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:
- By earning credit in a course designated “Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Full,” or
- 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), or
- 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 course work 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 (the committee responsible for making these designations) for more current information.
In the catalog listings for courses, QPf = “Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Full”; QPh = “Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half.”
Courses Without Prerequisites
First Year Seminar Program (FYSP)
Physics and Astronomy (PHYS) (ASTR)
Courses With Prerequisites
Environmental Studies (ENVS)
* Courses designated Quantitative Proficiency Certification–Half