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The Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

This degree is appropriate for students pursuing single subject matter preparation in Foundational-Level General Science. Thus it helps fulfill one of the requirements for admission into a single subject teaching credential program. See the Single Subject Matter Preparation Program in Science program.
This degree is also designed for students who are interested in science-related interdisciplinary careers such as science writing, law, or environmental policy. Students who choose this program should consult with their major advisor about career paths

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 45-46 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option or advising pattern, are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Major Core Program: 29-32 units

7 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 110 recommended.
Basic concepts of motion, force, energy, chemical change, and their interactions. Intended for Liberal Studies majors. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (004132)
Prerequisites: NSCI 141 or faculty permission.
Study of the nature and interactions of living things on the planet. Includes cell organization; diversity and physiology of plants and animals; DNA and genetics; ecology; and evolution. Intended for Liberal Studies majors or others interested in K-8 teaching. 6 hours activity. (020915)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, NSCI 141, NSCI 142.
This course engages students in inquiry into topics that span the scientific disciplines. Skills addressed include experimental design, modeling, representation, dissemination of results, and critique of peers' work. Content topics include light, color and sound, from biological, chemical and physics perspectives. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (020914)
Prerequisites: NSCI 141, NSCI 142, or faculty permission.
Fundamental concepts in (1) the solar system and the universe, (2) the structure and composition of the solid Earth, and (3) Earth's atmosphere and water. Intended for Liberal Studies majors and students pursuing a single subject teaching credential in science. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (004144)
Prerequisites: NSCI 141, NSCI 142, or faculty permission.
A course designed to introduce basic principles and concepts in environmental science. Field investigations in the local environment provide a natural setting for scientific inquiry and student research on environmental processes and conditions that shape the local landscape. Intended for Liberal Studies majors and students pursuing a single subject teaching credential in science. 1 hour lecture, 4 hours activity. (020916)
Prerequisites: NSCI 141, NSCI 142 or faculty permission.
Students have the opportunity to work with elementary and middle school students in a science teaching/learning environment in the hands-on Science Education Laboratory facility on campus. The hands-on lessons provide early teaching experiences in science for undergraduates exploring teaching as a career. All lessons are based on the California content standards in science. Students cover instructional strategies as well as content as part of the one-hour teaching and two-hour follow-up laboratory experience. 1 hour lecture. ABC/no credit grading. (015904)
Prerequisites: NSCI 141; or PHYS 100; or PHYS 202A and PHYS 202B; or PHYS 204A, PHYS 204B, and PHYS 204C.
This course builds on concepts developed in the introductory physics course in greater mathematical and representational sophistication. There is a significant emphasis on participation in and reflection on scientific inquiry. Topics addressed include kinematics, electrostatics and electrodynamics, simple machines, and wave phenomena. 1 hour discussion, 4 hours activity. (020986)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Intermediate Algebra.
A survey of the principles of chemistry, primarily for students in agriculture, industry and technology, and pre-nursing. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001826)
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science, medical, and related professions. Atomic structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, periodic table, gases, solids, liquids, solutions, and equilibrium. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001816)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: High school chemistry or physics is recommended; students with no previous science courses are advised to enroll in GEOS 101. No college credit for those who have passed GEOS 101.
Physical and chemical processes in the earth, including origin and identification of rocks and minerals; earth's interior; movements and major features of the earth's crust; erosion and sedimentation; geological structures; topographic maps; mineral resources. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (004069)
Origin and evolution of the universe. Topics include black holes, pulsars, quasars, life in the universe, and interstellar communication. Constellation study in Roth Planetarium and telescope observation of stars and galaxies at Observatory. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (004129)
Prerequisites: GEOS 166 or NSCI 343.
In-depth survey of atmospheric processes affecting climate, the hydrologic cycle, and soil systems. Interactions between these systems are examined through case studies. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours activity. (020723)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
Analysis of the evidence for evolution and the nature of the process. Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, sociobiology, conflicts and misconceptions regarding evolution, creationism, and evolution of the human body and mind are considered. 3 hours discussion.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education Capstone course. Formerly BIOL 302. (001139)
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
The inheritance, expression, and evolution of the genetic material in humans. Topics include genetic engineering, gene therapy, prenatal diagnosis, cancer, the human genome project, genetic influences on human behavior, such as homosexuality and mental illness, and the social and ethical consequences of the new technologies. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (001140)
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
Basic biological principles, including the scientific method, reproduction, development, physiology, and anatomy. The biological basis of childhood diseases, immunity, nutrition, issues of health and well-being, and the relevance of biological information in social, political, and ethical decision making regarding children. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (001151)
Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.
An examination of ecological principles and the impact of increasing population and technology upon the environment. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (001156)
Prerequisite: NSCI 102.
Plant and animal morphology, classification, and ecological relationships examined through field and laboratory study. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001158)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Necessary background for the specific internship.
This internship course is offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register with a supervising faculty member. The internship program is designed to provide students with direct field or laboratory research experience in occupational settings. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001228)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111, faculty permission.
This course is a supervised study in science outreach to K-14 schools and is offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register with a supervising faculty member. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 3.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001866)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112, CHEM 270. CHEM 320 is recommended.
This is a special course for science majors and minors who plan on pursuing a career in chemistry education at the secondary school level. Topics include laboratory and stockroom management, planning and running high school-level chemistry laboratory experiments, and mastery of chemistry content related to the high school curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to function as teaching assistants in lower-division chemistry laboratories. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (020153)
Prerequisites: BIOL 342 or GEOS 130 or equivalent.
This course is also offered as RECR 448 .
Experiential-oriented survey of methods and materials for teaching environmental concepts in schools, communities, nature centers, camps, and parks. Exposure to history, theory, philosophy, and goals of environmental education programs. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (002778)
Prerequisites: Both GEOS 102 and GEOS 105, or NSCI 342.
This course provides students with classroom experience that utilizes a variety of interactive, engaging teaching styles that develop and reinforce skills and concepts through open-ended activities such as direct instruction, discourse, demonstrations, individual and cooperative learning explorations, peer instruction, and student-centered discussion. 9 hours supervision. (020329)
Prerequisite: GEOS 101 or GEOS 102, GEOS 203.
This is a supervised internship in geoscience teaching which takes place in a local junior high or high school geoscience classroom, supervised by the classroom teacher and by a faculty member of the CSUC Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. 9 hours supervision. Credit/no credit grading. (020620)
Students in this course facilitate the elementary grade level field trip activities for visiting K-8 students at the Gateway Science Museum to foster an appreciation and understanding of the natural world around them. 3 hours laboratory. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 3.0 units. (020964)
Prerequisites: PHYS 300B and faculty permission.
This is a supervised internship in physics teaching which will take place in a local high school physics classroom. This course may be taken more than once, but a maximum of 3 units of any PHYS 289 may be counted toward the degree. This course cannot be used for the minor in physics. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (007448)

