Quantitative Reasoning Program

Director/Senior Lecturer: Taylor
Lecturer: Polito
Advisory Committee: Brabander (Geosciences), Ducas (Physics), Flynn (Chemistry), Genero (Psychology), Hawes (Education), Keane (Psychology), McGowan (Philosophy), Shuchat (Mathematics), Stark (Physics), Swingle (Sociology), Wolfson (Chemistry)

The ability to think clearly and critically about quantitative issues is imperative in contemporary society. Today, quantitative reasoning is required in virtually all academic fields, is used in most every profession, and is necessary for decision making in everyday life. The Quantitative Reasoning Program is designed to ensure that Wellesley College students are proficient in the use of mathematical, logical, and statistical problem-solving tools needed in today’s increasingly quantitative world.

The Quantitative Reasoning Program provides a number of services to the academic community. It oversees the administration of the Quantitative Reasoning Assessment (described below) and staffs QR 140, the basic-skills course, and some overlay courses. The Program also provides tutorial support to students and instructors of quantitative reasoning overlay courses. Finally, the Quantitative Reasoning Program provides curricular support to faculty interested in modifying existing courses or designing new ones so that these courses will satisfy the overlay component of the quantitative reasoning requirement.

Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

All students must satisfy both components of the quantitative reasoning requirement: the basic-skills component and the overlay course component. The basic-skills component is satisfied either by passing the Quantitative Reasoning Assessment given during Orientation or by passing QR 140, the basic-skills course that builds mathematical skills in the context of real-world applications. Students are required to satisfy the basic skills component in their first year so that they may enroll in the many courses for which basic quantitative skills (including algebra, geometry, basic probability and statistics, graph theory, estimation, and mathematical modeling) are a prerequisite.

The overlay component is satisfied by passing a quantitative reasoning overlay course or by scoring a 5 on the AP Statistics exam. Quantitative reasoning overlay courses emphasize statistical analysis and interpretation of data in a specific discipline. The Committee on Curriculum and Academic Policy has designated specific courses in fields from across the curriculum as ones that satisfy the quantitative reasoning overlay requirement. These courses (listed below) may also be used to satisfy a distribution requirement. See the Statistics section of the catalog for more information about some of these quantitative reasoning overlay courses.



Departments and Programs