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Major, Goals, Requirements, & Forms

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The Science major at Penn State, offering a B.S. degree, is designed specifically for students who have education goals relating to scientific theory and practice and who require a high degree of flexibility to obtain their educational objectives. After completing foundation courses in calculus, chemistry, physics, and the life sciences, students will select additional science courses from designated areas. A large number of supporting credits permit students to readily include significant breadth or specialization into their undergraduate curriculum. Some examples include minors in business, computer and information science, education, kinesiology, or other fields.

More about the Science Major

This major can help prepare students for various careers in pharmaceutical, biotechnical, chemical, medical, and agricultural industries. The degree can also be tailored to meet the specific requirements of professional programs such as medical, dental, or pharmacy schools. The General Science option of the B.S. Science degree allows for the most flexibility. Achievement in a more specialized set of goals can be met by selecting one of the other B.S. options offered: the Biological Sciences and Health Professions option or the Legal Studies, Government Service, Public Policy option. A large number of supporting credits permit students to readily include significant breadth or specialization into their undergraduate curriculum. Some examples include minors in business/liberal arts, computer and information science, kinesiology, psychology, history, or other fields. For the B.S. degree in Science, a minimum of 124 credits is required, with at least 15 credits at the 400 level.

Many students from this major go on to graduate school in some specific science discipline or to professional school in areas such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, law, or business. Other students seek immediate employment in a wide variety of science-related disciplines such as sales or service in chemical or drug companies, technical assistants in biological laboratories, research in industry or government, science writing, education, etc.

Program Goals

Program Goal: The 4-year interdisciplinary Science degree prepares students for transition to careers founded broadly on an understanding of the core principles in the life, mathematical and physical sciences.

List of Program Learning Objectives:
  1. Students will acquire a foundation in the science disciplines (biology, chemistry and physics) of sufficient breadth and depth to enable them to read and critically interpret scientific literature.
  2. Student will develop strong oral and written communication skills necessary to communicate their findings to others.
  3. Students will develop basic knowledge of the primary natural science disciplines of chemistry, biology and physics and understand of the interdisciplinary nature of the fields. (Interdisciplinary goal).

    a. Specifically, students will understand the basis of genetic variation in sexually reproducing organisms and the importance of this variation in the process of evolution.

    i. Students can describe the process of meiosis at the cellular level.

    ii. Students understand the role of meiosis in the production of gametes

    iii. Students appreciate the importance of this variation in populations for the process of natural selection.

  4. Students will identify and explore career options and utilize college resources to follow through to make viable career choices.

Information & Forms

Current Degree Requirement Check Sheets and Academic Plans (Entrance to Major Pools 2010/2011 to current)

Former/Archived Degree Requirement Check Sheets and Academic Plans

As of the academic year 2010-2011 no new students will be permitted to declare the following 2009 options in the Science major.  Please refer to the new, updated options available above.
Requirement Check Sheet for the Science major, General Science option
Recommended Academic Plan for the Science major, General Science option

Requirement Check Sheet for the Science major, Life Science option
Recommended Academic Plan for the Science major, Life Science option

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