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Core 6-9: Science and Mathematics


Four courses in the Millsaps core are taught primarily by faculty from the Science Division. To meet this requirement you must take at least one course in the social and behavioral sciences, one course in the natural sciences with a lab, and one course in the social and behavioral sciences, one course in the natural sciences with a lab, and one course in mathematics. The fourth course may be an additional mathematics course, another natural science course, or a computer science course. All of the science courses approved to meet core requirements are intended to foster the development of liberal arts abilities. You may expect a greater emphasis on quantitative reasoning and scientific method in these courses, yet every core science course (with the possible exception of mathematics) includes some writing.

Core 6: Social and Behavioral Sciences
In this segment of the core curriculum, you will be introduced to the content and methodology of the social and behavioral sciences. You will also enhance your critical thinking ability, your global and multicultural awareness, and your valuing and decision-making skills. You may meet this requirement by taking a multidisciplinary Topics course organized around a central theme or problem such as leadership, human growth and development, or civil rights. Alternatively, you may take an introductory course in a discipline such as psychology, sociology, anthropology or political science.

"Lessons in Leadership," for instance, is a multidisciplinary course which combines classic texts from history, biography, drama, and philosophy with case studies from business to provide insight into the basic principles of leadership. "Topics in Sexuality and Love" applies biological, psychological and sociological perspectives to issues of love, intimacy, and marriage. "Introduction to Psychology" is a course designed to familiarize students with the principal areas of psychology while teaching them to evaluate competing explanations of behavior.

Core 7: Natural Science with Lab
The scientific method has profoundly affected the way we understand the natural world, while applications of scientific knowledge to technology have radically changed the way we live. To introduce you to scientific thinking and some of the ways science has affected our lived, you will take at least one course in the natural sciences with a laboratory component. It may be a multidisciplinary course focused on a particular topic or an introductory course in a scientific discipline.

Students with an interest in biology, for instance, may take "Cell Biology" for a general introduction to the discipline or "Human Evolution" for a more topical approach. Those with a preference for chemistry have a choice of "General Chemistry" or "Chemistry and Society," while similar choices are available in other disciplines. Introductory courses in the sciences place primary emphasis on mastery of basic concepts, while Topics courses give greater attention to applications of scientific knowledge.

The laboratory component of these courses provides hands-on experience of scientific inquiry utilizing up-to-date scientific equipment. Students may expect to gain proficiency in experimental design, data collection and interpretation.

Core 8: Mathematics
Mathematics has been called the "language of science." It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools of understanding developed in the modern era. No educated person can afford to be without a basic understanding of mathematics. For this reason you are required to complete at least one college-level course in mathematics.

The math subscore on the ACT (or SAT) examination is a good indicator of your level of preparation for each mathematics course at the level of Calculus or below. To determine the mathematics course with which you should begin, compare your most recent ACT mathematics subscore with the prerequisites listed for each mathematics course at the Department of Mathematics website.

If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, any course in mathematics at Millsaps will suffice to meet this requirement. If you are planning to major in one of the natural sciences or want to earn a Bachelor of Science degree, you will need to complete the mathematics sequence through Analytical Geometry and Calculus I. Those pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree may satisfy the mathematics requirement with Elementary Statistics and Survey of Calculus.

In addition to the traditional mathematics sequence extending from Statistics through Calculus, Millsaps also offers a multidisciplinary Topics course that meets this requirement. "Topics in Mathematics" is intended to develop a student's capacity for logical thinking utilizing mathematical concepts. The content may focus on a specific subject or may survey several topics in mathematics. Possible topics include mathematics and society, logic and problem solving, and models in business and the social sciences.

Core 9: Mathematics, Natural Science or Computer Science
To complete the science and mathematics division of the core, you have a choice of taking another mathematics course at the level of calculus or above, another natural science course with or without a lab, or a computer science course that includes programming languages. Most of the courses which meet the requirements of Core 7 or 8 also meet this requirement. In addition there are multidisciplinary Topics courses specifically designed for Core 9. These include "Environmental Topics of the 20th Century," a course which examines controversial issues in the areas of atmospheric pollution, population growth, and energy resources; and "Dinosauria," a course utilizing geology, biology, mathematics and sociology to study the evolution and influence of the dinosaur.