Quantitative Literacy is:

“The ability to identify, understand and use quantitative arguments in everyday contexts.  Quantitative literacy describes a habit of mind rather than a set of topics or a list of skills.” (Deborah Hughes-Hallett)

QSR Requirement

Hamilton expects that every student will demonstrate facility in quantitative and symbolic reasoning by completing one or more courses in at least one of the following three categories:

  • Statistical Analysis.  The use of statistical analysis to describe data and to make inferences.
  • Mathematical Representation.  The use of mathematical models such as those based on graphs, equations, and geometric objects to represent patterns, relationships, and forms.
  • Logic and Symbolic Reasoning.  The use of formal logic or symbolic reasoning such as in the following examples:  the proper construction of a computer program or a formal proof; the analysis of language in linguistics; or the study of music theory.

Courses across the curriculum that fulfill this requirement are described as quantitative and symbolic reasoning (QSR) courses under Courses of Instruction.  They are also listed online in Web Advisor and in the printed course schedule booklet distributed before each registration period.  The College offers tutoring in the area of quantitative and symbolic reasoning through the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center and the Peer Tutoring Program.  

This requirement should be fulfilled by the end of the second year at Hamilton College.

When you meet with your academic advisor during orientation, be sure to discuss your plans for fulfilling the QSR requirement.

If you have questions about the quantitative literacy requirement or about the quantitative and symbolic reasoning requirement, contact the director of the QSR Center.

Tutor Appointments

Peer tutor and consultant appointments are managed through TracCloud (login required). Find resources and more information about the ALEX centers using the following links.


Jessica Kelly

Director of the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center

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