This "core" you're all so fond of...

<p>So I get the idea, basically, but the school website is really confusing me more than anything... could someone please outline for me what "the core" DEFINITELY means to every student? Like, am I going to have to take advanced geometry of nature or pre-veterinary bio or...? I mean, are there distributional requirements or are there mandatory classes? </p>

<p>Help, help, help!</p>

<p>(please and thank you)</p>

<p>I was confused about the Core before I started, too! Don't worry about it. </p>

<p>You take placement tests in math, sciences, and languages during orientation.</p>

<p>The language one lets you test out of your language requirement, and place into a certain level of a language if you want to continue with it. </p>

<p>The sciences ones do the same thing, but, if you don't place out of the requirements, you have to take the Bio and/or Physics classes through a certain level to graduate. Math is the same deal. </p>

<p>SOSC - required to do 3 quarters. You get a choice of a few sequences to satisfy this requirement. </p>

<p>HUM - required to do 2 quarters. Same as above with course offerings. </p>

<p>Art, Drama, Music - required to do 1-2 quarters. You can choose from Art History, Music History/Theory/Appreciation, Drama, etc. There are a lot of choices. </p>

<p>Civilization - required to do 2-3 quarters. </p>

<p>---Altogether, HUM, SOSC, CIV, ART have to equal 9 quarters. </p>

<p>MATH - required to do 1-2 quarters. Depends on placement. If you do calculus for the requirement, you have to do 2 quarters. </p>

<p>PHYS - required to do 2-3 quarters. Same as above. </p>

<p>BIOS - required to do 2-3 quarters. Same as above. </p>

<p>---Altogether, MATH, PHYS, and BIOS have to equal 6 classes. You can also satisfy BIOS and PHYS together in 4 quarters by doing Natural Science sequence. </p>

<p>MAJOR - For your major, you need to take 9-19 courses depending on placement, and your major's course requirements. </p>

<p>ELECTIVES - You can take 8-18 electives. </p>

<p>---Altogether, you have to take 42 quarters worth of courses. You also need to make sure your language requirement is fulfilled (either through placement or courses), and that you do the PE requirement!</p>

You take placement tests in math, sciences, and languages during orientation.


<p>Just a quick question: how tough is the Math? What topics does the test cover - I can do differentiation, integration, trigonometry, vectors - but ONLY if I revise. Almost everything I learnt about Math is on vacation at the moment!</p>

<p>I'm a bit worried about this because Math is not my strong point, and if I'm going to even perform decently on this test I'll need to prep before hand. (Every A I got on any Math test took me many, many hours of studying.) Is it like SAT Math (the one that we do along with writing and reading?) I'm also anxious to not look stupid in front of the others by flunking what the rest will probably ace (everyone is so damn smart, I swear.)</p>

MATH - required to do 1-2 quarters. Depends on placement. If you do calculus for the requirement, you have to do 2 quarters.


<p>Does this mean that I can choose NOT to do calculus in the placement test - and therefore only need to do 1 quarter?</p>

<p>And very sorry, but what is a quarter exactly? 5 weeks of classes?</p>

<p>Also, if you do not do sufficiently well on the placement tests, all you'd have to do is take enough quarters of those classes (Math for me) to fulfill the Core requirement - with people who are as sucky as you? (I seriously suck at Math. Yes.)</p>

<p>Sorry for the massive questioning, suddenly I don't feel ready for college!</p>

<p>Ay, I really like Chicago but am wondering if a certain personal circumstance will leave me in a sticky situation if I end up there...</p>

<p>I'm graduating a year early from high school (at the end of my junior year) and will graduate without ever having taken Physics or Calculus. My most advanced math will be pre-calculus (which I anticipate I don't do very well in) and the further I will have gone along the typical science track of earth science -> biology -> chemistry -> physics is chem. (that's the track in our school system, anyway)... though I will be taking AP Environmental next year.</p>

<p>Where will this leave me in your Core? What if I do really poorly on that math/science placement test? Will I... not graduate? Because I mean, UChi's great and all but I'm not really willing to risk not finishing!</p>

<p>Thanks for the extensive reply, btw.</p>

<p>OK. Here's the rundown:</p>

<p>You Must TAKE (no placing out of, no AP, no substitutions):</p>

<p>*2-3 quarters of Humanities *-- You will take this starting your first quarter here, and you can choose to take 2 quarters (stop at Spring Break) or all 3 quarters. You choose your humanities sequence. All "hum" classes are not identical. So, you can take "Readings in World Literature," "Human Being and Citizen," "Media Aesthetics," or one of the other options. This class is sort of like English with philosophy, history, and other topics mixed in. This course will include Writing Seminar sessions three times a quarter usually with a writing tutor assigned to your class. If you see a reference to Writing Seminars, don't worry, it's not an extra class. </p>

<p>*3 quarters Social Sciences *-- You can take this anytime, but you'll probably do it first or second year. You choose a sequence, just like with hum, but this time you're required to take it all year. Choices include "Classics of Social and Political Thought," "Self, Culture, and Society," and a number of others. This requirement, normally shortened to "sosc," is a combination between Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Statistics (sometimes), as well as history and cultural studies. </p>