Electives: 1-5 units

1-5 units selected from:

Any courses in the core or any option, which will not be used to meet other requirements in the major. Additional courses may be considered. Consult your major advisor.

If including your option courses (see below), you have a total less than 45 units, then you must complete a sufficient number of these elective units to reach a total of 45 units in the major. If including your option courses, you have a total of 45 units or more, then you must complete at least one additional unit. Consult your major advisor.

Major Option Course Requirements: 11-13 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.

General Biology Option: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 111 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to biological molecules, bioenergetics, cellular structure and function, elements of molecular biology and genetics, and mechanisms of macroevolution and systematics. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001122)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or faculty permission; recommend CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to evolutionary history and biological diversity, microbes and protists, invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. Form and function of plants and animals. Ecological principles. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001123)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151; CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment recommended.
Introduction to plant and animal physiology and development. Laboratory consists of small group independent investigations of biological questions that include student-devised experiments; application of biological techniques, data anaylsis, and peer reviewed presentation of results. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (020284)

Human Biology Option: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Study of the structure of the human body, to include muscles, bones, heart, brain, ear, eye, and other systems, as well as a short look at development of the fetus. Lab work entails dissection of the cat and study of the human skeleton. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (001110)
Basic functioning of the organ systems of the human body, including the brain and nervous system; vision and hearing; heart and circulation; blood and immunity; respiration, digestion and metabolism; muscles; excretory, endocrine, and reproductive systems. 3 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. This is an approved General Education course. (001114)
Prerequisites: BIOL 103, BIOL 104, BIOL 151, or NSCI 102; CHEM 107, CHEM 108, or CHEM 111.
Introduction to structure/function, metabolism, genetics, ecological interactions and pathogenic mechanisms of microorganisms. In addition, the roles of microorganisms in sanitation and in the food and biotechnology industries will be discussed. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001132)

