The educational philosophy of Lyman Briggs College is based on the belief that those sharing an interest in the sciences will benefit from living and learning together. By taking core academic courses, working with faculty, and meeting with advisors in the very building where they live, students are encouraged to pursue their intellectual aspirations to the fullest and to enhance their peers' intellectual development and personal growth.
Founded with the mission of bridging the divide between the sciences and humanities, Lyman Briggs provides its students with a strong education in mathematics and science, within their social, historical and philosophical contexts. Students start by building a core science foundation through courses in biology, chemistry, math, and physics that introduce the topics and methods of a particular field and also demonstrate the inter-relation of the various scientific disciplines. Briggs students also take a sequence of courses in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of science (HPS), ranging from a freshman introduction to HPS through an interdisciplinary senior capstone seminar. These courses draw students into thinking about the societal environment in which science is done and the impact science has upon society.
Briggs faculty implement this integrated inter-disciplinary curriculum using research-validated pedagogical techniques and technologies that make students active participants in the classroom. Our science courses help students understand the nature of scientific reasoning, evidence, and knowledge both at a theoretical level and by asking them to generate new knowledge through course-based research projects. In our HPS classes, students learn how to analyze the way scientists think about questions in their own discipline, and how scholars in other fields evaluate the methods and conclusions of science. Briggs also promotes undergraduate research experiences through faculty mentoring, competitive research grants, inquiry-based classroom labs, and an emphasis on the acquisition of science process skills.