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Undergraduate Curriculum

Officially adopted by faculty vote, April 12, 2007

The mission of the Purdue University College of Science is to serve the citizens of Indiana, the United States, and the world through discovery that expands the realm of knowledge in the basic and applied sciences, learning through education and the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and engagement through the exchange of scientific skills and understanding.

The College of Science is committed to providing a progressive education that prepares students for their future. A review, assessment, and pilot program of our proposed curriculum has resulted in a curriculum reform initiative.

The desired outcomes of the proposed curriculum initiative will produce future scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, governmental leaders, and informed citizens with skills necessary to prepare them for life in our changing world; and provide world-wide recognition of our innovative programs in discovery, learning and engagement.

"We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity."

Marie Curie(1867 - 1934), Lecture at Vassar College, May 14, 1921

New Undergraduate Curriculum

Desired Outcomes for a College of Science Education

Click on any outcome for more information.

  1. Demonstrated depth in major

    As the principal outcome, CoS students will receive the best education possible in their major -- including a firm grounding in the fundamentals, the most recent developments, and the foundations for future innovations and change.

  2. Ability to think and function as a scientist

    CoS students will develop critical thinking and analytical abilities from their major and by completing a two-course sequence and related laboratory experiences in a science outside of their major in addition to required Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science courses. CoS students will delve into Great Issues in Science through a course that addresses the impact of Science on society and the ethical issues that arise.

  3. Ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing

    CoS students will be proficient in technical writing and technical presenting (describing technical information clearly and logically, making strong and persuasive arguments). This outcome can be satisfied by course work, research experiences, or internships and will prepare students for future class work and successful work experiences.

  4. Ability to collaborate as part of a team

    CoS students will learn the concepts involved in Teambuilding and Collaboration, such as leadership, developing shared goals, and utilizing strengths of team members. These foundations will allow students to enter collaborative situations, such as lab groups and study sections, fully prepared to maximize the value of their educational experiences as well as develop positive working relationships with their fellow students. These foundations and experiences can be satisfied by course work, lab courses, research experiences, or internships.

  5. Ability to function in a multidisciplinary setting

    CoS students will have the experience of examining and solving a problem using the tools, techniques, and practices from more than one discipline. This experience will come through a course, research project, or internship, or by graduating with a minor or double major in another discipline.

  6. Demonstrated breadth of knowledge and cultural appreciation

CoS students will have an understanding of at least one other culture in addition to their own through learning a language, taking culture courses, taking diversity courses, and/or participating in a Study Abroad experiences. This will lead to a greater appreciation for diverse experiences, thoughts, and backgrounds. Students will gain insights in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and/or Management through general education courses in those areas. The Great Issues in Science course will also contribute to this outcome by an exploration of the possibilities of Science and the ethical implications.

For comments and questions contact Lynne Horngren, Director of Academic Advising (

Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

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