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Expected Outcomes and Curriculum Requirements

Six critical outcomes that define undergraduate science education are the foundation of the Science Core Curriculum. The desired results of each outcome and approved courses and experiences are below. 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 conditions 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 and use are determined at the departmental level: STAT 30100 (Elementary Statistical Methods) (3 cr.); STAT 35000 (Introduction to Statistics) (3 cr.); STAT 35500 (Statistics for Data Science); STAT 50300 ( Statistical Methods for Biology) (3 cr.); STAT 51100 (Statistical Methods) (3 cr.).

Computing requirement: 

College of Science students must complete a course in computing concepts that teaches an interpreted or compiled programming language and includes basic control structures and function calls. Students should be able to demonstrate fluency in information technology; computer literacy. Course content will consist of basic control structures and function calls. The following courses and their equivalents and use are determined at the departmental level: 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 an Engineering Design II) (3 credits), STAT 29000 (Introduction To Big Data Analysis) (3 cr.), three (3) The Data Science labs.

Laboratory Science Requirement: 

A College of Science student completes the Laboratory Science requirement through a two-course sequence and related laboratory experience in an area of science outside of their major program of study. The laboratory science requirement is met through coursework in biological sciences, chemistry, earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, or physics. 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

Written Communication and Presentation 

  • Written Communication (formerly Freshman Composition): Completion of an approved Univerity Core Curriculum, Written Communcation, 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) 
    4. Class assignment from a Science or Science writing course
    5. Science article for a technical or non-technical audience
    6. Research report/summary from an internship, co-op, undergrad research experience
  • Technical presentation: This requirement is fulfilled through completion of one of the following options:
    1. Approved science-based technical communication course; or
    2. Completion of a course in Technical presentation from a list of approved courses; or
    3. Presentation at a Scientific meeting (sole or predominant presenter); or
    4. Presentation of work at the College of Science Undergraduate Research Day; or
    5. Completion of a course in Technical presentation from a list of approved courses; or
    6. Presentation at a Scientific meeting (sole or predominant presenter); or 
    7. Presentation of work at the College of Science Undergraduate Research Day; or
      • Presentation must be made in the presence of a certified judge 
      • Written feedback must be provided to the student
    8. Present work at Departmental Undergrad Research Day, or
      • Presentation must be made in the presence of a certified judge
      • Written feedback must be provided to the student
    9. Present work during an internship or co-op; or
    10. Three 10-minute (or longer) presentations within Science course(s) 
Technical Presentation guidelines:
 Presentations submitted for this requirement must meet guidelines 1 to 6. Guidelines 7 and 8 will be required at the discretion 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 learn the concepts involved in science team projects--team function, team roles, common goal, and utilizing team members' diverse and valuable strengths through an approved course experience. 

  • 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 Laboratory Science course approved to meet the Teambuilding and Collaboration requirement. This same course is also applied to the Laboratory Science requirement.
    2. Any approved Experiential Learning opportunity including, but not limited to, internships, Co-ops, departmental team projects, University science projects such as EPICS, an Entrepreneurship program project, and student organization leadership experience. Approved experiences must be directed towards scientific or academic goals. Therefore, participation in team experiences such as sports, music, drama, etc. do 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

Science Technology and Soceity Requirement

The Science Technology and Society (STS) requirement is met by completion of an approved course from the University Core STS approved course list with the exception of courses on the No count list. (ex. STAT 11300).


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
  • Appreciation of Science in the world environment


  • Demonstrated appreciation for diverse experiences, thoughts, and backgrounds; understanding of foreign language or multicultural experiences; 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 students develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures in addition to their own through the completion of approved coursework or experiential learning opportunities. This outcome is critical to a student's success and the success of those they collaborate with in the pursuit of scientific innovation and solutions. Options list.


General Education

Developing insights into the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Management deepens a College of Science student's awareness of other disciplines of thought, which complements and informs their scientific understanding of the world. The General Education requirement is met by completing three courses (9 total credits) from the approved course list. Note: Students may use one course from the subjects of MGMT, ECON, ENTR (20000 or 20100), or OBHR course to meet the General Education requirement. Approved course list.

Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisors about course options that may allow them to further an interest or explore a new one while meeting the General Education requirement. 

General Education No Count List

Independent research courses are not 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 restrictions, 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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