Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate broad and core science proficiency
  • Demonstrate competency in at least two sciences or in a non-science area
  • Apply learning to selection and pursuit of professional or graduate career objective
  • Demonstrate proficiency in communication of scientific or research findings
  • Demonstrate ability to apply the scientific method/approach to professional problems
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the interrelation of core sciences to interdisciplinary problems

Special requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Science requires a minimum of 120 credits.

Along with the general education requirements of the undergraduate programs and the College of Humanities and Sciences for a Bachelor of Science degree, this curriculum requires 29 to 33 credits in foundation science and mathematics courses and 35 to 39 credits in supplemental courses in the concentration. In preparation for the required mathematical sciences courses, all students must take the Mathematics Placement Test. Science majors are strongly encouraged to select a minor in an area different from their area of concentration that will complement their career interests and contribute additional upper-level credits to their curriculum.

Grade requirements

A minimum grade of C is required in each prerequisite course:

CHEM 100Introductory Chemistry (if required through placement test)3
CHEM 101General Chemistry3
CHEM 102General Chemistry3
CHEM 301Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 302Organic Chemistry3

A minimum grade of C is required in the following courses before enrollment in advanced BIOL courses:

BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
BIOL 300Cellular and Molecular Biology3

Degree requirements for B.S. in Science (concentration in professional science)

General education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS 202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S general education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Major requirements

Foundational courses
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
BIOL 341/ANTH 301Human Evolution (or upper-level natural science elective from list below)3
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
Select one of the following:3
Experiencing Science
Nature Writing
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
MATH 151Precalculus Mathematics (or placement)4
STAT 208Statistical Thinking3
or STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics
Select one of the following:3-4
Calculus with Analytic Geometry
Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
Applications of Statistics
INSC 490Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science (or an approved capstone from another natural science major from list below)1-3
Select one of the following:4-5
General Physics
General Physics
University Physics I
University Physics II
Supplemental courses
Select one of the following:3
Ecology
Environmental Pollution
Energy and the Environment
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Meteorology
Meteorology and Climatology
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Oceanography
Oceanography
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
Select one of the following:4
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
Wonders of Technology
Physical Geology
and Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils
Physical Geography: Geomorphology and Soils
and Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils
Or a 200-level or higher natural science elective and a 200-level or higher natural science laboratory elective from the list below
Select one of the following:3-4
Elementary Astronomy
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
Environmental Science
Chemistry and Society
Or a 200-level or higher natural science elective and a 200-level or higher natural science laboratory elective from the list below
Select a second introductory foundation course (with laboratory) in two of the following three areas: biology, chemistry or physics8-10
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
General Physics
General Physics
University Physics I
University Physics II
Select an ethics or upper-level health-related science elective from either of the lists below.3
Select research, internship, co-op (see research experience electives list) or upper-level service-learning experience (to equal a minimum of three credits alone or in combination with other upper-level natural or health science electives).3
Select two additional courses at the 200-level or higher in mathematics, science, teaching mathematics and/or science with adviser’s approval. Choose from the following:5-6
Foundations of Education (may be used if student is preparing for teaching)
Human Development and Learning (may be used if student is preparing for teaching)
Faith and Life Sciences
MATH or STAT: 200-level or higher
Or a 200-level or higher natural or health science elective from list below
Total Hours64-72

Open electives

Select two-24 open elective credits2-24
Total Hours2-24

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Natural science electives

LFSC 301Integrative Life Sciences Research3
LFSC 401Faith and Life Sciences3
PHTX 400Drugs and Their Actions3
Any 200-level or higher BIOL, BNFO, CHEM, CLSE, EGRB, ENVS, FRSC, INSC or PHYS course, except:
Introduction to Research
Biology Capstone Seminar: ____
Biology Capstone Experience
Communicating Research
Presenting Research
Independent Study
Biology Internship
Research and Thesis
Biology Preceptorship
Independent Study
Independent Study
Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship in Bioinformatics
Directed Study
Independent Study
Chemistry Internship
Engineering Seminar
Independent Study in Engineering
Research Seminar in Environmental Studies
Independent Study
Environmental Studies Internship
Professional Practices in Forensic Science
Forensic Science Independent Study
Forensic Science Internship
Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science
Seminar in Conceptual Physics
Independent Study

