Questions about the curriculum

Q: Is there a GPA requirement for QSS Majors?

A: Yes.  QSS requires that all of its students write theses, and the College requires that all students writing theses have at least a GPA of 3.0 at the start of senior year.  See the Honors Program page in the ORC for details.  A student who, at the start of his or her senior year, does not have at least a 3.0 in general and a 3.0 in QSS major courses will not be able to write a thesis in QSS and must leave the program.

Q: How are QSS theses graded?

A: Assessment of QSS theses is done in accordance with Dartmouth rules on undergraduate honors.  See the Honors Program page in the ORC for details. Per these guidelines, a student who completes a thesis in QSS does not necessarily receive honors.  Rather, only students whose work is judged to be of sufficiently high quality will graduate with Honors or High Honors.  

Q: What introductory statistics course should I take?

A: For its major and minor, QSS accepts any introductory statistics course offered at Dartmouth. That said, it is best to take a statistic class that is taught using the statistical computing environment called R. QSS 15, which is the QSS introductory statistics course, uses R. Some sections of Government 10 use R. If you have taken an introductory statistic course that does not use R, for example, Economics 10, this is not a serious problem. It means only that you will have to learn R in another course.

Q: Is an introductory statistics course a prerequisite for all QSS courses?

A: No. One course that all QSS students should take is QSS 16 (Data Visualization). This class is taught in R, and introductory statistics is not a prerequisite for QSS 16.

Q: I have Advanced Placement (AP) credit in Statistics. Should I take an introductory statistics course at Dartmouth?

A: This is not a simple question. The registrar will not allow a student with AP statistics credit to register for QSS 15, Economics 10, Government 10, or another similar course at Dartmouth. If you have AP statistics credit, you should look at the QSS 15 syllabus and/or visit a section of an intermediate statistics course. If, having done these things, you feel that your AP course in statistics did not prepare you well, you will need to consider giving up your AP statistics credit and taking an introductory statistics course at Dartmouth. On the other hand, you may feel that your AP course prepared you well; in this case, you should keep your credit for introductory statistics.  If you are unsure of what to do, see the Chair of QSS.

Q: When should I take Computer Science (COSC) 1?

A: Learning the basics of computer programming is an important part of the QSS curriculum.  We recommmend completing COSC 1 by the end of a student's fourth quarter on campus.