Quantitative Reasoning

The ability to think clearly and critically about quantitative issues is imperative in contemporary society.

Today, quantitative reasoning is required in virtually all academic fields, is used in most every profession, and is necessary for decision-making in everyday life. The Quantitative Reasoning Program is designed to ensure that Wellesley College students are proficient in the use of mathematical, logical, and statistical problem-solving tools needed in today's increasingly quantitative world.

The College's QR and DL requirement has two components: the "Quantitative Reasoning" component and the "Data Literacy" (formerly "QR overlay") component. The Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component can be fulfilled by successful completion of the introductory quantitative reasoning course, QR 140. Alternatively, students may satisfy the QR requirement by demonstrating their understanding of the material via the QR Assessment by the end of Orientation. Students are required to complete the QR component during their first year. Incoming students can find suggestions and answers to frequently asked questions on our advice and FAQ pages.

The Data Literacy (DL) component is satisfied by passing a "data literacy course." Such courses emphasize statistical analysis and interpretation of data in a specific discipline. In a data literacy class, students study the framework for data analysis, examine various methods of data collection and measurement, and learn how to represent and summarize data, using various statistical distributions. They also study probability in order to understand sampling and inferential statistics. Advanced topics in data literacy courses include analysis of variance and multiple regression analysis. Currently, the College offers data literacy courses in art history, astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, economics, education, geosciences, mathematics, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology.

The QR Program provides a number of services to the academic community. It administers the Quantitative Reasoning Assessment, staffs the Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning course, and supports existing data literacy courses. The QR Program also provides curricular support to faculty interested in modifying existing courses or designing new ones so that these courses will satisfy the data literacy component of the QR & DL requirement. Additionally, the QR Program sponsors workshops on quantitative topics and provides tutorial support for both students and faculty.