Natural Sciences

Approved courses show how understandings of natural phenomena are obtained using the scientific method, including data collection, hypothesis development, employment of mathematical analysis, and critical evaluation of evidence. Courses provide an overview of major principles and concepts underpinning a discipline's current base of knowledge and discuss major topics at the current frontiers of disciplinary knowledge. Courses show how answers to fundamental questions in science can change the world in which we live and often explore how social issues can influence scientific research. Opportunities for scientific inquiry within laboratory and/or field settings may be provided.

Approved courses generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. introductions to scientific disciplines, designed for majors, non-majors, or both;
  2. introductions to disciplinary subfields, designed for majors, non-majors, or both;
  3. courses open to majors and non-majors on broad topics that are addressed by one or more scientific disciplines and which may focus on the application of science to practical issues.

Learning Objectives for General Education Natural Sciences Courses

Natural Sciences courses enable students to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence;
  2. an understanding of the application of scientific data, concepts, and models in the natural sciences;
  3. an understanding of the major principles and concepts that form the basis of the knowledge covered in the course and a command of the relevant terminology appropriate for basic discourse in the particular discipline or disciplines of the course;
  4. that they have become more knowledgeable consumers of scientific information and are prepared to make informed decisions on contemporary issues involving scientific information acquired in the course.