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College of Science

Interdisciplinary Science

The interdisciplinary science major is designed to provide College of Science students with a broad base in the sciences. By combining a primary area of science study, an interdisciplinary science core, a supporting area of academic interest and the core curriculum shared by all College of Science programs, students explore how the disciplines of science come together to identify and solve scientific challenges. Students customize the major by selecting a departmental or interdepartmental primary area based in science and a supporting area that complements or enhances the primary area. This supporting area may be an approved minor from any college or school at the University or a concentration of 18 credits of courses with a unifying theme. There is a primary area representing each department in the College of Science, however, cross-disciplinary areas may be explored and added as appropriate. With the help of either a faculty member or an academic advisor, students are encouraged to petition for approval of their supporting area.

Students completing the interdisciplinary science major have gone on to a variety of careers — some in, and others out of, the world of science. These careers include medicine, lay and other advanced-study professions, scientific sales, technical and scientific writing, computer programming and engineering.

The most recent information is available at the College of Science website.

General Degree Requirements

Students should check the College of Science website and speak with an academic advisor for the most up-to-date information and requirements.

Interdisciplinary Science Major Course Requirements 50-66 credits
Interdisciplinary Core: (Check primary area prerequisites before selecting core courses.) 38-48 credits
Biology: (Select one option.) 7-8 credits
  1. BIOL 11000 (Fundamentals of Biology I) (4 cr.) and BIOL 11100
    (Fundamentals of Biology II) (4 cr.)
  2. BIOL 12100 (Biology I: Diversity, Ecology, and Behavior) (2 cr.)
    BIOL 13100 (Biology II: Development, Structure, and Function of
    Organisms); and BIOL 13500 (First-Year Biology Laboratory) (2 cr.)
Chemistry: (Select one option.) 8-10 credits
  1. CHM 11500 (General Chemistry) (4 cr.) and CHM 11600 (General
    Chemistry) (4 cr.)
  2. CHM 12500 (Introduction to Chemistry I) (5 cr.) and CHM 12600
    (Introduction to Chemistry II) (5 cr.)
Computer Science: (Select one course.) 3-4 credits
  1. CS 15800 (C Programming) (3 cr.)
  2. CS 15900 (Programming Applications for Engineers) (3 cr.)
  3. CS 17700 (Programming with Multimedia Objects) (4 cr.); CS 18000
    (Programming I) (4 cr.)
EAS: (Select one option.) 3-4 credits
  1. One of: EAS 10000 (Planet Earth) (3 cr.); EAS 10900 (The Dynamic
    Earth) (3 cr.); EAS 11100 (Physical Geology) (3 cr.)
  2. Both EAS 22100 (Survey of Atmospheric Science) (3 cr.) or
    EAS 22500 (Science of the Atmosphere) (3 cr.); and EAS 23000
    (Laboratory in Atmospheric Science) (1 cr.)
Math: (Select one option.) 6-10 credits
  1. MA 16100 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) (5 cr.) and
    MA 16200 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus II) (5 cr.)
  2. MA 16500 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) (4 cr.) and MA 16600
    (Analytic Geometry and Calculus II) (4 cr.)
  3. MA 22300 (Introductory Analysis I) (3 cr.) and MA 22400 (Introductory
    Analysis II) (3 cr.)
  4. MA 23100 (Calculus for Life Sciences I) (3 cr.) and MA 23200
    (Calculus for Life Sciences II) (3 cr.)
Physics: (Select one option.) 8-9 credits
  1. PHYS 17200 (Modern Mechanics) (4 cr.); PHYS 24100 (Electricity
    and Optics) (3 cr.); PHYS 25200 (Electricity and Optics Laboratory)
    (1 cr.)
  2. PHYS 17200 (Modern Mechanics) (4 cr.) and PHYS 27200
    (Electric and Magnetic Interactions) (4 cr.)
  3. PHYS 22000 (General Physics) (4 cr.) and PHYS 22100
    (General Physics) (4 cr.)
Statistics: (Select one course.) 3 credits
STAT 35000 (Introduction to Statistics) (3 cr.); STAT 50300 (Statistical Methods for Biology) (3 cr.); or STAT 51100 (Statistical Methods) (3 cr).

