Natural Science

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The major in natural science is intended for the science-oriented student who wishes to acquire a broad background in the fundamentals of science and mathematics while concentrating in one of the specific disciplines. The program is particularly well-suited to students who desire preparation for graduate work or careers in interdisciplinary sciences such as biostatistics and biophysics. Examples of other students who might find this program suited to their needs: (1) those preparing for further study in the philosophy of science, (2) those interested in a career as a scientific or technical librarian, (3) students oriented towards a business career in a science-oriented industry, and (4) those with a general interest and ability in science who have not clearly determined in which area or discipline they wish to specialize. Students interested in graduate studies should arrange their programs toward this end with the help of their advisers.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR

To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in natural science, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section and the paragraph titled “St. Mary’s Projects” below).
  2. Core Requirements:
    1. MATH 151, 152: Calculus I and II
    2. Two of the following three sequences:
      • BIOL 105, 106: Principles of Biology I and II
      • CHEM 105, 106: General Chemistry I and II
      • PHYS 131, 132: General Physics I and II
  3. Concentration Requirements:
    1. Primary Area: 20 credit-hours in one of the five disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics.
    2. Secondary Area: eight credit-hours in another one of the disciplines above. Note: All concentration courses except COSC 120 and COSC 130 must be at the 200-level or higher.
  4. Every natural science major must complete a St. Mary’s Project. This project may be in the discipline of primary concentration or in another major discipline or a study area. The guidelines established in the selected area apply. The project must be proposed to a mentor and to the chairperson of the natural science committee least three weeks before the last day of classes of the second semester of the student’s junior year, and it must be approved by the mentor and the natural science committee chairperson.
  5. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses listed in items 2-4 above.

DECLARING A MAJOR IN NATURAL SCIENCE/NS MAJOR COMMITTEE

The program is directed by a committee composed of faculty members from the natural science disciplines. A student may either elect one of the eleven approved standard programs listed below or, in cooperation with the adviser, design an individual program. Students electing a standard program must indicate the selected option when the major is declared with the associate provost for academic services. A student who opts for an individual program must develop a detailed proposal and submit it to the natural science committee. All such programs need to be approved by the natural science major committee described above.

STANDARD PROGRAMS

The standard approved programs are the following:

Information containing the course requirements for the standard programs is available in the administrative office of Schaefer Hall

DOUBLE MAJORS

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the natural science major, it can be part of a double major only if the concentration in the natural science major does not overlap with the requirements for the other major.

NATURAL SCIENCE COURSES

DISCIPLINE AREAS
GEOL 130. Introduction to Geology (4)

This course will explore the world of geology, both physical and historical, with emphasis on its relevance to other major disciplines. Basic principles of the geosciences will be examined and used to illustrate some of the important contributions geology has made to our knowledge and understanding of the world today. Lecture and laboratory. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Core Curriculum requirement in Mathematics.

PHSC 398, 498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)

A variety of off-campus learning opportunities can be arranged through the director of internships. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. Prerequisites: Admission to the internship program and approval of the academic adviser and Natural Science Committee. (See “Internships” under “Academic Policies” section.) Credit/No credit grading.

PHSC 199, 299, 399, 499. Independent Study (1-4E)

This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a physical science faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. (See “Independent Study” under “Academic Policies” section.)

OTHER SCIENCE COURSES

The science program serves the needs of both science and non-science majors. Many of the courses are interdisciplinary in nature and often designed to address specific current topics of general interest.

SCIE 316. Nutrition (4A)

A general examination of nutritional science which will include the detailed study of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals, and their importance in human development. Important nutritional problems and methods of assessing nutritional status will be presented. Individual papers will be assigned. Prerequisites: BIOL 106 and CHEM 106.

SCIE 398, 498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)

A variety of off-campus learning opportunities can be arranged through the director of internships. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. Credit/No credit grading. Prerequisites: Admission to the Internship Program and approval of the academic adviser and natural science committee. (See “Internships” under “Academic Policies” section.)

SCIE 199, 299, 399, 499. Independent Study (1-4E)

This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a science faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. (See “Independent Study” under “Academic Policies” section.)