CAS core science requirement may be reduced

Faculty at the school will vote on whether to reduce the number of courses needed to fulfill the requirement in the fall semester.


Kevin Wu

(Illustration by Kevin Wu)

John Kim, Staff Writer

The current two-class science requirement at NYU’s College of Arts & Science may be cut down to one, according to Dean Wendy Suzuki. The proposal, which will likely include other changes to the college’s core curriculum, will be voted on by CAS faculty this fall. If it passes, changes will come into effect within the next two years. Current students will not have any additional requirements, Suzuki said.

Currently, CAS students must take two science courses — one physical science and one life science — to complete the “Foundations of Scientific Inquiry” component of the school’s core curriculum. Other core requirements include writing, history, language and mathematics courses. The new proposal, which comes after a five-year review of the CAS programme of study, would require that students take either a life science or physical science course, not both.

Suzuki said that one “well-designed” course would be enough for students to learn the science skills they need to graduate. The proposal to reduce the requirement will be reviewed by CAS Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, a group of faculty who review proposals for course and degree requirements before they go to a vote. The proposal has already undergone review by faculty and has received input from students, advisors and administrators.

When CAS announced the curriculum review in 2019, other changes to the core curriculum were proposed, including adding a new “Data and Discovery” requirement of a data analysis course, and making the topics in the “Texts & Ideas” and “Cultures & Contexts” courses more inclusive.

CAS senior Monserrat Gabisch said that the school should vote in favor of the proposal so that students can focus on their majors instead of taking unrelated required courses. Gabisch said that core courses always fill up quickly during the registration period, so it can be difficult for students to complete the requirements early on.

“As a senior, I’m taking that second science course and it was super annoying,” Gabisch said. “If I didn’t have to do that second one, I would have been able to do so many other options — it would have been amazing.”

Other students also said that the school should improve flexibility in its core curriculum, such as allowing students to take more diverse courses in different fields or languages.

Chanelle Chong, a junior at CAS, said the school should offer more options for each core curriculum requirement as courses often fill up quickly.

“It’s really hard for everyone to plan their courses and satisfy all the requirements by graduation,” Chong said. “If the dean really wants to lessen the workload of students, I would say that’s good.”

Adrianna Nehme and Bruna Horvath contributed reporting. Contact John Kim at [email protected].