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Expected Outcomes and Curriculum Requirements

The following table identifies the six Outcomes, desired results of each outcome, and approved course(s) or experiences that fulfill the College of Science Core Curriculum requirement. Suggestions related to this initiative are invited from Purdue faculty and may be submitted by logging into Science Central. You will need to log in with your career account and password. After you have logged in to Science Central:

  1. Select Undergraduate Curriculum Initiative,
  2. Choose the Outcome you wish to review,
  3. Click on suggestions.

Outcome I. - Demonstrated depth in the major.

Identified results

  • Prepared for employment in a chosen field
  • Prepared for graduate school in the Sciences
  • Competitive for prestigious graduate fellowships
  • Competitive for admission to a professional program

Program/Major course approvals are determined at the departmental level.

Outcome II. - Ability to think and function as a scientist

Identified results

  • Ability to analyze data
  • Ability to think logically and creatively
  • Ability to solve scientific problems
  • Ability to apply knowledge to practical situations
  • Ability to respond flexibly as situations change

Mathematics requirement: 

College of Science students must take a minimum of a one-year sequence of single variable calculus. The following courses are acceptable: MA 16100 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) (5 cr.) and MA 16200 (Plane Analytic Geometry and Calculus II) (5 cr.); or MA 16500 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus I) (4 cr.) and MA 16600 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus II) (4 cr.); or an approved two-course mathematics sequence for a particular major.

Statistics requirement: 

The following courses and their equivalents may be acceptable: STAT 30100 (Elementary Statistical Methods) (3 cr.); STAT 35000 (Introduction to Statistics) (3 cr.); STAT 50300 ( Statistical Methods for Biology) (3 cr.); STAT 51100 (Statistical Methods) (3 cr.).

Computing requirement: 

Completion of a course in computing concepts taught using an interpreted or compiled programming language and including basic control structures and function calls. Students should be able to demonstrate fluency in information technology; computer literacy. Students must take a course in computing concepts taught using an interpreted or compiled programming language. Course content will include basic control structures and function calls. To fulfill this requirement one of the following courses must be completed: CS 15800 (C Programming) (3 cr.); CS 15900 (Programming Applications for Engineers) (3 cr.); CS 17700 (Programming With Multimedia Objects) (4 cr.); CS 18000 (Programming I) (4 cr.); CS 19000 (3 cr.) (Introduction to Computational Thinking) (Fall 07, Spring 08, Fall 08)  ECE 495 (Intro to Computer Systems) (3 cr.), ENGR 14200 (Honors Creativity and Innovation ain Engineering Design II) (3 credits), STAT 29000 (Introduction To Big Data Analysis) (3 cr.)

Laboratory Science Requirement: 

Completion of a two-course sequence and related laboratory experiences in an area of science outside of a student's major department from an approved course list. These courses must be foundational laboratory science coursework in biological sciences, chemistry, earth, and atmospheric sciences, or physics offered at a level appropriate for science majors. Approved course list.

Outcome III. - Ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing.

Identified results

  • Ability to make a logical, convincing 15-30 minute presentation
  • Ability to make a written argument appropriate to the chosen scientific discipline

Composition and Presentation 

  • Freshman Composition: Completion of an approved Freshman Composition course. Approved course list.

  • Technical writing: Completion of an approved course or experiential learning contract. Approved options list.

    1. Science-based technical communication course (offered by the College of Liberal Arts);OR

    2. Course in Technical Writing; OR

    3. Scholarly publication:

      • Paper that will likely be accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or peer-reviewed conference proceedings in which the student is the lead author or has written the large majority of the paper; or
      • Paper a College of Science faculty member with expertise in the area deems of publishable quality; or
      • Three 1500 words (or longer) papers (at least one of which makes a strong or persuasive argument) (College of Science rubric will be provided based on Technical Writing guidelines below)
    1. Can be from a class assignment (from a Science or Science Writing Course)

    2. Science article for a technical or non-technical audience

    3. Research report/summary from an internship, co-op, undergrad research experience

  • Technical Writing guidelines: Papers submitted for this requirement must meet guidelines 1 to 6. Items 7 or 8 may apply depending on the discipline as it is up to the judgment of the faculty advisor or appropriate representative approving the paper.

    1. The Paper has a clear purpose that is well suited to its discipline and audience.
    2. Organizes information so that main points are easy to find and ideas are easy to follow.
    3. Describes technical information clearly and logically.
    4. Is clear, concise, unambiguous, and direct.
    5. Adheres to conventional rules of grammar and punctuation.
    6. Includes a bibliography.
    7. Makes strong, persuasive arguments.
    8. May include a proof or computer program as long as over 1000 words of the paper is expository writing.
  • Technical presentation: Requirement can be met by completing one of the following options:

    1. Science-based technical communication course (approved by College of Liberal Arts; or
    2. Complete a course in Technical presentation skills from a list of approved courses; or
    3. Presentation at a Scientific meeting (sole or predominant presenter) (College of Science rubric will be provided based on Technical Presentation guidelines below); or
    4. Present work at the College of Science Undergrad Research Day
      • Presentation must be made in the presence of a certified judge
      • Written feedback must be provided to the student
    1. Present work at Departmental Undergrad Research Day
      • Presentation must be made in the presence of a certified judge.
      • Written feedback must be provided to the student.
    1. Present work during an internship or co-op.
    2. Three 10 minute (or longer) presentations within Science course(s) (College of Science rubric will be provided based on Technical Presentation guidelines below).
  • Technical Presentation guidelines: Presentations submitted for this requirement must meet guidelines 1 to 6. Guidelines 7 and 8 will be met depending on the judgment of the faculty advisor or appropriate approving representative.

