Monday, June 19, 2017

FAQ: science laboratory courses

Every Barnard student will take at least two science classes during your years at Barnard, at least one of which must be accompanied by a laboratory. These courses do not need to be in the same science.  Whether you decide to include a science laboratory course in your first semester will depend on why you plan to take a science course:
  • You may be interested in pursuing a science and want to start the foundational work right away.
  • You may be interested in preparing for graduate work in a health profession, which will require you to take several different science laboratory classes.
  • You want to get started on fulfilling the Science requirement (a distributional requirement for all students).
If you plan to take science courses only to fulfill the Science requirement, you could choose to do so earlier or later in your Barnard career.

If you plan to pursue a pre-med or other pre-health professional track, then you could start with Biology, Chemistry or Physics. You can learn more about the introductory sequence of courses in each department on their websites:

Note: Students sometimes ask about science laboratory courses offered at Columbia. In general, we strongly encourage Barnard students to consider Barnard classes for their laboratory science requirements. Barnard science classes are often somewhat smaller than Columbia classes, Barnard science professors are very accessible, and Barnard science departments offer a great deal of support through help rooms, tutoring, office hours, etc. Columbia science courses are open to Barnard students, but typically the support for these classes is more limited. Also, in some cases, the sequence of the introductory courses is different from that offered at Barnard. If you are interested in pursuing science classes at Columbia, you are encouraged to discuss them during Orientation with your academic adviser and with faculty from the relevant Barnard department to make sure that you understand the options available to you.