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 Quantitative Proficiency

The Oberlin College faculty adopted in 1987 a Quantitative Proficiency Requirement for the BA degree. The requirement promotes quantitative proficiency and provides a focus for a College-wide commitment to extend and promote the teaching and application of quantitative skills. The faculty views the Quantitative Proficiency Certification Requirement in terms of its goals, not in terms of a narrowly defined set of mathematical or computational skills. Thus, the requirement is intended to urge students to develop the ability to apply logical thinking to complex problems, to encourage a deeper understanding of numbers, to foster mathematical modeling and incorporating the computer as a potent quantitative tool in many disciplines, and to demonstrate how quantitative practices and techniques are essential to the understanding of important societal issues.

Quantitative Proficiency Requirement. All students entering Oberlin College and all students who change divisions from the Conservatory to the College or become Double-Degree students must earn Quantitative Proficiency Certification for the BA degree. The Quantitative Proficiency Committee administers this graduation requirement. Students may satisfy the quantitative proficiency requirement in any of the following three ways:

1. By earning credit in a course designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Full."

2. By certification of quantitative proficiency from the Oberlin College instructors who taught the student in any two of the courses that are designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half." (One of these courses may, by approval of the Quantitative Proficiency Committee, be a private reading course or a Winter Term project.)


3. By a score of 4 or 5 on either the AB or the BC Advanced Placement Calculus Examination, by a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Chemistry Examination, by a score of 4 or 5 on either the B or C (Mechanics) Advanced Placement Examination in Physics, by a score of 5 on the C (Electricity and Magnetism) Advanced Placement Examination in Physics, by a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the A or AB Advanced Placement Computer Science Examination, or by a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Statistics Examination.

A passing grade in a course designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Full" automatically results in certification of quantitative proficiency. Progress toward certification in a course designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half" depends upon the instructor's appraisal of that proficiency. In any case, students should gain quantitative proficiency certification in their first two years in order to have a wider range of course offerings available to them in subsequent years. Normally, students will satisfy the Quantitative Proficiency Requirement through coursework taken at Oberlin or through the Advanced Placement Program. Credit for a specific Oberlin course among those designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Full," even if earned by transfer of credit from another institution, will count for purposes of quantitative certification as if the course were taken at Oberlin. Transfer of credit for one or several courses equivalent to Oberlin courses designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half" will not satisfy part or all of the Quantitative Proficiency Requirement under any circumstances.

Students may earn Quantitative Proficiency Certification in the courses listed below. In this listing, an asterisk (*) indicates that a course is designated "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half."

The list is as complete as is possible at the time of publication. Because this list may be incomplete, however, students should check the primary course listings, with the specific department, or with the Chair of the Quantitative Proficiency Committee for more current information.

In the catalog listings for courses, QPf = "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Full";
QPh = "Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half."

Courses Without Prerequisites:

Chemistry (CHEM)
050 Basic Chemistry*

Computer Science (CSCI)
150 Principles of Computer Science
221 Object-Oriented Computing

Economics (ECON)
101 Introduction to Political Economy*

Geology (GEOL)
111 Glaciology, Ice Ages, and Climate Control*

Mathematics (MATH)
030 Topics in Contemporary Mathematics
050 Dots, Lines, and Coin Flips
080 Lies, Damned Lies, and Decisions
100 Elementary Statistics
113 Statistical Methods for the Social and Behavioral Sciences
114 Statistical Methods for the Biological Sciences
131 Calculus Ia: Limits, Continuity, and Differentiation*
133 Calculus I: Limits, Continuity, Differentiation, Integration, and Applications

Physics and Astronomy (PHYS) (ASTR)
052 The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics*
054 Musical Acoustics*
061 The Physics of Sports*
100 Introductory Astronomy*
103 Elementary Physics I
110 Mechanics and Relativity

Politics (POLT)
204 Political Inquiry: Investigations into Controversial Issues*

Psychology (PSYC)
108 Psychology and the Arts*
119 Colloquium: Applied Psychological Science*

Courses With Prerequisites:

Art (ARTS)
224 The Technology of Greek and Roman Architecture*

Biology (BIOL)
318 Evolution*

Chemistry (CHEM)
101 Structure and Reactivity*
102 Chemical Principles
103 Topics in General Chemistry
109 Introductory Thermodynamics*
211 Analytical Chemistry
339 Quantum Chemistry and Kinetics
347 Advanced Analytical and Physical Chemistry Lab
349 Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics
409 Topics in Physical Chemistry

Computer Science (CSCI)
151 Principles of Computer Science
210 Computer Organization
235 Computer Application Development
275 Algorithms, Structures and Abstractions
280 Algorithms, Structures and Abstractions
339 Projects in Computer Application Development
342 Computer Networks
383 Theory of Computer Science

Economics (ECON)
206 Financial Management
210 Economic Development in Latin America*
211 Money, Credit and Banking*
219 Labor-Management Relations*
224 Law and Economics*
225 Political Economy of European Integration*
227 International Trade and Finance*
231 Environmental Economics*
245 Economics of Health Care*
251 Intermediate Macroeconomics*
253 Intermediate Microeconomics*
255 Introduction to Econometrics
313 Games and Strategy in Economics*
320 Labor Economics*
326 International Trade*
327 International Finance*
331 Economics of Land, Location, and the Environment*
351 Macroeconomic Theory
353 Microeconomic Theory
355 Advanced Econometrics: Time Series Analysis

Environmental Studies (ENVS)
231 Environmental Economics*
331 Economics of Land, Location and Environment*

Geology (GEOL)
201 Mineralogy and Optical Crystallography
340 Structural Geology

Mathematics (MATH)
132 Calculus Ib: Integration and Applications
134 Calculus II: Special Functions, Integration Techniques, and Power Series
210 Chaos and Fractals: An Introduction
220 Discrete Mathematics
231 Multivariable Calculus
232 Linear Algebra
234 Differential Equations
301 Advanced Calculus
327 Group Theory
328 Computational Algebra and Algebraic Geometry
329 Rings and Fields
331 Optimization
335 Probability
336 Mathematical Statistics
343 Combinatorics
350 Geometry
356 Complex Analysis
397 Seminar in Mathematical Modeling
399 Seminar in Number Systems

Neuroscience (NSCI)
319 Neurophysiology: Neurons to Networks to Behavior*

Physics (PHYS)
104 Elementary Physics II
111 Electricity, Magnetism, Optics, Waves
112 Modern Physics
242 Electronics
310 Classical Mechanics
311 Electricity and Magnetism
312 Quantum Mechanics
314 Intermediate Laboratory
410 Statistical Mechanics
412 Applied Quantum Mechanics
414 Advanced Laboratory

Psychology (PSYC)
200 Research Methods I
300 Research Methods II
301 Personality/Social Psychology Laboratory
304 Laboratory in Psychological Measurement

Sociology (SOCI)
211 Social Research Methods*
235 Gender Stratification*

*Courses designated Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half.
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