<p>Be careful when you speak of non-science courses. Political science and history for example, can be difficult if you are not as good a writer as you think. Not to mention, the extreme amount of reading assigned in some of the tougher courses. Then you must deal with subjective grading practices sometimes. I have known many fellow science major friends who have either earned a low score in a polysci/history course (often the toughest are the intros. like comparative and international politics for polysci. The trend is the same for science courses), or have had to withdraw after failing a paper or something miserably. Do not underestimate the humanities/social science courses. Some can be really hard and less straight forward than science courses in terms of grading/ exam expectations, etc.</p>
<p>Also, as far as writing goes, if you are like me and love both humanities and sciences, it can be tricky switching back and forth from different writing styles.<br>
Then again, my opinion is biased because I tend to take some of the more tedious GERs/humanities. I still don't recommend treating such courses (unless it is known to be easy, and that is why you chose it) as courses that you can basically cast aside or put little effort into. It is very important to keep up with long-term assignments/reading in the courses.</p>
<p>As for science courses, they are hard, but I think many people would perform better in bio 141/142 in particular, if they assigned a mandatory workload like chem. and physics. Perhaps some problem sets that are similar to the optional SIs, but shorter in length. It makes people keep up with the material if they know it's for a grade. Most of the teachers need to get rid of that multiple choice only format also. The tests would be far more fair and more challenging if they were multiple choice/short answer/matching etc. hybrids. In other words, I think that the tests should be more like the SI. That type of challenge may cause people to get more out of the course than the tricky multiple choice questions, that are sometimes rote memorization.
I also think that physics 141/142 should be phased out. The calculus in 151/152 is not that bad (trust me, I only had calc. 1 and it was hard, but doable). The math backgrounds of Emory students are just as solid as the peer institutions (and places like GT which do not bother having trig. based), and I have to wonder if they offer trig-based. Why provide a watered down physics class that basically targets pre-meds. Seems backwards. Besides many concepts in physics are best understood in context of calculus. It's shameful that Calc.-based physics at Emory is considered "advanced". One reason why the physics dept. kind of sucks, and why 151/152 generally get lame profs.</p>
<p>Point is, I think the intro. science courses at Emory are tough, but I think they could actually be a lot more challenging and stimulating (this is very important to me) than they are. I think we can be getting more out of these classes. Arguably, chem. is solid (I saw GT gen. chem tests and ours were harder and more application based, which should be relevant to pre-meds), but I worry about intro. bio and physics sometimes. The latter two seem to vary too much depending on the year and professor. Seems like there are some easy years for them, and some tough years.</p>