<p>*2-3 quarters Civilizations Studies *-- This is another sequence course. You can choose to take 2 or 3 quarters of it. You can basically choose any civilization you want to study, and there's probably a class devoted to it, ranging from the Ancient Mediterranean World to Jewish Studies to classes studying history through music or through the development of science. Many students like to fulfill this requirement abroad, and there are popular civ programs in Mexico, Spain, France, Rome, South Africa, India, and other locations. </p>

<p>*1-2 quarters of Art, Music, or Drama *-- You can take this anytime, and there are definitely 4th years (i.e. seniors) rushing to get into an art class in the spring in order to graduate. It's best to get the core done early, though, so that you don't end up stressing about requirements too much later on. There are a lot of choices here, and you don't need to take a sequence like you do with hum, sosc, or civ. There are certain classes that meet the core, though, and many that don't. Music Theory, for example, does NOT count as core music, but "Intro to Music: Materials and Design" does, and "The Art of Western Music" does. Drama and art are popular for students who want more doing and less theory since in those classes you'll actually be painting, designing, acting, or writing scripts. </p>

<p>These requirements MUST total to 9 courses. In other words, you need to choose to take the maximum number of quarters in hum, civ, or the arts. That's not usually an issue since you'll probably find yourself really interested in at least one of those classes.</p>

<p>You Must FULFILL (may be able to meet some or all requirements with AP tests, placement tests, or something similar):</p>

<p>Mathematics -- You need to take 1 quarter as the requirement, but if you choose to fulfill the math requirement with calculus, you need to take 2 quarters. You can take calc, statistics, computer science, or other non-calc math. A 5 on any AP math test places you out of the requirement, including statistics, which is a little-known fact.</p>

<p>Physical Sciences -- You can take the really hard, pre-med Chemistry class to fulfill this, but you can also take easier classes like Global Warming, Intro to Astrophysics, or Astronomy. You have a number of options, and you can probably find one you're somewhat interested in, even if you're totally non-science. You can also test out, but if you don't, you need to take 2 quarters.</p>

<p>*Biological Sciences *-- Again, you can choose to take the full Biology sequence that bio majors take, but most people don't. If you don't place out and don't want to take bio-major Biology, you'll take an intro Biology core course that everybody takes called Biological Issues and Paradigms (which includes the mini-course Writing in the Biological Sciences) and then you get to choose a "topics course." There are tons of topics courses ("Ancestry and Genetics," "Primate Behavior," "Biological Poisons and Toxins," etc.), and people tend to enjoy them. </p>

<p>Your math and science courses MUST total six, meaning that if you don't take calculus and fulfill math with one quarter of statistics, for example, you're going to need an extra quarter of biological sciences or physical sciences.</p>

<p>Language -- You need whatever's equal to 1 year at the college level. If you take an AP language and get a 3, you've passed out of the language requirement. Taking language at college, especially in the 100s level, is really fun, though, so definitely think about picking up a new language. If you didn't take AP but took a language, you'll take the placement test in your language coming in. The placement test can place you out of first year, which means you just need to take an oral interview with someone in the department in order to pass the requirement. </p>

<p>*PE *- You'll take a fitness test when you come in as well as a swim test, and the results will determine how many quarters, if any, you need to take. People take PE classes for fun all the time who don't need to, though, and there are lots of options. It's not something to worry about. If you don't know how to swim, you'll need to take intro to swimming.</p>

<p>Sorry, x-posted with Cosmos. </p>

<p>Bustles, don't worry at all. There are 3 different levels of Calculus offered (130s, 150s, and 160s), with the 130s being the easiest and the 160s as "honors." You'll be placed appropriately both in the level of calculus and in the right quarter of it (so you can start, for example, with 131 if you've never had calculus, or you can just take 152 if you've gotten a 5 on AB Calc but never took BC). You'll definitely be with kids at your level. There are other types of math offered which are usually seen as easier than calculus for students who really don't think they're good at math, too. In the sciences, if you're not in one of the "main" sequences (like for pre-meds or majors), you're probably with a bunch of students who don't know much science.</p>

<p>Thanks you guys! :)</p>

<p>So corranged and Cosmos (hi again from TSR!), what we have here is a general requirement of 9 courses within the Humanities, Social Sciences, Civilization Studies, and Arts (with a 2-3, 3, 2-3, and 1-2 quarters breakdown), such that I can choose to max out my quarters in either Hum, Civil Studies, or Arts. And as for Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences, there is a general requirement of 6 courses, with a breakdown of 1-2 quarters for Mathematics and 2-3 quarters for Physical Sciences. How about for Biological Sciences? Do I need to take 2 compulsory quarters for that too or can I used it all up in the Physical Sciences/Mathematics.</p>

<p>When do major courses start coming in?</p>

<p>One more thing, do you know anything about credits offered by taking the IB exams?</p>

