Frequently Asked Questions About MapCores

Do other colleges have the Math, Physics, Computer Science Research Scholars program?

While other colleges have programs designed to encourage women to pursue careers in math and science, none are quite like ours. We believe our program's curricular emphasis on research, as well as its inter-disciplinary nature, make it unique. By both supporting women and training them to be better researchers, we believe that MapCores will help our students be successful in our disciplines.

Can men join this program?

Not at this time. The purpose of this program is to encourage more women to become involved in math, computer science, physics and engineering.

Can I fit MapCores in? Aren't these majors already large?

While the math, computer science, and physics majors are all rigorous, we do not believe that the additional MapCores requirements will be a hardship. In fact, this program should help women succeed in our majors. The only additional coursework required for MapCores are the one credit seminars in each semester of the sophomore and junior years. The seminar courses will count as physics electives for physics majors, so these courses will fit particular well for physics majors.

In order to give students some common background for the interdisciplinary seminar courses, student will also be encouraged to, but not required to, take introductory courses in math (MATH 119), computer science (CSCI 150), and physics (PHYS 191). Since all three majors already require introductory courses in their own field and math courses, this suggestion will only lead to one extra course for computer science and physics majors and two for math majors.

Can I be in the Honors program as well?

Yes, MapCores and the Honors Program complement each other. The MapCores First Year Seminar course counts toward the Honors program. The problem-solving and research seminar courses count as for Honors credits, as well. Completing an Honors senior thesis is one way to meet the MapCores senior thesis or project requirement.

Can I study abroad as well?

Yes, you can study abroad and take part in MapCores, but you need to begin planning early. Many mathematics, computer science, and physics majors do study abroad for a semester, though it can be difficult to schedule. It is also worth considering studying abroad during May term. Students who study abroad for a semester will not have to make up the MapCores seminar that they miss while they are away. Most MapCores students have taken advantage of one of these study abroad opportunities.

What about engineering? Can I do a 3/2 engineering program and be part of MapCores?

Yes, women interested in engineering can join MapCores, though they must concurrently meet the requirements of a physics, computer science, or mathemtics major. (Currently, most of our students interested in engineering follow the physics major.)

What if I decide to go to graduate school?

The MapCores professors will be happy to help advise you on the graduate school application process. Getting women interested in research and graduate school are goals of this program.

What if I take a non-science job after graduating?

We are sure that your education will help you whatever path your career takes. While the purpose of this program is to get more women to pursue careers in math, computer science, physics, and engineering, we understand that people's plans change. One of the joys of a liberal arts education is that it allows students to follow diverse paths. Many of our former students have had successful careers in areas remote from math and science, and they tell us that the discipline and problem-solving skills that they learned with us have served them well.