Frontiers of Science

Chair of Frontiers of Science
Prof. David J. Helfand
1020 Pupin Hall

Frontiers of Science Website

SCNC CC1000 FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE  and SCNC CC1100 FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE-DISC is a one-semester course that integrates modern science into the Core Curriculum. The course includes lectures and seminar sections. On Mondays throughout the semester, each of Columbia’s leading scientists present a mini-series of lectures. During the rest of the week, senior faculty and Columbia post-doctoral science fellows (research scientists selected for their teaching abilities) lead seminar sections limited to twenty-two students to discuss the lecture and its associated readings, and to debate the implications of the most recent scientific discoveries. Frontiers of Science satisfies one of the three required courses of the science requirement for Columbia College.

Registration Procedure

All information concerning registration in SCNC CC1000 FRONTIERS OF SCIENCE is included in the registration materials sent to students. All first-year students are preregistered in Frontiers of Science. Prospective science majors may petition the Committee on Science Instruction to be allowed to postpone taking Frontiers of Science until their sophomore year, if they are enrolled in the following courses during their first-year in the College:

  1. Literature Humanities (HUMA CC1001);
  2. A mathematics course;
  3. A language course at the elementary II level or above;
  4. One of the following science major sequences:
    CHEM UN2045
     - CHEM UN2046
    and INTENSVE ORG CHEM-FOR 1ST YEAR (formerly CHEM W3045-CHEM W3046)
    PHYS UN1601
     - PHYS UN1602
    Physics, I: Mechanics and Relativity
    and Physics, II: Thermodynamics, Electricity, and Magnetism
    PHYS UN2801
     - PHYS UN2802
    Accelerated Physics I
    and Accelerated Physics II

Students wishing to petition to postpone should do so in the Berick Center for Student Advising located in 403 Lerner. 

All Core Curriculum courses, including Frontiers of Science, must be taken for a letter grade. Students may not drop or withdraw from Frontiers of Science after the Core drop deadline (which is also the end of the Change-of-Program period). For more information, see Registration—Dropping Core Courses.

Courses of Instruction


Corequisites: SCNC CC1100
Corequisites: SCNC CC1100 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 brain and behavior, global climate change, relativity, and biodiversity, among others. Taught by members of natural science departments and Columbia Science Fellows

Fall 2022: SCNC CC1000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SCNC 1000 001/14978 M 10:30am - 12:00pm
147 Horace Mann Hall
Ivana Hughes 4.00 559/600
Spring 2023: SCNC CC1000
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SCNC 1000 001/10753 M 10:30am - 12:00pm
147 Horace Mann Hall
Ivana Hughes 4.00 552/600