Studying Natural Sciences
The Division of Natural Sciences aims to offer academic, research, and service opportunities that develop the student’s ability to understand and apply scientific concepts to real-world problems. Students acquire and critically interpret knowledge of scientific facts and theories, relate that knowledge to other subject areas in the liberal arts, add to the body of scientific knowledge through research, communicate science in both oral and written form, and develop leadership and interpersonal skills throughout the process.
Students may pursue a B.A. in Biochemistry, a B.A. in Biology, a B.S. in Biology, a B.A. in Chemistry, a B.A./Pharm.D. in Pharmacy, a B.S./M.S. in Occupational Therapy, or a B.S./D.P.T. in Physical Therapy. Students who pursue a B.A. in Biochemistry, Biology, or Chemistry may also follow a Pharm.D. track. We offer minors in Biology, Chemistry, and General Science. Additionally, we offer Biology concentrations in Biomedical Research, Environmental Research, Forensic Science, Health Professions (medical, dental, optometry), Physical or Occupational Therapy, and Secondary Education for Biology and Chemistry. Qualified students may apply for advanced placement, scholarships, and summer opportunities.
Natural science is concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on evidence gathered through human powers of observation and experimentation. The Division aims to help students become scientifically responsible citizens by developing critical thinking, data analysis skills, and communication skills, as well as recognition for ethical responsibility in research that will allow them to be successful in a variety of professions. Students are encouraged to follow their curiosity and develop a sense of appreciation for science, the interrelatedness of scientific fields from the atomic to the planetary, and the place of humans in the natural world.
Students completing an undergraduate degree in the natural sciences will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics. They will learn to apply their understanding of the scientific method by designing and performing valid scientific experiments to test hypotheses. Students learn how to read and critically evaluate peer-reviewed scientific research and how to correctly perform and interpret quantitative analysis of scientific data. Along the way they will gain mastery of the ability to engage in library, field and lab research, and they will know how to describe and practice safety techniques, including correct use of equipment and technology in laboratory and field work.
In anticipation of the need to clearly communicate the salient points of their work in a variety of settings, students will learn how to accurately relay scientific information through effective oral and written communication. They will also know how to work effectively in a group to solve scientific problems, be an effective leader as well as effective team member, and interact productively with a diverse group of peers. Finally, they will be able to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the curriculum.
Science Hall 103