The Sciences at Bates

Science courses at Bates demand that you think like a scientist.

The Division of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Bates includes the departments of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, earth and climate sciences, mathematics, and physics and astronomy. Interdisciplinary  programs with significant STEM content include digital and computational studies, neuroscience, and  environmental science tracks within the environmental studies program.

In STEM courses you gain an understanding of what data can tell you – and what it cannot. You apply your knowledge of algebra and quantitative reasoning to scientific problems. You develop sound scientific writing skills. In labs you are expected to ask questions, state hypotheses, develop models, design experiments and carry them out, analyze data, and draw conclusions.

Like all courses at Bates, science courses are demanding and rewarding. Many science courses have weekly labs, so students must plan and use their time well. Because Bates has 12-week semesters and we cover the same course content as courses at colleges and universities with longer semesters, keeping on track is essential. Students must fully understand the course material, as the course content of one week informs the topics covered in the next. Bates has many academic support resources available to students to help them succeed. Students who, from their first year, develop strong study habits and solid time management skills find science courses manageable, enlightening, and amazing.

Launching a Major in Science and Math

First-year students planning to major in chemistry or the life sciences (biochemistry, biology, environmental science, and neuroscience) begin with the two-semester introductory chemistry sequence (CHEM 107A and CHEM 108A ). Life sciences students generally take one of several core biology courses, Lab-Based Biological Inquiry (BIO 195).

Earth and climate sciences (EACS) students begin their major studies by taking several introductory EACS courses; they may also take introductory chemistry or physics.

Physics students generally begin with two semesters of classical and modern physics (PHYS 107 or 109 and PHYS 108).

Prospective math majors begin their first year with Calculus I (MATH 105), Calculus II (MATH 106), or Linear Algebra (MATH 205); a placement test helps you decide which course to take. Most science majors and students completing pre-medical requirements also take calculus or linear algebra.

For information on the sciences at Bates, check out the departments and program web pages:

Other useful links: