Majors

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Penn State Science offers 16 undergraduate majors. Learn about entrance to major requirements, recommended academic plans, and additional resources.

Entrance to College Pre-Major (SCIEN)

The requirements to enter the college in general, premajor status are:

  • 2.00 cumulative grade-point average (CGPA)
  • A grade of C or higher in MATH 140

Astronomy & Astrophysics (ASTRO)

Are you interested in the nature, origin, and evolution of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmos? The Astronomy & Astrophysics major applies a strong and broad foundation in physics, mathematics, and computation to detailed understanding of modern astronomy. Graduates typically proceed to advanced degrees in astronomy and other sciences, and into a wide variety of technical professions.

Entrance to Major Requirements

  • 2.00 CGPA
  • 27.1 credits
  • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
    • ASTRO 291
    • CHEM 110
    • MATH 140
    • MATH 141
    • PHYS 211
    • PHYS 212

Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

    More on Astronomy & Astrophysics

    Visit the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

    Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (B M B)

    Every variety of biological responses can be explained in terms of the structures and interactions of cells and molecules. Students in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major study such events by engaging in extensive laboratory experiences and taking advantage of opportunities to participate in faculty-initiated research projects. Graduates continue their education at graduate school, professional health school, and law school or they find employment in biotechnology and health-related industries, including government, academic, and private laboratories.

    Entrance to Major Requirements

    • 2.00 CGPA
    • 27.1 credits
    • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
      • CHEM 110
      • CHEM 111
      • CHEM 112
      • MATH 140

    Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

    More on Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

    Visit the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

    Biology (BIOL)

    The Biology (BIOL) major prepares students to proactively protect the welfare all living species. This critical field of study delivers the breadth and depth you will need to understand living beings and their interactions with the biosphere. Most graduates continue their education at professional schools — in fact, about 80 percent of Penn State Biology graduates who apply to medical school are accepted. Other graduates enter industry, government, non-profit organizations, and universities doing research, teaching, and more.

    Entrance to Major Requirements

    • 2.00 CGPA
    • 27.1 credits
    • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
      • BIOL 110
      • CHEM 110
      • MATH 140
    • At least one of the following courses with a grade of C or better:
      • BIOL 220W
      • BIOL 230W
      • BIOL 240W

    Recommended Academic Plans

    Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

    Course Checksheets

    Other Biology Advising Forms

    More on Biology

    Visit the Department of Biology undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

    Biotechnology (BIOTC)

    Students in the Biotechnology major will participate in extensive laboratory experiences and rigorous academic training to develop technologies and products to combat disease, hunger, and other environmental detriments. Students in the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) option complete a formal clinical education program and graduate with a certificate of completion from this program in addition to their bachelor of science degree. They continue on to enjoy job opportunities in the clinical environment or the industrial sector. Graduates of the General option typically gain employment in the industrial sector.

    Entrance to Major Requirements

    • 2.00 CGPA
    • 27.1 credits
    • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
      • CHEM 110
      • CHEM 111
      • CHEM 112
      • MATH 140

    Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

    Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

      Course Checksheets

      More on Biotechnology

      Visit the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

      Chemistry (CHEM)

      Students interested in the why and how of science should consider the Chemistry major. This major focuses on the theory and practice of chemistry: the study of matter at the molecular level. Students will gain a solid understanding of chemistry through laboratory experiences and a thorough academic curriculum covering mathematic, physics, and— of course— chemistry. Most graduates attend graduate and professional schools or secure employment in the research, marketing, or business activities of industry related to chemistry.

      Entrance to Major Requirements

      • 2.00 CGPA
      • 27.1 credits
      • Courses required with a grade of C or better AND a CGPA of 2.50 in these courses:
        • CHEM 110
        • CHEM 111
        • CHEM 112
        • CHEM 113
        • CHEM 210
        • MATH 140
        • MATH 141

      Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

      Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major concentration.

          Course Checksheet

          CHEM checksheet

          More on Chemistry

          Visit the Department of Chemistry undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

          Forensic Science (FRNSC)

          Students in Forensic Science will learn how to apply scientific principles and methods to assist criminal and civil investigations and litigations. This interdisciplinary major unites experts throughout the University to educate students in biological, physical, and mathematical sciences. Graduates often pursue employment as a scientist in a federal, state, or private forensic laboratory or with insurance companies, homeland security agencies, or the judicial community. Other graduates continue to earn advanced degrees in forensic science, medicine, psychology, law, and more.

          Entrance to Major Requirements

          • 2.00 CGPA
          • 27.1 credits
          • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
            • CHEM 110
            • CHEM 111
            • CHEM 112
            • FRNSC 210
            • MATH 140

          Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

          Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

              More on Forensics

              Visit the Forensic Science undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

              Mathematics (MTHBA/MTHBS)

              The Mathematics program offers two degree options: bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in Mathematics.

              The bachelor of arts degree option provides opportunities for students to take in-depth courses in all branches of mathematics while still maintaining the flexibility to study the arts, humanities, and social sciences. This degree is useful for students who seek employment in areas with an indirect relationship with mathematics, such as computers and other technical fields.

              The specialized bachelor of science degree option is designed for students who want to use mathematics in business, actuarial, engineering, or computer fields or who want to pursue graduate work in mathematics, statistics, economics, or finance. Students in this major should work closely with their adviser to define their career goals and select a corresponding degree option.

              Entrance to Major Requirements

              • 2.00 CGPA
              • 27.1 credits
              • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                • MATH 140
                • MATH 141

              Recommended Academic Plan (RAP)

              Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

              More on Mathematics

              Visit the Mathematics Department undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

              Microbiology (MICRB)

              Students in the Microbiology (MICRB) major study the science of the simplest forms of life and the response of more complex life forms to their presence and activities. This evolving area of study prepares students to become pioneers in the field of microbiology, including fields such as molecular genetics, immunology, bacteriology, and virology. Graduates are well-prepared for graduate and professional schools or for assuming positions in the biopharmaceutical industry.

              Entrance to Major Requirements

              • 2.00 CGPA
              • 27.1 credits
              • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                • CHEM 110
                • CHEM 111
                • CHEM 112
                • MATH 140

              Recommended Academic Plan

              Microbiology BS

              More on Microbiology

              Visit the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

              Physics (PHYS)

              Physics is the quest to discover the basic principles or laws which govern the natural world. Physics students are curious about nature and enthusiastic about using mathematics as a tool to describe it. With six academic options available, students should have no trouble finding an academic curriculum to suit their particular interests. Graduates continue to graduate schools in physics, astronomy, and engineering or gain employment as researchers and developers in industry and government or as educators.

              Entrance to Major Requirements

              • 2.00 CGPA
              • 27.1 credits
              • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                • CHEM 110
                • MATH 140
                • MATH 141
                • PHYS 211
                • PHYS 212

              Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

              Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

                      More on Physics

                      Visit the Physics undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

                      Planetary Science & Astronomy (PASTR)

                      Planetary Science & Astronomy is designed to provide students a strong foundation in physics, mathematics, and astronomy while also giving students the flexibility to pursue a variety of secondary interests. This major program serves students who plan to pursue a career immediately after graduation. Graduates find jobs in informal or formal education, support positions for astronomical research, or in industry with a scientific focus.

                      Entrance to Major Requirements

                      • 2.00 CGPA
                      • 27.1 credits
                      • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                        • MATH 140
                      • At least four of the following courses with a grade of C or better:
                        • ASTRO 120, 130, and 140
                        • BIOL 110
                        • CHEM 110
                        • EARTH 002
                        • GEOSC 001 and 020
                        • STAT 200

                      Recommended Academic Plan (RAP)

                      Planetary Science & Astronomy

                      More on Planetary Science & Astronomy

                      Visit the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

                      Pre-Medical/Medical (P M M)

                      The exclusive Penn State-Jefferson Premedical-Medical (P M M) accelerated program combines a rigorous undergraduate curriculum at the Penn State Eberly College of Science and medical study at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Students in this program complete their B.S. and M.D. in as little as seven years and continue on to become medical doctors.

                      Entrance to Major Requirements

                      Students can enter the major only through direct admission.

                      Recommended Academic Plan

                      Refer to your academic adviser.

                      More on Pre-Medical/Medical

                      Visit the Pre-Medical/Medical website or one of the following links for more information:

                      Premedicine (P M)

                      The Premedicine (P M) Bachelor of Science degree program provides a broad foundation necessary to the understanding of modern medical studies. Students are afforded opportunities to acquire foundations in the science disciplines, oral and written communications, and relevant ethics. Additionally, this flexible major gives students the freedom to tailor the program to fit their individual interests. Most graduates continue their education in medical or professional schools and pursue careers as doctors of medicine, doctors of dentistry, or doctors of pharmacy.

                      Entrance to Major Requirements for students entering Fall 2015 and later:

                      • 3.2 CGPA
                      • 27.1 credits
                      • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                        • BIOL 110
                        • BIOL 230W
                        • CHEM 110
                        • CHEM 111
                        • CHEM 112
                        • CHEM 113
                        • CHEM 210
                        • MATH 140
                        • Math 141

                      Recommended Academic Plan (RAP)

                      Map out your education with the recommended academic plan for your major option.

                      More on Premedicine

                      Visit the Premedicine website or one of the following links for more information:

                        Science (SC BS)

                        The Bachelor of Science degree in Science is specifically designed for students who have education goals relating to scientific theory and practice and who require a high degree of flexibility to obtain these goals. Graduates go on to graduate school in their preferred science discipline or to professional school in areas such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, law, or business. Others seek employment in a variety of science-related disciplines including sales or service in chemical or drug companies, technical assistants in biological laboratories, research in industry or government, science writing, and education.

                        Entrance to Major Requirements

                        • 2.00 CGPA
                        • 27.1 credits
                        • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                          • MATH 140
                        • At least two of the following courses with a grade of C or better:
                          • BIOL 110
                          • CHEM 110
                          • PHYS 211 OR 250

                        Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

                        Course Checksheets

                        More on Science

                        Visit the Science undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

                            Science B.S./M.B.A. (SCBUS)

                            This five-year program provides outstanding and highly motivated students with the opportunity to earn two Penn State degrees: a Bachelor of Science degree in Science from the Eberly College of Science and a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Smeal College of Business. Students choose a specific focus area (such as..)

                            Entrance to Major Requirements

                            Students can enter the major only through direct admission.

                            Recommended Academic Plan

                            Map out your education with the Science BS/MBA recommended academic plan.

                            More on Science B.S./M.B.A.

                            Visit the Science B.S./M.B.A. website or one of the following links for more information:

                            Statistics (STAT)

                            Students interested in mathematics, computation, and quantitative aspects of sciences should consider the Statistics major. This program will prepare students for graduate school or for careers in pharmaceutical or clinical research divisions, quality control, and other data-intensive industries.

                            Entrance to Major Requirements

                            • 2.00 CGPA
                            • 27.1 credits
                            • Courses required with a grade of C or better:
                              • MATH 140
                              • MATH 141

                            Recommended Academic Plans (RAP)

                            Course Checksheets

                            More on Statistics

                            Visit the Statistics undergraduate website or one of the following links for more information:

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