASTR C1420
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
   and Galaxies and Cosmology.
ASTR W1403
 - ASTR BC1754
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
   and Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology
ASTR W1403
 - ASTR C1836
Earth, Moon and Planets (Lecture)
   and Stars and atoms
ASTR BC1753
 - ASTR W1404
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]
BIOL C1002Theory and Practice of Science: Biology
BIOL W1015Molecular Biology and Evolution for Nonscientists
BIOL W1130Genes and Development
Computer Science [COMS]
COMS W1001Introduction to Information Science
Earth and Environmental Engineering [EAEE]
EAEE E1100
Earth and Environmental Sciences [EESC]
EESC W1001Dinosaurs and the History of Life: Lectures and Lab
EESC V1003Climate and Society: Case Studies
EESC V1011Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future *
EESC V1012 *
EESC V1030
EESC V1053Planet Earth
EESC W1201Environmental Risks and Disasters
EESC W1401Dinosaurs and the History of Life: Lectures
EESC V1411Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future: Lectures **
EESC V1412 **
EESC W2330Science for Sustainable Development
EESC W3018
Recommended Sequences:
EESC V1011
 - EESC V1012
Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future
   and
EESC V1011
 - EESC V1412
Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future
   and
Sequence B:
EESC V1411
 - EESC V1012
Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future: Lectures
   and
EESC V1411
 - EESC V1412
Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future: Lectures
   and
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology [EEEB]
EEEB W1001Biodiversity
EEEB V1010Human Origins Evolution
EEEB V1011
Recommended Sequences:
EEEB W1001
 - EEEB W3087
Biodiversity
   and Conservation Biology
EEEB V1010
 - EEEB V1011
Human Origins Evolution
   and
Electrical Engineering [ELEN]
ELEN E1101The digital information age
Philosophy [PHIL]
PHIL V3411Symbolic Logic
PHIL W4431
PHIL G4424Modal Logic
Physics [PHYS]
PHYS C1001Physics for Poets
PHYS C1002Physics for Poets
Recommended Sequence:
PHYS C1001
 - PHYS C1002
Physics for Poets
   and Physics for Poets
Psychology [PSYC] ***
PSYC W1001The Science of Psychology ****
PSYC W1010Mind, Brain and Behavior ****
Select one of the following:
The Science of Psychology
   and Mind, Brain and Behavior
The Science of Psychology (or any PSYC course numbered 22xx or 24xx)
Recommended Sequence:
PSYC W1001
 - PSYC W1010
The Science of Psychology
   and Mind, Brain and Behavior
PSYC W1001The Science of Psychology (or any PSYC course numbered 22xx or 24xx)
Science [SCNC]
SCNC W1800From the Conservation of Energy to Energy Conservation
Statistics [STAT]
STAT W1001Introduction to Statistical Reasoning
1100 ( This couyrse "A Better Planet by Design" was offered in spring 2014)
*

Note: Students electing to take Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future (EESC V1011) and (EESC V1012) as a sequence may begin the sequence with either course.

**

Note: Students electing to take Earth: Origin, Evolution, Processes, Future: Lectures (EESC V1411) and (EESC V1412) as a sequence may begin the sequence with either course.

***

Note: 2600-level psychology courses may not be used to fulfill the science requirement.

****

Note: The Science of Psychology (PSYC W1001) or Mind, Brain and Behavior (PSYC W1010) must be taken as a prerequisite to any psychology course numbered 22xx or 24xx.

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 or on the department website.

Astronomy [ASTR]
Any 3-credit course numbered 2000 or higher
Biology [BIOL]
Any 3-credit course numbered 2000 or higher
Chemistry [CHEM]
CHEM C1403General Chemistry I (Lecture)
CHEM C1404
CHEM C1500
CHEM C1604Second Semester General Chemistry (Intensive)
CHEM BC2001General Chemistry I
CHEM BC2002General Chemistry II
CHEM C2507
Any 3-credit course numbered 3000 or higher
Computer Science [COMS]
COMS W1003
COMS W1004Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Java
COMS W1005Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in MATLAB
COMS W1007Honors Introduction to Computer Science
COMS W1009
Any 3-credit course numbered 3000 or higher
Computing Science - Philosophy (CSPH)
CSPH G4801Mathematical Logic I
CSPH G4802Math Logic II: Incompletness
Earth and Environmental Sciences [EESC]
EESC W2100Earth's Environmental Systems: The Climate System
EESC W2200Earth's Environmental Systems: The Solid Earth System
EESC W2300Earth's Environmental Systems: The Life System
Any 3-credit course numbered 3000 or higher
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology [EEEB]
EEEB W2001Environmental Biology I: Elements to Organisms
EEEB W2002Environmental Biology II: Organisms to the Biosphere
EEEB W3087Conservation Biology (forms the second half of a recommended sequence with EEEB W1001; see W1001 above))
Any 3-credit course numbered 3000 or higher.
Mathematics [MATH]
Any 3-credit course numbered 1100 or higher
Physics [PHYS]
PHYS F1201/V1201/W1201General Physics
PHYS F1202/V1202General Physics
PHYS C1401Introduction To Mechanics and Thermodynamics
PHYS C1402Introduction To Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics
PHYS C1403Introduction to Classical and Quantum Waves
PHYS C1601Physics, I: Mechanics and Relativity
PHYS C1602Physics, II: Thermodynamics, Electricity, and Magnetism
Any 3-credit course numbered 2000 or higher
Psychology [PSYC]
Any 3-credit course numbered 32xx, 34xx, 42xx, or 44xx *;**
Statistics [STAT]
Any 3-credit course except STAT C3997
*

Note: 2600-level psychology courses may not be used to fulfill the science requirement.

**

Note: These courses may serve as a second term of a recommended sequence starting with Mind, Brain and Behavior (PSYC W1010) or The Science of Psychology (PSYC W1001); see above.

Special Summer Program

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

Center for Environmental Research and Conversation [CERC]