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If you’re in CC or Barnard, one of your graduation requirements is to take two science classes. (Though depending on your school and class year, your semesters of lab might vary—at Columbia you don’t need any lab, for Nine Ways of Knowing-ers, you’ll need two, and for Foundations, only one.) Maybe you’re not a science-y person, and the idea of taking science classes makes you want to cry. Maybe you are a science person, but want a GPA boost, or may think that the science classes you have to take for your major are more than enough.

Either way, there are some easy ways to figure out how to knock out your requirements. I’ve consulted Columbia’s list of “Courses Designed for Nonscience Majors,” EZACU, and CULPA to come up with classes that’ll be offered in fall 2017.


Astronomy, not to be confused with astrology, is the study of ~sparkly stars~ (and just a little bit more). These classes will all fulfill the CC and Barnard science requirements:

*Note: We only included the ranges for classes that were listed on EZACU with the same professors that are teaching next fall.

Computer Science/Electrical Engineering

The only CS class offered next fall on the list of “Courses Designed for Nonscience Majors” is Computing in Context with Professor Cannon (who also has a silver nugget on CULPA). It teaches the programming language Python. Barnardigans, this will fulfill your Foundations Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement.

A class that will fulfill the CC requirement (but sadly not any Barnard requirements) is The Digital Information Age with Professor Vallancourt, who has a gold nugget. (As someone who has had him as a professor, I can say it’s pretty rightfully deserved.) This class also has a 71% A-range.


If you’re afraid of what is happening to Mother Earth, you might want to take A Better Planet by Design with Professor Lall (who has a silver nugget on CULPA). For Barnard, this will knock out both your Foundations science lecture and your Thinking through Global Inquiry requirement.

Human Origins and Evolution traces human history for the past 65 million years. Professor Shapiro has the coveted gold nugget on CULPA, so apparently she can make fossils interesting while fulfilling the science requirements for Barnard and CC.

Math and Statistics

While it may seem odd that a philosophy class fulfills the science req, Symbolic Logic is more of a math class. The course description says, “No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable.” I’m intrigued.

Introduction to Statistical Reasoning is a basic intro stats course that will also count towards that requirement. Both of these classes fulfill the Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically requirement for Barnard.


For those of you aiming to delve deeper into the psyche, The Science of Psychology, also known as Introduction to Psychology and Mind, Brain and Behavior will fulfill CC and Barnard’s science requirements. For those of you considering pre-med, The Science of Psychology is the one Columbia recommends in preparation for the MCAT (and it has a 35-39% A-range, depending on the professor).

Take all this information with a grain of salt: A-ranges don’t mean everything. Some CULPA reviews are old, and even if a professor has a silver/gold nugget, they can still have some pretty scathing reviews. If a class on this list interests you, go for it. If a class looks really interesting but isn’t “easy,” you might even do better in it because you really like it.

Have any other suggestions for easy science classes? Taken one of these classes and think it’s not easy? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Victoria Yang is a SEAS first-year and Spectrum staff writer. All her classes are STEM. Reach her at

academics course registration science requirement columbia
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