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:
BIOL   220
BIOL   292
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   302 15
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