Natural science laboratory electives

BIOL 205Basic Human Anatomy 14
BIOL 309Entomology 14
BIOL 320Biology of the Seed Plant 14
BIOL 402Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 15
BIOL 417Mammalogy 14
BIOL 435Herpetology 13
BIOL 445Neurobiology and Behavior 14
BIOL 503Fish Biology 14
BIOZ: any 200-level or higher course
BNFO 380Introduction to Mathematical Biology 14
BNFO 420Applications in Bioinformatics 13
BNFO 440Computational Methods in Bioinformatics 13
CHEZ: any 200-level or higher course
EGRB 307Biomedical Instrumentation 14
EGRB 308Biomedical Signal Processing 14
EGRB 310Biomechanics 14
ENVZ 335Environmental Geology Laboratory1
FRSZ: any 200-level or higher course
PHIZ 206Human Physiology Laboratory1
PHYS 202General Physics 14
PHYS 208University Physics II 15
PHYZ 320Modern Physics Laboratory1
URSZ 203Physical Geography Laboratory: Weather, Climate and Biogeography1
1

Courses have a combined lecture and lab and will satisfy both natural science lecture and laboratory requirements.

Health science electives

AFAM/ANTH/INTL/GSWS 309Global Women's Health3
AFAM 310African American Health: Health Disparities3
AFAM 401African-Americans and the U.S. Health Care System3
HPEX 325Pathology and Pharmacology in Athletic Training3
HPEX 345Nutrition for Health and Disease3
HPEX 350Nutrition3
HPEX 353Disease Trends, Prevention and Control3
HPEX 373Structural Kinesiology3
HPEX 374Musculoskeletal Structure and Movement4
HPEX 375Physiology of Exercise3
HPEX 440Chronic Disease and Exercise Management3
PSYC 401Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 412Health Psychology3
PSYC/GSWS 414Psychology of Women's Health3
SCTS 300Introduction to Science and Technology Studies3
SCTS 301Illness Narratives3
SCTS 392Revolutions in Science I3
SCTS 393Revolutions in Science II3
SCTS 397Genetics and Society: 1865 to the Present3
SCTS 398History of Medicine and Public Health: ____3
SOCY 445Medical Sociology3
GSWS 392Women's Health Care Across the Life Span3

Ethics electives

LFSC/RELS 401Faith and Life Sciences3
PHIL 201Critical Thinking About Moral Problems3
PHIL 211History of Ethics3
PHIL 212Ethics and Applications3
PHIL 213Ethics and Health Care3
PHIL 214Ethics and Business3
RELS 340/INTL 341Global Ethics and the World's Religions3
SOCY 445Medical Sociology3

Research, internship, co-op experience electives

AFAM 399Interdisciplinary Research Methods3
ANTH 303Archaeological Methods and Research Design3
BIOL 490Presenting Research1
BIOL 492Independent Study1-4
BIOL 493Biology Internship1-3
CHEM 492Independent Study1-4
CHEM 493Chemistry Internship1-3
COOP 298Cooperative Education Experience0
COOP 398Cooperative Education Experience0
FRSC 492Forensic Science Independent Study1-3
FRSC 493Forensic Science Internship3
PHYS 492Independent Study1-3
PSYC 317Experimental Methods3
SOCY 320Research Methods in the Social Sciences3

Natural science approved capstone courses

BIOL 475Biology Capstone Seminar: ____1-3
BIOL 477Biology Capstone Experience (in conjunction with BIOL 492, BIOL 493, BIOL 495 or BIOL 497, as specified and approved by the biology department)0
BIOZ 476Biology Capstone Laboratory2
BNFO 420Applications in Bioinformatics3
CHEM 398Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar1
CLSE 402
CLSE 403
Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)
and Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)
4
EGRB 402Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Studio3
ENVS 490Research Seminar in Environmental Studies3
FRSC 490Professional Practices in Forensic Science3
PHYS 490Seminar in Conceptual Physics1

