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 Computer and/or 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 on a major for an entire year.

  • If you are considering a major in Computer Science, Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Math, 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 Introduction to Environmental Studies (this course is offered in both fall and spring, and can be taken either semester) and at least one of the courses recommended below during your first year.

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
  • transferring in 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 submit them to L&C prior to registration, as advanced standing credit may impact registration for prospective Computer and/or Mathematical Science, Natural Science, and Environmental Studies majors.

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

  • Biology: BIO 110: Investigations in Biology. Don’t panic if BIO 110 fills up, as you may also take it in the fall semester. Instead, another course to consider is Math 131: Calculus I, depending on your math placement.
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: BIO 110: Biological Investigations and MATH 131: Calculus I. BIO 110 can be taken in fall or spring of the first year, but taking BIO 110 in the first semester provides maximum flexibility in terms of planning for overseas study, senior research, and preparation for graduate and professional school. 
  • Chemistry: 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 110: Investigations Biology; ECON 100: Principles of Economics; IA 100: Introduction to International Relations; SOAN 100: Introduction to Sociology or SOAN 110: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.
  • Physics: MATH 131: Calculus I or higher.
  • Pre-health prerequisites (for non-science major): MATH 131 or 132

Science classes in Chemistry, Geology, and Physics 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).

You may access a pdf version of this advice here.