Scientific inquiry is a powerful approach to developing human understanding of the natural world. This requirement aims at strengthening students' knowledge of the scientific way of knowing — the use of systematic observation and experimentation to develop theories and test hypotheses. While rigorous scientific inquiry occurs in a wide variety of disciplines, courses which satisfy Earlham's Scientific Inquiry Requirement are limited to subjects which investigate natural phenomena.
To fulfill the Scientific Inquiry Requirement, students must take at least two courses, totaling at least seven credits, from an approved list. At least one of these courses must be a four-credit designated Lab Course. Lab Courses give students the opportunity to do hands-on scientific research involving the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Approved courses that are Non-Lab Courses, though not necessarily emphasizing the research process, all require one or more investigative projects. Courses fulfilling this requirement may simultaneously satisfy other General Education (e.g., Analytical Reasoning) or major requirements if appropriately designated.
- Develops students' understanding of the natural world.
- Strengthens students' knowledge of the scientific way of knowing — the use of systematic observation and experimentation to develop theories and test hypotheses.
- Emphasizes and provides first-hand experience with both theoretical analysis and the collection of empirical data.