James M. Schombert, Program Director
149 Willamette Hall
The general science curriculum allows students to design academic programs that satisfy the requirements for a bachelor of science degree and provide more breadth than traditional science programs. Many exciting areas of scientific inquiry, such as the neurosciences, environmental sciences, and biophysical sciences, require broad science backgrounds and encompass several disciplines. Students planning graduate study or technical careers in one of these areas or careers in the health sciences, in science education, or in a science-related business or social service might be best served by a well-designed multidisciplinary science program.
One strength of the General Science Program is its flexibility. To exploit that strength, students need to design their programs carefully, consulting frequently with the general science advisor and taking advantage of the expertise of faculty members who serve on the program committee. Course sequences that meet requirements for professional schools and training programs should be selected in consultation with program advisors or committee members. Students should seek assistance in program planning when they identify or change career goals, because successful application to professional schools and training programs may require completion of additional courses beyond those required for the general science major.
Examples of cross-disciplinary fields, and the subject-matter areas that might be combined in designing a program, are given below:
Animal behavior and ethology—anthropology, biology, psychology
Biophysical sciences—biology, chemistry, human physiology, physics
Cognitive sciences—computer and information science, mathematics, psychology
Environmental sciences—biology, chemistry, geography, geological sciences, physics
Neurosciences—biology, chemistry, psychology
General science majors are encouraged to consult with their advisors during the junior year to ensure that their remaining course work is structured to meet all the requirements for the major. Students should notify the General Science Program office of their intention to graduate at least one term before the proposed graduation date.
Preparation. High school students planning to major in general science should take as much mathematics as possible, including two years of algebra and trigonometry. They should also take science courses in their areas of interest. Students planning to transfer into the General Science Program after two years at a community college or at another college or university should complete courses equivalent to the lower-division requirements listed below and as many as possible of the university’s general-education requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Acceptance of transfer courses and credits is determined by evaluators in the Office of Admissions in consultation with general science advisors or committee members.
Upon admission, transfer students should consult a general science advisor in the program office.
Careers. Through the General Science Program, prehealth science students preparing for careers in medicine, dentistry, or related fields can meet professional school admission requirements. General science, when combined with a minor or a second major, can work well for students planning careers in science-related business, public relations, and human services.
The following lower-division courses must be completed with grades of C– or P (pass) or better. Courses graded N (no pass) or F may be repeated for credit.
Anthropology. Introduction to Biological Anthropology (ANTH 270), plus two from Introduction to Monkeys and Apes (ANTH 171), Evolution of Human Sexuality (ANTH 173), Human Evolution (ANTH 361), Human Biological Variation (ANTH 362)
Biology. Three from General Biology I,II,III,IV: Cells, Organisms, Populations, Biochemistry and Genetics (BI 211, 212, 213, 214) or Foundations I,II,III: Genetics and Evolution, Molecular Genetics, Biochemical Basis of Life (BI 251, 252, 253)
Chemistry. General Chemistry (CH 221, 222, 223) with laboratories (CH 227, 228, 229) or Honors General Chemistry (CH 224H, 225H, 226H) with laboratories (CH 237, 238, 239)
Computer and Information Science. Computer Science I,II,III (CIS 210, 211, 212)
Geography. The Natural Environment (GEOG 141), Global Environmental Change (GEOG 143), and one from Climatology (GEOG 321), Geomorphology (GEOG 322), or Biogeography (GEOG 323)
Geological Sciences. Earth’s Interior Heat and Dynamics (GEOL 201), Earth Surface and Environmental Geology (GEOL 202), Evolution of the Earth (GEOL 203)
Physics. General Physics (PHYS 201, 201, 203) with laboratories (PHYS 204, 205, 206) or Foundations of Physics I (PHYS 251, 252, 253)
The upper-division requirements listed below are for students who declared the general science major fall 2000 or later. Students who declared the major before fall 2000 follow the requirements that were in effect when they declared the major.
Upper-division courses may be selected from the general science web page.
Students preparing to graduate with honors in general science should notify the program director no later than the first term of the senior year.
Honors in general science centers on a thesis, which is the culmination of research conducted under the direction of a faculty advisor. The advisor does not need to be a member of the general science committee.
To graduate with honors, students must have at least a 3.50 overall grade point average and a GPA of 3.50 or better in the sciences. In addition, they must complete 9 credits of Research (401) or Thesis (403) or both in the appropriate department. These credits must be distributed over at least two terms and cannot be used to fulfill emphasis-area requirements.
Upon approval of the thesis by the advisor and the program director, honors in general sciences are awarded.
For guidelines and calendar, see a general science advisor.
Information about program planning and detailed sample programs are available in the General Science Program office. Prehealth science students who choose the general science major should design their programs to meet the admission requirements of the professional school of their choice. See also Preparatory Programs in the Academic Resources section of this catalog.
An academic major in general science can provide a strong background for certain teacher-education licensure programs. Students interested in teaching general science in middle school and junior high school should be aware that the integrated science endorsement requires broader preparation than the minimum requirements for the general science major. The College of Education offers a fifth-year program for middle-secondary teaching licensure in science. See the College of Education section of this catalog.