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College Advising Center

Prospective Math, Science, or Environmental Studies Majors

In order to explore or pursue some majors at Lewis & Clark, you must start on the path in your first semester of college. That is because courses in the Mathematical Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Environmental Studies are very sequential. Many classes are offered only in the fall, so if you wait, you could be set back an entire year.

  • If you are considering a major in Math, Computer Science, Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, or Physics, you should take one or two math or science courses in your first semester.
  • If you are considering a major in Environmental Studies, you should take one or more introductory or breadth courses in your first semester.

Before anything else, you must satisfy the quantitative reasoning prerequisite (QR 101) in order to be eligible to register for many introductory level math, computer science, and science classes. This can be done by:

  • scoring 53 or higher on the ALEKS placement exam
  • scoring 4 or 5 on the AP AB or BC Calculus exam
  • scoring 5, 6, or 7 on the IB Higher level Mathematics exam
  • completing a college course that is equivalent to QR 101 or higher

To learn more about the QR 101 prerequisite and the ALEKS assessment, visit Placement Exams.

NOTE: If you have qualifying AP or IB scores, please refer to page 3 of your GPS for instructions on submitting them to L&C.

If you have met the prerequisite, the following courses are recommended:

  • Biology: BIO 141: Investigations in Ecology and Environmental Science and CHEM 110: General Chemistry I. Don’t panic if BIO 141 fills up, you may also take it as a sophomore. Another great course is MATH 123: Calculus & Statistics for Modeling the Life Sciences, depending on your math placement.
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: CHEM 110: General Chemistry and MATH 131: Calculus I
  • Chemistry: CHEM 110: General Chemistry I or higher. You also might consider taking MATH 131: Calculus I or MATH 132: Calculus II.
  • Computer Science and/or Mathematics: MATH 131: Calculus I, MATH 132: Calculus II, MATH 225:Linear Algebra or MATH 233: Calculus III or CS 171: Computer Science I or higher.
  • Environmental Studies: ENVS 160: Introduction to Environmental Studies (this course is offered in both fall and spring, and can be taken either semester) and one of the following: BIO 141: Investigations in Ecology and Environmental Science; CHEM 110: General Chemistry I or CHEM 100: Perspectives in Environmental Chemistry; ECON 100: Principles of Economics; GEO 150: Environmental Geology or GEO 170: Climate Science; IA 100: Introduction to International Relations; SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Physics: PHYS 151: Motion and MATH 131: Calculus I or higher.
  • Pre-health prerequisites (for non-science major): CHEM 110 and MATH 131 or 123
  • Undecided Chemistry/Physics: CHEM 110: General Chemistry I and/or PHYS 151: Motion.

Most science classes have co-requisite courses, which means that you must register for both lecture and lab sections simultaneously (in fact, WebAdvisor will not allow you to register for one or the other on its own). For example, if you are interested in taking General Chemistry, you can register for both CHEM 110-01, a lecture section, and CHEM 110L-03, a lab section (or any lecture and lab pairing that fits with your schedule).