Also referred to as Scientific: Natural
3 sequential course (12 credits)
Science and technology play increasing roles in the most profound challenges and the greatest opportunities that we face as global societies. Gaining knowledge of the practice and promise of science is an essential responsibility of each educated citizen. While science provides the most thoroughly tested tools for developing accurate knowledge of nature, developing technologies shape our daily living and provide opportunities to ask questions that were not imaginable by previous generations.
Courses provide students with a 3-quarter experience that builds knowledge and application of scientific approaches in one core area. The three-quarter format with accompanying laboratories allows in-depth explorations that have significant social implications and that encourage development of reasoning skills and reflective judgment. By working between classroom and laboratory to understand the nature of science in the natural and physical world, students will apply scientific methods, analyze and interpret data, and justify conclusions where evidence is conflicting. Students will also explore the strengths and weaknesses of scientific knowledge, and reflect on the connections between the natural sciences, developing technologies, and other ways of knowing and constructing human experiences.In these courses, students will:
- Articulate concepts and principles specific to a field of study in natural science or technology, and effectively apply scientific methods to ask questions, design and perform experiments, or judge arguments.
- Recognize science as a process that considers uncertainty when drawing conclusions from scientific evidence and making predictions from existing data.
- Apply and distinguish between qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis and evidence, and demonstrate skills for using and interpreting quantitative information in various formats based on validation and replication of results.
Scientific Inquiry in Society & Culture
Also referred to as Scientific: Society
Typically 2 course (8 credits)
Knowledge of principles of human functioning and conduct in social and cultural contexts is essential for living in a culturally diverse and interdependent society. Understanding scientific approaches to discovering these principles enhances informed decisions for the public good, and provides a way of thinking about problems and issues that complements other areas of inquiry and experiences. Through courses in this area, students learn about principles of human functioning and conduct in social and cultural contexts and come to understand how these are studied using scientific methods. Students take two courses in different subjects studied from the perspectives of the social sciences; they are thus exposed to varying approaches and levels of analysis (e.g., physiological, evolutionary, mental, social, and cultural processes).In these courses, students will:
- Describe basic principles of human functioning and conduct in social and cultural contexts.
- Describe and explain how social scientific methods are used to understand these underlying principles.
- Students may apply 1 course (4-5 credits) per major/minor program to partially satisfy both major/minor and Common Curriculum requirements and only if the course is listed as meeting the outcomes of a section of the Common Curriculum requirements. Please speak with a major/minor faculty adviser if you have questions.