Chemistry Option: 12 units

2 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Chemical energetics, rates of reaction, acids and bases, solubility, oxidation-reduction, and nuclear chemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
An introduction to the theory and mechanism of organic reactions. To be followed by CHEM 370, which completes the two-semester sequence for science majors. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)

4 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or higher.
Precision and accuracy in measurements, interpretation of data by statistical analysis, and development of good quantitative techniques. Analysis by gravimetry, titrimetry, potentiometry, chromatography, and spectrometry. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001847)
Prerequisites: CHEM 108.
A survey of biochemistry, principally for agriculture, child development, and nursing students. Normally not open to chemistry or biological sciences majors. 3 hours discussion. (001849)
Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of CHEM 350.
Fundamental laboratory studies and examination of the major classes of biological compounds. Principally for agriculture, child development, and nursing students. Normally not open to chemistry or biological sciences majors. 3 hours laboratory. (001850)
Prerequisites: CHEM 270 with a grade of C- or higher.
Lecture continuation of the theory and mechanisms of organic reaction. 3 hours discussion. (001852)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 may be taken as a prerequisite or concurrently with CHEM 370L.
Laboratory continuation of the theory and mechanisms of organic reactions. Completes the two-semester sequence for science majors. 3 hours laboratory. (001856)

Environmental Science Option: 11 units

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111; PHYS 202A or PHYS 204A or PHYS 341.
An intermediate treatment of astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography, with emphasis on climate change and its impacts. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (004137)
Prerequisite: GEOS 265 or faculty permission.
Intermediate treatment of selected topics in environmental sciences. Students build on concepts and skills learned in Environment I-III courses. Local research projects and case studies are considered. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours activity. (020689)
Prerequisites: One course from GE Pathway Foundation Physical Sciences.
Analysis of present and long-term global energy crises; coverage of scientific concepts needed to understand energy and its environmental interactions; in-depth examination of alternative energy sources and their environmental impact. 3 hours lecture. (004149)
Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; GEOS 330 or GEOS 380.
Water-resources, management plans of world; emphasis on California and Israeli plans. Water plans in primitive, agrarian, and industrial societies. Data gathering and interpretation, regulation of water resources, and control of water pollution. 3 hours lecture. (004168)

Geology Option: 12-13 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: GEOS 101 or GEOS 102.
Principles of historical geology as they relate to rock sequences and geologic maps. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (004070)
Prerequisites: GEOS 101 or GEOS 102; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111 or equivalent; or faculty permission.
Identification and origins of the more common minerals and rocks. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours laboratory. (004080)
Prerequisites: GEOS 203 and GEOS 306 (both may be taken concurrently), or faculty permission.
Basic concepts of stratigraphy. Methods of strata description, correlation, mapping, and interpretation. Sedimentary tectonics and lithic associations. Graphic representation of data. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (004081)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: GEOS 203 or course in Biology.
Study of main groups of invertebrate fossils and their uses in biostratigraphy, paleobiogeography, and paleoecology. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (004138)
Prerequisites: GEOS 101 or GEOS 102 or consent of instructor.
Geologic setting of California and historical development of its geologic provinces. The impact of earthquakes, volcanic activity, coastal erosion, and earth resources on California. Field trip required. 3 hours discussion. (004085)
Prerequisites: GEOS 306, GEOS 307.
Elementary geologic field methods, descriptive geometry, photogeology, and geologic mapping. Ten days in the field during January intersession. 6 hours laboratory. (004074)

Physical Science Option: 12 units

2 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 051 and MATH 118 at CSU, Chico).
Mechanics, properties of matter, wave motion, sound, heat. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204A instead of this course. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007394)
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A with a grade of C- or higher.
Light, electricity, magnetism, selected topics in modern physics. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204B instead of this course. Algebra and trigonometry are used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007395)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 or CHEM 111 or equivalent.
A survey of organic chemistry primarily for agriculture, industry and technology, and pre-nursing students. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001828)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Chemical energetics, rates of reaction, acids and bases, solubility, oxidation-reduction, and nuclear chemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Catalog Cycle:12