Perspectives on Science and Engineering (PSE)

Perspectives on Science and Engineering (PSE) is a special course designed to supplement the academic program of selected freshmen who have exceptionally strong preparation in the areas of science, mathematics, and engineering. It consists of a series of lectures and discussions that reveal the scope and interconnectedness of many scientific disciplines. It is also designed to be fun. PSE meets for an hour and a half each Friday afternoon—about half the time of a standard course. Students earn one course credit for a full year’s enrollment; no credit is received if the entire course is not completed. Student and faculty participants attend biweekly lectures and, in the intervening weeks, divide into smaller seminar groups for discussion of the previous lecture’s topic.

Some of Yale’s most distinguished researchers and teachers address the seminar groups or participate with the students in the lectures and discussions. Each lecture is designed to introduce a key scientific question and to illustrate it with a specific observation, theory, or experiment that students from many disciplines can evaluate critically. Topics have included RNA enzymes, black holes, atomic clocks, evolution of birds and reptiles, chemistry of photosynthesis, thermodynamics of global warming, and development of the nervous system.

Application to Perspectives on Science and Engineering

Admission to PSE is limited to 60 students, and the number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of places. Selection is made on the basis of the online application to the program and on the student’s Yale College application. If you are interested in being considered for this program you must apply by June 6, 2013. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions by the end of July. If you apply to this program, you may not apply to Directed Studies. If you are accepted into PSE, you may not apply for any courses offered through the Freshman Seminar program.

If, after reading this material, you have questions about Perspectives on Science and Engineering, please contact the Yale College Dean’s Office at 203 432-1037.