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Updated 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Goal Area 3: Natural Science


    Two courses
    Seven credits
    At least one of the courses must have a traditional lab component (LC)


To improve students' understanding of natural science principles and of the methods of scientific inquiry, i.e., the ways in which scientists investigate natural science phenomena. As a basis for lifelong learning, students need to know the vocabulary of science and to realize that while a set of principles has been developed through the work of previous scientists, ongoing scientific inquiry and new knowledge will bring changes in some of the ways scientists view the world. By studying the problems that engage today's scientists, students learn to appreciate the importance of science in their lives and to understand the value of a scientific perspective. Students are encouraged to study both the biological and physical sciences.

Critical Thinking

The practice of critical thinking skills associated with the scientific process, including analysis, creation and testing of hypotheses, assessing results, and offering interpretation of results.

Student Competencies

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.
  • formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in a natural science discipline.
  • collect scientific data in a laboratory (LC) or laboratory-like (LL) experience, analyze it statistically and graphically, and appreciate its sources of error and uncertainty.
  • communicate experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.
  • evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.

Courses that satisfy this goal area include

BIOL 1110 Human Biology (4 credits) (LC)
BIOL 1120 General Biology: Evolution And Ecology (3 credits) (LL)
BIOL 1150 Aquatic Systems (3 credits) (LL)
BIOL 1400 Cellular Principles (4 credits) (LC)
BIOL 1500 Diversity of Life (4 credits) (LC)
CHEM 1100 Consumer Chemistry (3 credits) (LL)
CHEM 1111 General Chemistry I (4 credits) (LC)
CHEM 1112 General Chemistry II (4 credits) (LC)
CHEM 2211 Principles of Chemistry I (4 credits) (LC)
CHEM 2212 Principles of Chemistry II (4 credits) (LC)
ENVR 2000 Introduction to Environmental Science (3 credits) (LL)
GEOG 2100 Introduction to Physical Geography (3 credits) (LL)
GEOL 1110 Physical Geology (4 credits) (LC)
GEOL 1120 Historical Geology (4 credits) (LC)
GEOL 2730 Introduction to Planetary Science (4 credits) (LL)
PHYS 1101 General Physics I (4 credits) (LC)
PHYS 1102 General Physics II (4 credits) (LC)
PHYS 2101 Physics I (4 credits) (LC)
PHYS 2102 Physics II (4 credits) (LC)
SCI 1110 Physical Science I (4 credits) (LC)
SCI 1120 Physical Science II (4 credits) (LC)
SCI 2100 Astronomy (3 credits) (LL)
SCI 2200 Meteorology (3 credits) (LL)

All-University course numbers 1951 and 2951 are available to any department for use as study-travel courses, subject to approval, and will satisfy this goal area.