The University Record, January 17, 1994

Faculty approve quantitative reasoning requirement

Students who enter LS&A in fall 1994 can choose from more than three dozen courses to meet the College’s new quantitative reasoning (QR) requirement.

Members of the Task Force on the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement, who developed the proposal, and others spearheading undergraduate curricular reform are optimistic that in the future students will have an even wider array to choose from, as new courses are created or identified that meet the QR requirement.

LS&A faculty voted unanimously last Monday to approve the requirement for each student seeking a B.S., A.B. or B.G.S. degree.

Two categories of potential courses can be used to fill the requirement: QR/1 (full QR credit) or QR/2 (half QR credit). Students may fulfill this requirement by:

(1) Successfully completing one course (of 3 credits or more) designated QR/1 (for full QR credit); or

(2) Successfully completing two courses (at least one of which must be 3 credits or more) designated QR/2 (for half QR credit).

Certification criteria for courses are based on the following principles:

  • Quantitative reasoning is first and foremost reasoning, which involves defining a problem, determining how to solve it, deducing consequences, formulating alternatives and predicting outcomes. It also must include some aspect that is quantitative, involving numerical or geometrical representation of real-world phenomena.

  • Quantitative reasoning is not mathematical manipulation or computation, but rather the logical process required to make useful judgments based on quantitative information.

    The next step for the College, according to Michael M. Martin, associate dean for undergraduate education, is to make sure that the QR requirement and courses are properly advertised and that students are counseled to enroll in them.