Science, B.S. (Altoona)

Program Code: SCIAL_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the Science major, a student at any location must have:

  1. attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average;
  2. completed MATH 140 with a grade of C or better;
  3. completed at least two of the following courses, BIOL 110; CHEM 110; PHYS 211 or PHYS 250, with a grade of C or better.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Science, a minimum of 124 credits is required, with at least 15 credits at the 400 level:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 94

15 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
Requirements for the Option
Select an option74

Requirements for the Option

General Science Option (74 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Berks, Harrisburg, Scranton, University Park, York

Additional Courses
Select 4 credits of the following:4
Mammalian Anatomy Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
and Physiology Laboratory
Biology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3-4 credits of the following:3-4
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Statistical Analysis I Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Methods
Select 8-12 credits of the following:8-12
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course 1
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
and Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course 1
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
A maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study (296, 496) may be applied toward credits for graduation.
Select 21-26 credits from program list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC)21-26
Select 3 credits from earth and mineral sciences3
Select 3 credits in Global, Social, and Personal Awareness from department approved course list in consultation with adviser3
Select 3 credits in Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication from department approved course list in consultation with adviser3
Select 6 credits of 400-level courses6
Supporting and Related Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 18 credits in life, mathematical, or physical sciences, with at least 9 credits at the 400 level 2,318
Biological Sciences and Health Professions Option (74 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Prescribed Courses
HPA 101Introduction to Health Services Organization3
Additional Courses
Select 4 credits of the following:4
Mammalian Anatomy Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
and Physiology Laboratory
Select 3-4 credits of the following:3-4
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Statistical Analysis I Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Methods
Select 6-8 credits of the following:6-8
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Genetics
Genetic Analysis
Elementary Biochemistry
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Introductory Microbiology
Select 8-12 credits of the following:8-12
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course 2
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
and Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course 2
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
A maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study (296, 496) may be applied toward credits for graduation.
Select 15 credits from program list for Healthcare/ Medicine/Ethical Competencies 115
Select 10-17 credits from program list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC)10-17
Select 3 credits in Global, Social, and Personal Awareness from department approved course list in consultation with adviser3
Select 3 credits in Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication from department approved course list in consultation with adviser 3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level BMB, BIOL, BIOTC, or MICRB courses9
Legal Studies, Government Service, Public Policy Option (74 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Additional Courses
Select 4 credits of the following:4
Mammalian Anatomy Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
and Physiology Laboratory
Biology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3-4 credits of the following:3-4
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Statistical Analysis I Keystone/General Education Course
Experimental Methods
Select 8-12 credits of the following:8-12
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course 1
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
and Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course 1
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 12-17 credits from program list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC)12-17
Select 18 credits from program list for Legal Studies, Government Service, Public Policy 218
Select 3 credits in Global, Social, and Personal Awareness from department approved course list in consultation with adviser3
Select 3 credits in Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication from department approved course list in consultation with adviser3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 18 credits in life, mathematical, or physical sciences, with at least 9 credits at the 400 level 3,418
Life Science Option (74 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Berks, Harrisburg, Scranton, University Park, York

Additional Courses
Select 4 credits of the following:4
Biology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course
Ordinary Differential Equations
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Elementary Biochemistry
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Introductory Microbiology
Select 6-8 credits of the following:6-8
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
Select 8-12 credits of the following:8-12
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course 1
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
and Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course 1
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
A maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study 296, 496 may be applied toward credits for graduation.
Select 23-29 credits from program list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC)23-29
Select 3 credits in Global, Social, and Personal Awareness3
Select 3 credits in Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication3
Select 6 credits of 400-level courses6
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level BMB, BIOL, BIOTC, or MICRB courses9
Mathematical Science Option (74 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona

Prescribed Courses
CMPSC 122Intermediate Programming3
MATH 220Matrices Keystone/General Education Course2-3
Additional Courses
CMPSC 360Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science3-4
or MATH 311W Concepts of Discrete Mathematics
MATH 230Calculus and Vector Analysis4
or MATH 251 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
STAT 301Statistical Analysis I Keystone/General Education Course3
or STAT 318 Elementary Probability
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Elementary Biochemistry
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Introductory Microbiology
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Introduction to Programming Techniques Keystone/General Education Course
Programming for Engineers with C++ Keystone/General Education Course
CMPSC 202
Select 8-12 credits of the following:8-12
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course 1
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
and Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course 1
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
A maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study (296, 496) may be applied toward credits for graduation.
Select 18-24 credits from program list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC)18-24
Select 6 credits of 400-level courses6
Select 3 credits in Global, Social, and Personal Awareness3
Select 3 credits in Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level CMPSC, CSE, MATH, or STAT courses9
Physical Science Option (74 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona

Prescribed Courses
ASTRO 291Astronomical Methods and the Solar System Keystone/General Education Course3
PHYS 212General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 213General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course2
PHYS 214General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course2
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Elementary Biochemistry
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Introductory Microbiology
Select 6-8 credits of the following:6-8
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
MATH 230Calculus and Vector Analysis4
or MATH 251 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Astronomy of the Distant Universe Keystone/General Education Course
Statics
Engineering Thermodynamics I
Introduction to Modern Physics
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
A maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study (296, 496) may be applied toward credits for graduation.
Select 20-22 credits from program list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC)20-22
Select 6 credits of 400-level courses6
Select 3 credits in Global, Social, and Personal Awareness3
Select 3 credits in Teamwork and Interpersonal Communication3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level ASTRO, CHEM, or PHYS courses9

