SLQ requirements: FAQs for students

Everything you wanted to know about SLQ requirements…

Frequently Asked Questions for Students in the Class of 2011 and beyond on the SLQ Requirements

1.  How are the SLQ courses indicated in the course catalog?

Courses designated as meeting the Scientific Reasoning requirement are indicated in the course catalog by [S]. Courses designated as meeting the Laboratory Experience requirement are indicated in the course catalog by [L]. Courses designated as meeting the Quantitative Literacy requirement are indicated in the course catalog by [Q]. While some courses carry only one of these designations, many carry two or all three. It is important to note that each course taken may be used to fulfill only one of the individual SLQ requirements (See question 5 below.)

IMPORTANT!  There are two different types of “L” codes. The “[L]” code identifies a course or unit that meets the laboratory requirement. It appears in the course description in the catalog. The “L1” or “L2” code that appears in the schedule and registration material indicates a lab section. This code does not identify the course as meeting the General Education requirement.

2.  What does it mean when courses are designated as fulfilling the Scientific Reasoning requirement and why do I have to take a course with this designation?

S-designated courses are designed to help you to understand and experience the process of scientific thinking. This includes learning how to evaluate and question the information and evidence that is used to test hypotheses and develop theories which explain the operation of the empirical world around us. An understanding of what scientific reasoning is and the process by which it occurs is a fundamental requirement for your full participation in a modern society and in making decisions that affect your daily activities, your health, and the environment in which you live.

3.  What does it mean when courses are designated as fulfilling the Laboratory Experience requirement and why do I have to take a course with this designation?

L-designated courses include a substantial hands-on laboratory or field work component designed to directly engage you in methods by which new information about the natural world is acquired. Part of this involves learning how to evaluate the quality of this information and the circumstances in which it can be applied. These skills often go hand in hand with the application of scientific reasoning to help us understand how the world around us works. By learning how new data is systematically acquired and new observations are systematically made, you will be better able to understand and evaluate information gathered by others and presented to you.

4.  What does it mean when courses are designated as fulfilling the Quantitative Literacy requirement and why do I have to take a course with this designation?

Q-designated courses include practical experiences that help you to develop the skills needed to evaluate and manipulate numerical information or data. These are generally not courses based upon high-level mathematical theories, but rather are intended to help you to learn how to evaluate the quality of numerical data, understand its limits, and to apply this data when generating explanations and answers to often discipline-specific problems. The quantitative reasoning skills that you acquire in a course associated with a particular discipline are likely to also be widely applicable in your everyday life, now and in the future.

5.  Do I have to take three separate courses to meet each of the S, L, and Q requirements?

Yes.  “Double-” or “triple-dipping” (using a single course to fulfill two or three different individual requirements, respectively) within the SLQ group are not allowed. In order to satisfy the SLQ requirement you must complete at least three separate courses, one that carries an S designation in the course catalog, another that carries an L designation, and a third that carries a Q designation.

6.  Can I expect that I will not have to take a course which also includes a laboratory or quantitative literacy component to meet my S requirement?

A large fraction of the courses offered at Bates which are designated as meeting the S requirement, by their nature, also include a laboratory component, a quantitative literacy component, or both. It is not practical for the College to offer a sufficient number of S-only designated courses to ensure that all students can avoid taking more than one course which includes a laboratory or the application of quantitative literacy skills. You may have to take a course that is also L- and/or Q-designated in order to meet your S requirement, even if you have already taken an L- or Q-designated course.

7.  Do I have to designate which of the courses that I take will count as my S, which will count as my L, and which will count as my Q?

No.  As long as the requirement stated in the answer to question 5 is satisfied, you need not specify which courses are being used to satisfy each SLQ requirement.

8.  Can courses designated as S, L, and/or Q also count toward the writing requirement or as part of General Education concentrations?

Yes. Some courses are simultaneously designated as S, L, and/or Q and as either W1 or W2.  Such courses can be used to meet both one S, L, or Q requirement and one W1 or W2 requirement.  One or more courses designated as S, L, and/or Q that are part of a concentration can be applied to both the concentration and to meeting the S, L, or Q requirement(s).

9.  Do all of my S-, L-, and/or Q-designated courses have to be in the natural sciences or mathematics?

No. While many of these designated courses are taught within the natural sciences or mathematics, several are found within interdisciplinary programs or in the social sciences.

10.  Can I transfer course credits to Bates that meet the S, L, or Q requirements?

A course taken at another institution, including an AP, IB, or similarly designated course, that is accepted by a department or program as being equivalent to a specific Bates course can be transferred as a Bates course credit. Any S, L, and/or Q attributes attached to the equivalent Bates course are considered to transfer along with the transferred course credit.

11. What are the SLQ policies for transfer students?
If a transferred course is deemed by Bates College to be directly equivalent to a particular Bates course, then the transferred course can be used to satisfy any S, L, or Q requirements that the Bates course satisfies.