Beginning with the Class of 2009, Yale College students will be required to complete two courses in each of three disciplinary areas: humanities, natural science and social science. In addition, each student will fulfill a skills requirement by completing a foreign language requirement and two courses each in writing and quantitative reasoning.
During the freshman year, students will need to enroll in at least one course in two of three skills: language, quantitative reasoning and writing. Students must enroll in at least one course in each of the three disciplinary areas and at least one course in each of the three skills by the end of the sophomore year.
Selection of appropriate courses in quantitative reasoning (QR) and in science (Sc) will be of particular importance to students whether or not they are intending to major in one of these areas.
Students who are planning to major in a science or quantitative discipline will often need to plan their studies carefully to permit the fulfillment of a sequence of requirements, and consideration as to the initial courses will need to take into account both the longer term plans for study and the student’s preparation for a prospective first course. Information about appropriate placement in introductory level courses for prospective majors in science and quantitative disciplines may be found here. Questions about selection of courses beyond the introductory level should in most cases be directed toward the appropriate Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Students who are not planning to major in a science or quantitative discipline should have little difficulty finding a course of interest at an appropriate level. Science and QR courses span a wide range of subject areas throughout the natural sciences, applied sciences and social sciences, with many of these courses designed to explore the sciences or develop quantitative skills within the context of contemporary issues of broad interest.
A list of science courses without prerequisite is available online. Any of these courses would be appropriate for a student seeking to fulfill the science distribution requirement. In addition, there are a large number of other courses with prerequisites that can be fulfilled with a single natural, social or mathematics course or with advanced placement. Students who have had considerable exposure to science in high school should be encouraged to explore beyond this list.
A list of QR courses without prerequisite is available online. For each course, information intended to help with placement is provided. In many cases, this includes sample problems to aid students in assessing their preparation for the course. Students who have strong preparation in mathematics, such as significant coursework in calculus, should be encouraged to explore other courses beyond this list in areas of interest to them.
Success in quantitative disciplines, in particular, depends upon regular practice for the development of skills. Yale makes a multitude of academic support resources available to students and students should be strongly encouraged to take full advantage of these resources as part of their routine approach to coursework, not just in response to encountering difficulties. A description of tutoring resources that are available in addition to assistance from the instructor and teaching fellow(s) is available online.