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Science Major
Major, goals, requirements, and forms

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.

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.

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.

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

For plans from previous semesters, contact the Science Advising Center

Students entering Summer 2018 to Present

General Science option

  • Requirements for the General Science option (On the Undergraduate Bulletin website select Requirements for the major, then Common requirements for the major (all options) and Requirements for the option)
  • Academic Plan (On the Undergraduate Bulletin website select Suggested Academic Plan major and select "General Option at University Park")

Biological Sciences & Health Professions option

  • Requirements for Biological Sciences & Health Professions option (On the Undergraduate Bulletin website select Requirements for the major, then Common requirements for the major (all options) and Requirements for the option)
  • Academic Plan (On the Undergraduate Bulletin website select Suggested Academic Plan major and select "Biological Sciences and Health Professions Option at University Park")

Legal Studies, Government Service, Public Policy option

  • Requirements Legal Studies, Government Service, Public Policy option (On the Undergraduate Bulletin website select Requirements for the major, then Common requirements for the major (all options) and Requirements for the option)
  • Academic Plan (On the Undergraduate Bulletin website select Suggested Academic Plan major and select "Legal Studies, Government Service and Public Policy Option at University Park")

 

Life Sciences Option

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Berks, Harrisburg, Scranton, University Park, York

Mathematical Sciences Option

Available at the following campuses: Altoona

Physical Sciences Option

Available at the following campuses: Altoona

Not all of these options are available at all locations, and there are minor distinctions of the core curriculum at some locations, so see the Science program director at your College for further details.

 

Students entering Fall 2016 to Spring 2018

General Science option - Requirement Check Sheet, Academic Plan

Biological Sciences & Health Professions option - Requirement Check Sheet, Academic Plan

Legal Studies, Government Service, Public Policy option - Requirement Check Sheet, Academic Plan