Faculty at the University of Richmond feel strongly that all science students should have the option of learning in an interdisciplinary environment. The Science Math and Research Training (SMART) and IQS courses are two options at the introductory level. For students who wish to formally continue exploring science in an integrated fashion past the introductory level, a minor in Integrated Science is also available.
SMART introduces the topics of chemistry and biology in an integrated fashion while relating concepts of calculus 1 and 2 to science. The program offers a hands-on, research-based learning environment where working as part of a team is important. If you are a bit nervous that your quantitative skills aren’t as strong as you would like them to be, the SMART program may be for you. After completing the SMART course students have equivalent credit for Biology 199, Chemistry 141, Calculus 211 and Calculus 212, a total of four units.
The integrated biology-chemistry course will be team-taught by two faculty members each semester, one from each discipline. Each faculty member will attend all of the classes, exploring connections between disciplines along with the students. In collaboration with the faculty from both the biology-chemistry and calculus courses, students will identify a lab to conduct research in, starting either during the first year or the summer following the first year at Richmond.
Training in fields such as biochemistry, neuroscience, and biomedical research, which are at the interface of traditional disciplines, is burgeoning as we tackle the challenging questions of our generation. To this end, SMART tackles the difficult problems of antibiotic resistance in the fall semester and the HIV epidemic in the spring semester.
The broad-based exposure to ideas and techniques from a variety of areas is excellent preparation for graduate and pre-professional work in any of the sciences as well as mathematics and computer science.