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
Select one of the following CHEM sequences: 3-4
CHEM 101
CHEZ 101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
-
CHEM 110 Chemistry and Society -
MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics (or placement) 4
STAT 208
Statistical Thinking
or Basic Practice of Statistics
3
UNIV 101 Introduction to the University 1
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
 Term Hours: 14-15
Spring semester
Select one of the following sequences: 4-5
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
-
BIOL 103
Environmental Science
or Environmental Science
-
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
-
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
-
CHEM 102
CHEZ 102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
-
PHYS 101
PHYZ 101
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
-
PHYS 107 Wonders of Technology -
PHYS 201 General Physics -
PHYS 207 University Physics I -
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
MATH 200
Calculus with Analytic Geometry
or Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
or Applications of Statistics
3-4
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Approved diverse and global communities 3
 Term Hours: 14-16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
Select one of the following BIOL sequences: 4
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
-
BIOL 103
Environmental Science
or Environmental Science
-
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
-
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
-
Select one of the following PHYS sequences: 4-5
PHYS 101
PHYZ 101
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
-
PHYS 107 Wonders of Technology -
PHYS 202 General Physics -
PHYS 208 University Physics II -
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved General Education elective 3
Approved human, social and political behavior 3
 Term Hours: 17-18
Spring semester
Select one of the following combinations or a 200-level science with laboratory: 4
ENVS 105
URSZ 204
Physical Geology
and Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils
-
URSP 204
URSZ 204
Physical Geography: Geomorphology and Soils
and Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils
-
Select a second introductory foundation course (with laboratory) in one of the following three areas: biology, chemistry or physics 4
Approved literature and civilization 3
Approved science and technology (BIOL/Z 101, BIOL/Z 103, CHEM 110 and PHYS/Z 103 also fulfill major requirements) 4
Experiential fine arts (SPCH 321, ARTE 301 or other upper-level option recommended) 1-3
 Term Hours: 16-18
Junior year
Fall semester
Select one of the following or upper-level science: 3
INSC 300 Experiencing Science -
ENVS 368
Nature Writing
or Nature Writing
-
PHYS 103 Elementary Astronomy 3
PHYZ 103 Elementary Astronomy Laboratory (or Introduction to Pre-Health topics course, or a 200-level science with laboratory) 1
Approved General Education elective 3-4
Ethics or other health-related science 3
Foreign language (101), upper-level open elective or minor elective 3-4
 Term Hours: 16-18
Spring semester
Select one of the following: 3
BIOL 317 Ecology -
BIOL 332
Environmental Pollution
or Environmental Pollution
-
ENVS 315
Energy and the Environment
or Energy and the Environment
-
ENVS 310
Introduction to Oceanography
or Oceanography
3
Additional course at the 200-level or higher in mathematics, science, teaching mathematics and/or science with adviser’s approval 3
Foreign language (102), upper-level open elective or minor elective 3-4
Upper-level open elective or minor elective 3
 Term Hours: 15-16
Senior year
Fall semester
BIOL 341
Human Evolution
or Human Evolution
3
ENVS 301
Introduction to Meteorology
or Meteorology and Climatology
3
Additional course at the 200-level or higher in mathematics, science, teaching mathematics and/or science with adviser’s approval 3
Select a second introductory foundation course (with laboratory) in a second of the following three areas: biology, chemistry or physics 4
Upper-level open elective or minor elective 1-2
 Term Hours: 14-15
Spring semester
Select one of the following: 1-3
INSC 490 Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science -
Or approved capstone from another science major (biology, chemistry or physics) -
Research, internship, co-op or upper-level service-learning experience 3
Upper-level open electives or minor electives 10-11
 Term Hours: 14-17
 Total Hours: 120-133