Matter and Motion

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, and Spring 2019 quarters

Taught by

physical chemistry


Students must pass an admission test that will be based on their knowledge of pre-calculus. A sample test will be emailed to all students who are registered for the program by late summer. Students must be prepared to begin learning calculus on the first day of class.

This yearlong program is a rigorous introduction to the knowledge and skills students need to continue their studies in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and the natural sciences. We will cover key concepts in university physics, general chemistry, and calculus.

Modern science has been remarkably successful in providing understanding of how natural systems behave. Such disparate phenomena as the workings of cell phones, the ways in which we detect supermassive black holes in the galactic core, the use of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of disease, the effects of global carbon dioxide levels on shellfish growth, and the design of batteries for electric cars, are all linked at a deeply fundamental level. This program will introduce you to the theory and practice of the science behind these and other phenomena, while providing the solid academic background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics necessary for advanced study in those fields as well as for engineering, medicine, and biology.

There will be a strong laboratory focus during which we will explore the nature of chemical and physical systems in a highly collaborative environment. The key to success in the program will depend on commitment to work, learning, and collaboration.

The work will be intensive and challenging, but the material exciting; students should expect to spend at least 50 hours a week engaged with assignments and material during and outside of class. During fall we will focus on skill building in the laboratory and acquiring the basic tools in chemistry, physics, and calculus. By winter quarter students will increase their ability to integrate disciplines, moving between established models and experimental data to ask and seek answers to their own questions. A spring quarter component will be a library or laboratory research project and presentation of their findings to the public, allowing students to share their knowledge with a broad audience.

Credit equivalencies for the program include calculus (I, II, and III), general chemistry with laboratory, and university physics with laboratory.

Program Details

Fields of Study

chemistry mathematics physics

Preparatory For

chemistry, physics, mathematics,  engineering, environmental science, medicine and health-care fields, and teaching.


Fall Open Winter Signature Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

May be offered again in