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Integrated Science Freshman Year

The freshman Integrated Science course ( ISC/CHM/COS/MOL/PHY 231/232 fall and 233/234 spring ) is a double course, meaning that it counts as two courses each semester (out of the four you would normally take). It results in formal credit for introductory chemistry (two semesters), physics (two semesters) and computer science (one semester). It also includes a substantial amount of biology. A non-traditional laboratory component is also part of the course, which includes experiments from all these sciences.

It is important to take the double course designation seriously. The course requires the exact effort expected of two typical Princeton courses. While students taking Integrated Science plus two other courses generally thrive in campus life, those who attempt to take it plus three other courses (an overload) usually find it burdensome.

Many students have questions about how to combine integrated science with their math studies. This is a difficult question, and the answer depends in detail on the individual student's preparation, as well as the juggling of different opportunities and requirements. In general, we have found that students who are comfortable with calculus at the level of the Advanced Placement BC course do well in the Fall semester without taking any additional math. The Spring semester, however, makes more extensive use of multivariable calculus. Students thus need to prepare for this. The closest match to what we use in Integrated Science is provided by MAT 203, although other options also are possible. For further advice, please contact the faculty or more senior students directly.

The course meets Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 10:50am; in addition there is a three-hour laboratory session and a three-hour computational precept each week. There is also a required weekly problem session held in the evening.