    1. Has purpose that is well-suited to its discipline and audience.
    2. Organizes information -- main points are easy to find and ideas are straightforward.
    3. Describes technical information distinctly and logically.
    4. Is clear, concise, unambiguous, and direct.
    5. Conveys the subject matter in an articulate manner.
    6. Makes strong, persuasive arguments.
    7. Employs appropriate visual aids.
    8. Leaves adequate time to answer questions and has the ability to field all types of inquiries.

Outcome IV. - Ability to work as part of a team.

Identified results

  • Ability to function in different capacities in different team settings
  • Ability to discuss and evaluate ideas with others on the team
  • Ability to integrate part of a solution with the rest of the team

Teambuilding and Collaboration

Students must learn the concepts involved in science team projects--team function, team roles, common goal, and utilizing strengths of team members. Teambuilding and Collaboration module plus participation in at least one experience approved by the College of Science.

  • Teambuilding and Collaboration Requirement: Completion of an approved Team Building and Collaboration Course. Approved course list.

A course or experience in Teambuilding and Collaboration should include content related to and experience with the following:

    1. The function and purpose of a team.
    2. The roles of team members.
    3. Working toward a common goal.
    4. Effective communication.
    5. Recognizing and utilizing the strengths of each member.
    6. Conflict management and resolution skills.
  • Teambuilding and Collaboration opportunities:

    1. Any course used for Lab Science (two-course lab sequence) requirement that is approved by the College of Science as containing teambuilding and collaboration components. These will be courses in biological sciences, chemistry, earth and atmospheric sciences, and/or physics. Such a course could be used simultaneously to satisfy both the two-course lab sequence requirement and the teambuilding and collaboration requirement.
    2. Experiential Learning: Internship, Co-op, Departmental team project, University science project such as EPICS, Entrepreneurship program project, Student organization leadership experience (if the experience meets the guidelines above and is approved by the College of Science). Such experiences should be geared towards scientific or academic goals. Therefore, participation in team experiences such as sports, music, drama, etc. will not qualify.
    3. A course in Teambuilding and Collaboration.
    4. Science Education teaching methods courses.

Outcome V. - Ability to function in a multidisciplinary setting.

Identified results

  • Knowledge of other scientific/technological disciplines
  • Understanding how one's major is related to other scientific/ technological disciplines
  • Experience in applying multiple disciplines toward a common problem.

Multidisciplinary Requirement

The Multidisciplinary Requirement can be met in the following ways:

  1. Completion of a University Core Curriculum course, an undergraduate research project, internship, or entrepreneurship program project which involves a multidisciplinary approach to examining a problem or issue, preferably involving multidisciplinary teams.
  2. Completion of a minor or additional major that introduces another discipline's approach to examining important problems and issues in that discipline. Such a minor:
    1. must require at least 3 courses not required for the student's major, or
    2. be approved by each College of Science Department for use by its students to satisfy this requirement.
  3. Science Education (secondary education) students meet this requirement through completion of required education courses that are equivalent to a minor or methods courses that meet stated multidisciplinary criteria.

Individual courses and experiences will be evaluated by the College of Science Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee.

Outcome VI: - Demonstrated breadth of knowledge

Identified results 

  • Understanding of foreign cultures and languages
  • Understanding of ethical issues, particularly in Science
  • Appreciation for diverse experiences, thoughts, backgrounds
  • Understanding of foreign cultures and languages
  • Appreciation of Science in the world environment


  • Demonstrated appreciation for diverse experiences, thoughts, and backgrounds; understanding of foreign language or multicultural experiences, or participation in a study abroad experience; understanding and appreciation of Science in the world environment

  • Exposure to the economic value of a Science education and entrepreneurial skills; appreciation for business/financial issues

 Language and Culture

College of Science majors are expected to have an understanding and appreciation of another culture in addition to their own. This core requirement may be fulfilled through the completion of approved coursework or experiential learning opportunities. Options list.

General Education

College of Science students will gain insights in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and/or Management to deepen their awareness of other disciplines of thought which complements and informs their scientific understanding of the world.

The General Education requirement is met through the completion of three courses (9 total credits) that have been approved to meet requirement. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisors about course options that may allow them to further an interest or develop a new one while meeting the General Education requirement. Only one MGMT, ECON, ENTR (20000 or 20100) or OBHR course may be used to meet the General Education requirement. Approved course list.

Courses which MAY NOT be used to meet the General Education requirement 

Independent research courses will not be approved to meet the General Education requirement. Courses cross-listed with a course in the College of Science or any course which has a laboratory or studio component are also not approved. In addition to the aforementioned restriction, the following courses are specifically excluded:

  • PHIL 15000 (Principles of Logic)

  • PHIL 45000 (Symbolic Logic) 

  • PHIL 55000 (Advanced Symbolic Logic) 

  • PSY 20100 (Introduction to Statistics in Psychology)

  • PSY 20400 (Use of Computers in Psychology) 

  • PSY 50000 (Statistical Methods Applied to Psychology, Education, and Sociology) 

  • PSY 50100 (Mathematics Essential for Quantitative Psychology) 

  • SOC 38200 (Introduction to Methods of Social Research) 

  • COM 11400 

  • ENTR courses other than ENTR 20000 and ENTR 20100

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