<p>Okay, I'll warn you, what I'm about to say will probalyb sound naive and stupid.
So I'm really interested in UChicago because, as far as I'm concerned, it has the best pure math and theoretical physics in the nation and this is EXACTLY what I want to go into. However, I don't do humanities. I just don't. I was seriusly considering not graduating HS just so I didn't have to take another semester of english. I this possible when applying to grad school? That is to say, if I go to UChicago and I don't take the requird humanities, I presume they just wont give me a degree. If I've completed four years of college coursework with flying colors, but have no college degree, is it still evne possible to get into a good grad school? Will they still consider you if you got the brains but not the sheet of paper that says you do?</p>

<p>Also, I've heard they limit the number of courses you can take per quarter to 4. Is there any way to not take four courses? I mean, if I went to Uchicago, i was hoping I could get a joint BS/MS in math, and get a BA in physics, and its hard to belive this would be feasible if I were only able to take four courses per quarter. Even if I could, I don't want to graudate college knowing I could have learend more than I did becuase I didn't take as many courses as I could have.</p>

<p>I know these things porbalby sound petty for those of you who don't mind humanities, but for me, these two things will end up deciding where I go in the end.</p>

<p>@Gary-- I think your understanding of it works... the one thing though, is that the options that work for core and the ones that don't are pre-approved. For example, some schools might say any English class will do; for us, it has to be a humanities core sequence to fit the humanities requirement.</p>

<p>Depending on your major and your schedule, you can start taking them first year, but you don't have to. I spent all of first year knocking out requrements for core and for my major, requirements that I didn't want to have to come back to. I took one elective my first year.</p>

<p>This year, I will have taken 4 courses for Core, 6 for my major, and one elective. For my third and fourth years, I will have a lot of time to toy around with electives, as my major is almost finished.</p>

<p>Credit stuff:
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>


<p>There are two experiences you may have regarding humanities core if you decide to come to the U of C.
a) you end up liking your humanities sequence a lot, as it's a good combination of course material, a good prof, and cool students
b) you don't like it at all and will drop it like it's hot come the end of winter quarter.</p>

<p>Believe me, it's nice to revisit subjects in a college environment as opposed to a high school one, and even though it might not be your thing, you'll still probably get something out of it. The "Language and the Human" sequence (it's new) is a linguistics-based sequence that would probably appeal to somebody with a quantitative mind.</p>

<p>Courses are maxed at 4 per quarter. Unless extra tuition and sleepless nights sound fun to you.</p>

<p>Poster phuriku discussed in another thread how difficult getting into the combined program is, and how it's nothing to bank on. If it's something you think is in your future, you should probably double-check with the math department about your background now and the background you should be having as a college student.</p>

<p>@unalove, but you know how undergrads only start deciding their major in the second-third year, if that's the case, how do you know which courses to take in the first year that are specific major requirements?</p>

<p>Sorry if I sound really fussy at the moment :P</p>

<p>great question. I was pretty set on my major to begin with, and I looked at its course requirements and thought, "Hm, even if I don't want to be an English major, I definitely don't want to have to return to Spanish class!" So I got enough Spanish out of the way that let me do English and Comp Lit.</p>

<p>Other majors I've thought about:
history, art history, sociology, anthropology.</p>

<p>I'll probably dabble in those fields further.</p>

<p>So basically if I have my mind set on either an Economics or a Mathematics major, I can freely select courses and sequences on Mathematics and Economics in the first year that may be used to satisfy major requirements right? While at the same time fulfilling general core requirements in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and whatnot.</p>

<p>That's correct.</p>

<p>I'm pretty set on the joint BS/MS thing. I mean, I don't necesarily want to do it to get a master's, but from the courses phuriku posted in the other forum, I'm definltey going to take all of them (or at least I would love to) before I graduate. Analysis and Algebra are totally my thing, and my college experience would be incomplete without two yeras of both :-D.</p>

<p>So about the not taking humanities courses and not getting a degree, is that a REALLY bad idea for grad school?</p>

<p>Does the Physical Education class count as one of the 4 or 5 classes? I don't mind having to take physical education, but I rather not have it replace a major requirement or a class I want to take</p>

<p>P.E. is a required non-credit class. The gym test during O-Week helps you pass out of some of it.</p>

<p>If you place out of calc 1 (like 15100), is this counted towards the 6 credit limit? I planned on using the 6 credit limit with AP chem and foreign language, but wasn't sure if I still could if I place out of 15100.</p>

<p>Thank you all very, very much! :) </p>

<p>(very very very)</p>

<p>Here is what I have done and plan to do for all of my required classes (PE/lang are only debatable core, but required):</p>

<p>3 Qs of Human Being & Citizen: Classics: greeks, bible, dante, shakespeare &co, with some writing help
3 Qs of Self, Culture & Society: Classic texts in economics, anthropology, sociology, psychology and media theory
3 Qs of a language, probably a romance
2 Qs of history, probably western euro or east asian
2 Qs of Honors Calculus: Standard intro calculus, focusing on proofs and deeper justifications
2 Qs of weekly ballroom dance
1 Q of core bio survey, with a hilarious fast-talker
1 Q of natural history of SW deserts, with a two week field trip with independent research at the end
1 Q of drama reading/performance survey</p>