(full catalog description)

Physical scientists seek to reveal the fundamental nature and composition of matter and its interactions – essential to understanding modern technological society as well as our environment. This rigorous program integrates first-year college chemistry and physics with math to explore how scientists make sense of the natural world, with a special focus on the science of climate change. We hope you will join the faculty team in this exciting adventure. This program will prepare you for further work in mathematical and physical sciences.

Expect to spend at least 50 hours per week engaged with the course material in and out of class.  Laboratory work will enhance students’ learning experiences, as will the seminar discussions and workshops. Students are strongly encouraged to form study groups.

All areas of the program will emphasize the use of mathematical methods and developing critical thinking and communication skills. Successful students will improve their conceptual understanding and problem-solving abilities, their ability to collaborate effectively, and gain hands-on experience in physical science. Students will apply these skills and knowledge to complex problems showing the rich inter-connectedness of mathematical and physical systems.

 Matter and Motion has two tracks available, with part-time and full-time options within each track.

  • Precalculus track: Students proficient in high school Algebra 2 or equivalent can study precalculus, algebra-based physics, and general chemistry.
  • Calculus track: Students proficient in precalculus can study calculus, calculus-based physics, and general chemistry.
  • Partial Credit Options: Students interested in partial credit options should register for the full 16 credits, then contact faculty to discuss the reduced credit options. Students with questions about the various credit options or about their readiness for any portion of the program should contact any of the faculty team via email.  

Prerequisites: The most important prerequisites are college level study skills and the appropriate math background.  All students should have a strong foundation in intermediate algebra (or high school algebra 2 or integrated 3). In addition, students who plan to take the Calculus track (Calculus and/or Calculus-based Physics) must have completed the equivalent of Pre-Calculus I and II with satisfactory achievement or better (including algebra and trigonometry).  Please see the Math Resources tab above for more information and a variety of  review/self-study materials and diagnostic tests.