Freshman Courses - 2nd Years or Higher Only Please
Can anyone who has been at UChicago for a year already or more please outline for us incoming 1st years exactly what kind of required courses are expected. There is talk in the Class of 2010 thread about being required to take a sequence comprising 4 years of various sciences and math. What about people completely uninterested in anything science/math related? Are they stuck taking all of that or is there a different path for english/writing majors?
If you could please explain how this works for english/writing people vs. science/math types, it would be very appreciated.
Uhm, yikes! You are familiar with the Common Core, right? It's one of the defining features of the College here at Chicago. Everyone in the College is required to fulfill the following.
Humanities, Civilization, and the Arts (6 quarters)
- At least 2 quarters in the humanities
- At least 2 quarters in civilization
- At least 1 quarter in the arts
Natural and mathematical sciences (6 quarters)
- At least 2 quarters in the physical sciences
- At least 2 quarters in the biological sciences
- At least 1 quarter in the mathematical sciences
Social sciences (3 quarters)
Everyone, irrespective of concentration, must satisfy these requirements. In addition specific degree paths might mandate certain core classes. For example, someone looking for a BS in Physics might be required to take more than one quarter of calculus for his mathematical science requirement, even though introductory computer science, statistics, and certain non-calculus math courses fulfill the general core requirement.
In addition one must pass the PE tests or take the required PE courses, and prove competency in a foreign language.
Many people are finished with their core requirements by the end of their second year, and almost everyone is by the end of their third. Only a handful of people take core classes their fourth year and I think it's generally inappropriate since the classes are geared towards underclassman. But don't make the mistake of taking too much too soon, either. I took civ my third year and found I was one of the best students in the class precisely because I had two years of experience at Chicago. Had I taken it my first or second year I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did.
Last edited by Diocletian; 07-03-2006 at 10:39 PM.
I am completely uninterested in the physical and biological sciences, so I was very happy when I found out that there is a sequence called "the evolution of the natural world" which covers both of these requirement... i think its the closest thing youll get to a way of not taking science classes.
Yes, it annoys me, too. I'm of the opinion that one should milk one's education at Chicago for all it's worth. None of this "easy class" stuff. I pay the same either way, so why not take the class where you'll learn twice as much?
To be fair, many hum folks take a boat load of science & math. One of by S's friends, who is a philosophy major, took honors calc and physics, for example. (My S is a hum major who takes a lot of science, but he is also pre-med so he doesn't really count.)
Oh, I know they can... and do. I just like to make fun of those others because I know they can write me a beautiful thesis about how much they hate math/science and why they didn't want to take the real deal.
bashful: you have options for your first year courses. everyone takes the hum sequence first year (2-3 quarters worth depending on if you'd rather take another quarter of one of the other requirements), about 50% take sosc first year (3 quarters), then you're going to want to get at least some of that pesky math and phys/bio science out of the way. you need to finish a calc sequence (through placement or by taking it), so you'll have 0-3 quarters of that, depending in some part on how rigorous you want to be. the phys science is 2 quarters i think (which you can reduce or eliminate with a 4 or 5 on phys or chem AP). and the bio sequence is 2 quarters unless you have AP there. the foreign lang requirement is one college year's worth of instruction, however you demonstrate that capability, either through AP or placement when you get here or actual classes. All these classes do, however, leave some time for your major classes or electives during your first year.
This isn't true. If your major doesn't require calculus there are lots of non-calculus classes one can take to satisfy the core requirement. Among them are computer science, statistics, or MATH 112 (Studies in Mathematics). If you don't dig calculus but still enjoy math, MATH 112 is a great option. The textbook was written by Paul Sally and Diane Herrmann, and covers the basics of many topics one wouldn't learn about until well after calculus (e.g., group theory, number theory).
I took three classes the first and third quarters of my first year. You'll have to take into account your intended major and what credit you have from things like placement an AP tests before you work out your schedule, though.
No, each course is one quarter in length. How often the course meets is quite variable. Some may meet 3 or 4 hours per week, others 6 to 9 hours. All courses at Chicago, however, are worth 1 credit no mater how often they meet.
My S took 4 tough courses each quarter his first year, averaging about 21 hours of course attendance per week. He took four 3 quarter sequences. It was a killer schedule. This year he plans to take 3 courses, also 3 quarter sequences, so he can remain a little bit sane while taking organic chemistry.