Curriculum

The first year

The prescribed three-course sequence for the Interdisciplinary Science Program follows:

Fall semester

ISP 117. The Process of Discovery
This discussion- and activity-based first-year seminar introduces broad scientific ideas that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. Through in-class activities, group projects, and a community-service project, the course will examine the scientific process from the initial concept to the published result. We will examine disciplinary differences in how discoveries are made and how research is done. We will also explore writing and reporting styles and special topics such as scientific ethics and the funding of research. Writing assignments are designed to prepare you for future college work, and guests are invited to visit class so students can make connections with faculty and nearby graduate programs and professional schools.

Spring semester

ISP 118. Interdisciplinary Science Research Apprenticeship
One of the primary goals of the ISP is to give you the opportunity to become involved in scientific research at the earliest possible point in your undergraduate career. At the end of the fall term, all ISP students tour the laboratories in which they may conduct research in the spring semester. Following the tours, students meet with faculty members with whom they are interested in working to discuss their research plans. These discussions allow each student to select a project that best suits his or her interests and schedule.

During the spring term, you will begin your work as an apprentice with a faculty mentor and, often, with a junior or senior research student. The focus of the work may be in experimental science or in a tutorial setting. While a large proportion of Trinity science majors elects to do some research as part of their course of study, these students typically do not begin to do research until the junior year. The ISP research apprenticeships, on the other hand, will introduce you to the research environment in your first year of college. Once they begin their research projects, ISP students often elect to continue their research throughout their remaining college years.

It is quite common at Trinity for students to be co-authors with their faculty mentors on one or more research publications prior to graduation and to present the results of their research at national scientific meetings. The ISP serves as a springboard for this type of involvement.

Summer following the first year (optional)

You may elect to stay on campus for the 10-week summer research program to continue your work. If so, you are guaranteed a stipend and summer housing.

The sophomore year

The third and final course in the program is normally taken in your sophomore year.  You can choose from a list of courses in the social sciences and humanities that deal with issues of science and society.  In addition to these special courses, all participants are required to complete the following course work:
1) Two semesters of laboratory science in a single department
2) Two semesters of mathematics, typically calculus and/or statistics