Primary Area 12-18 credits
Biological Sciences: 15 credits
BIOL 23100 (Cell Structure and Function) 3 cr.
BIOL 23200 (Laboratory in Cell Biology) 2 cr.
BIOL 24100 (Genetics and Molecular Biology) 3 cr.
BIOL 24200 (Laboratory in Genetics and Molecular Biology) 2 cr.
BIOL 28600 (Introduction to Ecology and Evolution) 2 cr.
One of:
BIOL 39500 (Macromolecules) (3 cr.); BIOL 36600 (Principles of Development) (4 cr.); BIOL 32800 (Principles of Physiology) (4 cr.)
BIOL 43800 (General Microbiology) (3 cr.) and BIOL 43900 (Laboratory in Microbiology) (2 cr.)
3-5 cr.
Chemistry: 16 credits
CHM 24100 (Introductory Inorganic Chemistry) 4 cr.
One of the following:
a. CHM 25500 (Organic Chemistry (3 cr.), CHM 25501 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory) (1 cr.), CHM 25600 (Organic Chemistry) (3 cr.) and CHM 25601 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory) (1 cr.) (8 cr.)
b. CHM 26505 (Organic Chemistry) (3 cr.), CHM 26300 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory) (1 cr.), CHM 26605 (Organic Chemistry) (3 cr.) and CHM 26400 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory) (1 cr.)
8 cr.
CHM 37200 (Physical Chemistry) 4 cr.
Computer Science: 16 credits
Note: For this primary area, CS 18000 (Programming I) (4 cr.) and
MA 16100 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) (5 cr.) or
equivalent must be part of the Interdisciplinary core.
CS 18200 (Foundations of Computer Science) 3 cr.
CS 24000 (Programming in C) 3 cr.
CS 25000 (Computer Architecture) 4 cr.
CS 25100 (Data Structures) 3 cr.
CS elective at or above the 30000 level 3 cr.
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences: 16 credits
Note: For this primary area, EAS 11100 (Physical Geology) (3 cr.) or
equivalent must be part of the Interdisciplinary core
EAS 23000 (Laboratory in Atmospheric Science (1 cr.) and either 22100 (Survey of Atmospheric Science) (3 cr.) or EAS 22500 (Science of the Atmosphere) (3 cr.) 4 cr.
Any EAS course at or above the 20000 level or EAS 11200 (Earth through Time) 12 cr.
Mathematics: 17 credits
Note: For this primary area, MA 16100 (Plane Analytic Geometry and
Calculus I) (5 cr.) and MA 16200 (Plane Analytic Geometry and
Calculus II) (5 cr.) or equivalent must be part of the Interdisciplinary core.
MA 26100 (Multivariate Calculus) (4 cr.) or MA 27100 (Several Variable Calculus) (5 cr.) 4 cr.
MA 36600 (Ordinary Differential Equations) (3 cr.) or MA 26200 (Linear Algebra and Differential Equations) (4 cr.) 3 cr.
MA 35100 (Elementary Linear Algebra) 3 cr.
One of the following:
a. MA 45000 (Algebra Honors) (3 cr.) or MA 45300
(Elements of Algebra I) (3 cr.)
b. MA 34100 (Foundations of Analysis) (3 cr.)
c. MA 44000 (Real Analysis Honors) (3 cr.)
3 cr.
MA elective at or above 30000 level 3 cr.
Physics: 13-14 credits
Note: For this primary area, PHYS 17200 (Modern Mechanics) (4 cr.), PHYS 27200 (Electric and Magnetic Interactions) (4 cr.), and MA 16100 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) (5 cr.), MA 16200 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus II) (5 cr.), or equivalent must be part of the Interdisciplinary core. MA 26100 (Multivariate Calculus) (4 cr.) or equivalent 4 cr.
PHYS 34200 (Modern Physics) (3 cr.) or PHYS 34400 (Modern Physics) (4 cr.) 3-4 cr.
Physics elective at or above the 30000 level 6 cr.
Statistics: 12-13 credits

Note: For this primary area, MA 16100 (Plane Analytic Geometry and
Calculus I) (5 cr.) and MA 16200 (Plane Analytic Geometry an
Calculus II) (5 cr.), or equivalent must be part of the Interdisciplinary core.