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Altoona

Richard Bell
Associate Professor of Chemistry
104 Science Building
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5712
rcb155@psu.edu

Abington

Eric Ingersoll
Program Chair
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7492
epi1@psu.edu

Berks

Ike Shibley
Program Coordinator, Associate Professor
L101G
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6185
ias1@psu.edu

Harrisburg

Sairam V. Rudrabhatla, Ph.D.
Program Chair
Science and Technology Building, TL 174
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6560
svr11@psu.edu

Scranton

Dale Holen
Associate Professor
Dawson 207
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2579
dah13@psu.edu

University Park

Science, B.S. Program

Ronald Markle
Professor and Director, Premedicine & Science Majors
225B Ritenour Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-7620
ram29@psu.edu

University Park

Accelerated Science B.S./M.B.A. Program

John Moses
Academic Adviser
234 Ritenour Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-5780
jrm68@psu.edu

York

Anne Vardo-Zalik
Associate Professor of Biology
1 Elias Science Building
York, PA 17403
717-718-6705
amv12@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

General Option: Science, B.S. at Altoona Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3MATH 141 (GQ)4
MATH 140 (GQ)*†4CAS 1003
BIOL 110 (GN)*†4CHEM 112 (GN)*†3
CHEM 110 (GN)*†3CHEM 113 (GN)1
CHEM 111 (GN)1General Education Course3
PSU 31General Education Health & Wellness (GHW)1.5
 16 15.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PHYS 211 or 250*4PHYS 212 or 2514
Earth and Mineral Sciences Course3MICRB 2013
CMPSC 201, MATH 230, MATH 250, or STAT 2003 or 4ENGL 202C3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3Science Elective3
 General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
 16-17 17.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Elective or PHYS 213 or PHYS 2143 or 4General Education Course3
Writing Across the Curriculum Elective3Science Elective3
General Education Course3Supporting Course3
Science Elective3Supporting Course3
Supporting Course3400-level Science Course*3
 15-16 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
400-level Science Course*3400-level Science Course*3
Supporting Course3Supporting Course3
Supporting Course3Supporting Course3
World Language Course Level 14World Language Course Level 24
400-level Science Course*3400-level Science Course3
 16 16
Total Credits 127-129

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Math Option: Science, B.S. at Altoona Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 140 (GQ)*†4MATH 141 (GQ)4
CHEM 110 (GN)*†3CHEM 112 (GN)*†3
CHEM 111 (GN)1CHEM 113 (GN)1
World Language Course Level 14World Language Course Level 24
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153General Education Course3
 General Education Health & Wellness (GHW)1.5
 15 16.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MATH 2202-3MATH 311W3
MATH 230 or 2514BMB 211, 251, or MICRB 2013
BIOL 1104CMPSC 121, 201, or CMPSC 2023
CMPSC 121, 201, or CMPSC 2023ENGL 202C3
General Education Course 3Supporting Course3
 General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
 16-17 16.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Mathematics 400-level Course3MATH 4143
PHYS 211 or 2504PHYS 212 or 2514
CAS 1003Supporting Course3 or 4
Supporting Course3 or 4Supporting Course3 or 4
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 16-17 16-18
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Mathematics 400-level Course3Mathematics 400-level Course3
Mathematics 400-level Course3Mathematics 400-level Course3
Supporting Course3 or 4Supporting Course3 or 4
General Education Course3General Education Course3
PHYS 213 or 2142 
 14-15 12-13
Total Credits 122-128

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

Penn State students with a BS in Science are prepared for a broad range of careers and graduate programs. The solid foundation of science and math prepares students to think critically and scientifically in a range of industries and professions.

Careers

This program often leads to careers in all healthcare professions, including physicians and physician assistants, dentists, optometrists, and podiatrists; laboratory research associates; scientific product representatives and science-based consulting.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Many graduates of the Science B.S. program choose to pursue graduate studies (MS and PhD) in the natural sciences. Most often, students gravitate to medically-related fields and life science sub-disciplines for focused graduate training. Students in the legal studies and public policy options may choose law school or master's in public policy programs.

Professional Resources

Contact

Altoona

DIVISION OF MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCES
104 Science Building
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5172
rcb155@psu.edu

https://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/science

Abington

DIVISION OF SCIENCE & ENGINEERING
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7492
epi1@psu.edu

http://abington.psu.edu/science

Berks

DIVISION OF SCIENCE
Luerssen Science Building
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6185
ias1@psu.edu

http://berks.psu.edu/bs-science

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY
Science & Tech Building, TL 177
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-4387
mrr53@psu.edu

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/science-engineering-technology/biology-science/bachelor-science-biology

Scranton

Dawson 207
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2579
dah13@psu.edu

https://scranton.psu.edu/science-program

University Park

Science, B.S. Program

SCIENCE DEGREE
225B Ritenour Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-7620
ram29@psu.edu

http://science.psu.edu/sciencebs

University Park

Accelerated Science B.S./M.B.A. Program

SCIENCE B.S./M.B.A.
111 Ritenour Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-2011

York

1 Elias Science Building
York, PA 17403
717-718-6705
amv12@psu.edu

http://york.psu.edu/academics/baccalaureate/science