Interdisciplinary Science and Business, B.S.

Program Code: ISB_BS

Program Description

This major provides students with an interdisciplinary program containing both science and business course content. The major includes a set of core courses in both science and business that should enable a graduate to function effectively in a business environment that involves science applications or knowledge. A student will be able to choose from a selection of science and business modules that will enable a student to function in specific science and business areas. Each student will choose one science module and one business module. The modules will be approved by both the Schools of Science and Business and will provide an entry-level set of skills that will help graduates provide immediate value as an employee. In addition, the program develops written and oral communication skills from an early stage and culminates in a capstone experience, or an independent study of internship experience that stresses communication, strategic product development, and product realization.

What is Interdisciplinary Science and Business?

Health-care centers, pharmaceutical companies, tech firms, and research facilities are changing our lives every day. Those organizations are based in science but rely on business experts to oversee sales, finances, marketing, supply chains, and more. That's where the B.S. in Interdisciplinary Science and Business has its roots—preparing you to work on the business side of a science-based organization.

You'll build a foundation in science with core classes, then choose a specialized path in either quantitative science, laboratory science, or human health, depending on your personal interests and career goals. Likewise, you'll study the fundamentals of business before choosing to specialize in either accounting and finance, technical sales, or operations and supply chain management.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You have both a brain for business and an interest in understanding the world around you—specifically the scientific world.
  • You have wide-ranging interests and can picture yourself working in a variety of career fields.
  • You are curious about both science and business and don't both fields fitting into a traditional degree—and see the appeal of a program that is unique to you.

Entrance to Major

To be eligible for the Interdisciplinary Science and Business (ISB) major, students must:

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Science and Business, a minimum of 124 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 106-113

27 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, 6 credits of GS courses, 6 credits of GWS courses.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.

Requirements for the Major

Each student must earn at least a C or better in each 300- and 400-level course in the major field.

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

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ACCTG 211Financial and Managerial Accounting for Decision Making4
BA 241Legal Environment of Business2
BA 242Social and Ethical Environment of Business2
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
CAS 100Effective Speech3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 104Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
FIN 301Corporation Finance3
ISB 207Integrating Science and Business1
ISB 475WStrategic Integration of Science & Business3
MIS 204Introduction to Management Information Systems Keystone/General Education Course3
MGMT 301Basic Management Concepts3
MGMT 410Project Management3
MKTG 301Principles of Marketing3
PSU 7First-Year Seminar Behrend1
SCM 301Supply Chain Management3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CHEM 106Introductory and General Chemistry Keystone/General Education Course3-5
or CHEM 110 Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course
PHYS 250Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course4
or CHEM 112
CHEM 113
Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course
and Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:4
Technical Calculus Keystone/General Education Course
Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3-4
Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15-16 credits from one business module from School Approved List 115-16
Select 29-32 credits from one science module from School Approved List 129-32

Except where noted, courses taken to satisfy General Education requirements may not be used to satisfy module requirements.

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 and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

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

Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

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

Integrative Studies

  • Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits


  • GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
  • GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 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.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Communication: Communicating and illustrating complex ideas that require an understanding of both science and business.
  • Evaluation: Envisioning, designing, and evaluating new products or procedures relevant for science-based businesses.
  • Extending Essential Knowledge: Extending this essential knowledge in specific areas of science and business in an effort to develop solutions to issues relevant to science-based businesses.
  • Understanding Essential Concepts: Understanding of the essential concepts of mathematics, statistics, science and business in order to relate these concepts to cases and situations requiring an expertise in both business and science.

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.



Michael Rutter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Statistics
3B Prischak
Erie, PA 16563

Diane Parente, Ph.D.
Samuel A. and Elizabeth B. Breene Professor of Business and Management
254 Burke
Erie, PA 16563

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2023-24 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contains suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Interdisciplinary Science and Business, B.S. at Erie 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
MATH 140 or 110 (GQ)*‡#†4STAT 200, 250, or SCM 200 (GQ)*‡#†3-4
BIOL 110 (GN)*#†4PHYS 250 or CHEM 112 and CHEM 113 (GN)*#†4
CHEM 110
CHEM 111 (GN)*#†
4ECON 102 (GS)*#†3
ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)‡#†3MIS 204*3
PSU 7*1CAS 100 (GWS)*‡†3
 16 16-17
Second Year
MKTG 301*3FIN 301*3
ACCTG 211*#4ENGL 202C (GWS)*‡†3
BA 242*2SCM 301*3
BA 241*2Science Module*13
ISB 207*1Science Module*13-4
General Education Course (GA/GH/GHW)3 
 15 15-16
Third Year
ECON 104 (GS)*†3Business Module*13
MGMT 301*3Business Module*13
Science Module*13Science Module*13-4
Science Module*13Science Module*13
Business Module*13General Education Course (GA/GH/GHW)3
General Education Course (GA/GH/GHW)3 
 18 15-16
Fourth Year
MGMT 410*3ISB 475W*3
Science Module*13Science Module*13
Business Module*13-4Science Module*13
Business Module*13General Education Course (GA/GH/GHW)3
Science Module*13General Education Course (GA/GH/GHW)3
 15-16 15
Total Credits 125-129

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education


Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement


For the current list of Science and Business module courses, please contact Dr. Michael Rutter ( or Dr. Diane Parente (

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity 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.

General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.

Program Notes:

Advising Notes:

  • Students are encouraged to meet their general education requirements of inter-domain and linked courses in their general education credits.
  • Students are encouraged to complete the US and IL general education requirements as part of their general education course selections.

Career Paths

As science, health-care, and technology business continue to grow, demand is expected to increase for employees who understand both what the business does and how to lead it—those with a deep understanding of the science but also a specialization in sales, finance, marketing, or management.


Interdisciplinary Science and Business graduates can expect to find employment at laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, health-care facilities and medical practices, and environmental firms. Typical entry-level positions include sales representatives, analysts, managers, and specialists in purchasing, supply chain, or operations.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Students interested in continuing studies could add to their specialization by pursuing in advanced degrees on either the science side or business side of their undergraduate degree.




1 Prischak Building
Erie, PA 16563