One of the following:
STAT 22500 (Introduction to Probability Models) (3 cr.), STAT 31100 (Introductory Probability) (3 cr.), STAT 41600 (Probability) (3 cr.), STAT 51600 (Statistical Consulting Problem) (3 cr.)
3 cr.
STAT 51200 (Applied Regression Analysis) 3 cr.
STAT 51300 (Statistical Quality Control) (3 cr.) or STAT 51400 (Design of Experiments) (3 cr.) 3 cr.
One of the following:
STAT 51300 (Statistical Quality Control) (3 cr.), STAT 51400 (Design of Experiments) (3 cr.), STAT 41700 (Statistical Theory) (3 cr.), MA 26100 (Multivariate Calculus) (4 cr.), IE 333500 (Operations Research — Optimization) (3 cr.) or IE 33600 (Operations Research Stochastic Models) (3 cr.)
3-4 cr.
Environmental Biology: 17 credits
BIOL 23100 (Cell Structure and Function) 3 cr.
BIOL 24100 (Genetics and Molecular Biology) 3 cr.
BIOL 28600 (Introduction to Ecology and Evolution) 2 cr.
BIOL 48300 (Environmental and Conservation Biology) 3 cr.
BIOL 58500 (Ecology) 3 cr.
One of:
BIOL 39500 (Macromolecules) (3 cr.); BIOL 36600 (Principles of Development) (4 cr.); BIOL 32800 (Principles of Physiology) (4 cr.); or BIOL 43800 (General Microbiology) (3 cr.) and BIOL 43900 (Laboratory in Microbiology) (2 cr.)

3-5 cr.
Supporting Area 18 credits

Supporting area courses may not overlap core or primary area courses,
but may overlap the General Education area. The supporting area may
be built on the numerous minors or may be built on any coherent grouping
of courses with a central unifying theme. These might include management,
preprofessional, international studies, foreign language, history, creative
writing, science policy, ethics, psychology, women’s studies, Africa
American studies, etc. See the list of minors. Any plan must be approved
by the dean or designee.

Sample Supporting Area for Environmental Biology:
CE 35000 (Environmental Engineering) (3 cr.); FNR 48800 (Global
Environmental Issues) (3 cr.); PHIL 29000 (Environmental Ethics) (3 cr.);
POL 42900 (Carbon, Climate and Society) (3 cr.); POL 52000 (Models in
Climate Change) (3 cr.); POL 52300 (Environmental Policy and Public
Policy) (3 cr.). Other courses may be used upon approval.
Additional Requirements General Degree Requirements 30-44 credits
English Composition and Technical Writing and Presentation. See "Composition and Presentation" section. 6-10 credits
Teambuilding and Collaboration: Students must learn the concepts involved in science team projects. See "Teambuilding and Collaboration" section. 1-3 credits
Multidisciplinary Experience. See "Multidisciplinary Experience" link. 3-9 credits
Language and Culture: Science majors are expected to have proficiency in another language in addition to their native language. Competence in the second language must be demonstrated to the third semester, or to the second semester (with an additional culture or diversity class) or by an approved study abroad experience. See "Language and Culture" section. 9 credits
General Education: Students must complete three credits of a course approved for Great Issues and nine credits of Social Studies, Humanities and/or Management. Includes the two-course sequence in Social Studies or Humanities. See "General Education" section. 12 credits
Free Electives
Free electives can be selected from almost any department of the
University, and students are encouraged to use free electives to broade
their knowledge. Free-elective credit is not allowed for courses that
significantly overlap courses taken to fulfill degree requirements or that
do not count for credit in the College of Science. Students must take
as many free electives as is needed to bring the credit hour total to 124 credits.