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. Introductory classes in Chemistry, Geology, and Physics are only offered in the fall semester, so do not be alarmed if you cannot take a course in these areas in the spring. Instead, be sure to start of the mathematical aspect of these majors and consult with your advisor for appropriate classes.

  • 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 of your first year) 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 college-level Transfer Credit or qualifying AP or IB scores, please submit previous college transcripts or exam scores to L&C prior to registration, as these 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, other courses to consider are Math 115: Elementary Fuctions, Math 131: Calculus I, or CS 171: Computer Science I (depending on your math placement)
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: BIO 110: Biological Investigations and MATH 131: Calculus I or MATH 132: Calculus II. 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, MATH 233: Calculus III, 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): BIO 110: Biological Investigations and MATH 131: Calculus I or MATH 132: Calculus II.

Access a pdf version of this advice.