- Considering how often interests change upon encounter with different subjects at the college level, first-year students should strive for variety and exploration both within the science/math area and in the other distribution groups. We strongly encourage students to take no more than two six-credit courses from a single science department, and no more than four science courses overall, during the first year.
- Mathematics is an important tool for all the sciences. Students who are interested in the physical sciences should begin the calculus sequence during the first year; those interested in Physics or Chemistry and who have no calculus advanced placement should normally take two terms of calculus during the first year.
- Virtually all students wish to probe and explore a variety of academic interests in their first year at Carleton. The recommended number of math-science courses is four, which still allows diversity in a student's program since there is room for five courses in the humanities and social sciences.
- All of the natural science majors have considerable flexibility. In each of our departments, it is entirely possible to delay the start of a major to the sophomore year (though this may limit some options within the department--e.g., research participation or certain senior-level courses). With proper advance planning, any science student can also participate in off-campus study.