This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2020-21 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate broad and core science proficiency
  • Demonstrate competency in at least two sciences or in a non-science area
  • Apply learning to selection and pursuit of professional or graduate career objective
  • Demonstrate proficiency in communication of scientific or research findings
  • Demonstrate ability to apply the scientific method/approach to professional problems
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the interrelation of core sciences to interdisciplinary problems

Special requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Science requires a minimum of 120 credits.

Along with the general education requirements of the undergraduate programs and the College of Humanities and Sciences for a Bachelor of Science degree, this curriculum requires 29 to 33 credits in foundation science and mathematics courses and 35 to 39 credits in supplemental courses in the concentration. In preparation for the required mathematical sciences courses, all students must take the Mathematics Placement Test. Science majors are strongly encouraged to select a minor in an area different from their area of concentration that will complement their career interests and contribute additional upper-level credits to their curriculum.

Grade requirements

A minimum grade of C is required in each prerequisite course:

CourseTitleHours
CHEM 100Introductory Chemistry (if required through placement test)3
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3
CHEM 102General Chemistry II3
CHEM 301Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 302Organic Chemistry3

A minimum grade of C is required in the following courses before enrollment in advanced BIOL courses:

CourseTitleHours
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
BIOL 300Cellular and Molecular Biology3

Degree requirements for B.S. in Science (concentration in professional science)

General education requirements

CourseTitleHours
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I [View Image]
Focused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II [View Image]
Focused Inquiry II3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
CourseTitleHours
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS 202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S general education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Major requirements

CourseTitleHours
Foundational courses
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
BIOL 341/ANTH 301Human Evolution (or upper-level natural science elective from list below)3
Select one of the following:4
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
Select one of the following:3
Experiencing Science
Nature Writing
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
MATH 151Precalculus Mathematics (or placement)4
STAT 208Statistical Thinking3
or STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics
Select one of the following:3-4
Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
Applications of Statistics
INSC 490Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science (or an approved capstone from another natural science major from list below)1-3
Select one of the following:4-5
General Physics I
General Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Supplemental courses
Select one of the following:3
Ecology
Environmental Pollution
Energy and the Environment
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Meteorology
Meteorology and Climatology
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Oceanography
Oceanography
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
Select one of the following:4
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
Wonders of Technology
Physical Geology
and Physical Geography Laboratory
Physical Geography
and Physical Geography Laboratory
Or a 200-level or higher natural science elective and a 200-level or higher natural science laboratory elective from the list below
Select one of the following:3-4
Elementary Astronomy
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
Environmental Science
Chemistry and Society
Or a 200-level or higher natural science elective and a 200-level or higher natural science laboratory elective from the list below
Select a second introductory foundation course (with laboratory) in two of the following three areas: biology, chemistry or physics8-10
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
General Physics I
General Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Select an ethics or upper-level health-related science elective from either of the lists below.3
Select research, internship, co-op (see research experience electives list) or upper-level service-learning experience (to equal a minimum of three credits alone or in combination with other upper-level natural or health science electives).3
Select two additional courses at the 200-level or higher in mathematics, science, teaching mathematics and/or science with adviser’s approval. Choose from the following:5-6
School and Society (may be used if student is preparing for teaching)
Human Development and Learning (may be used if student is preparing for teaching)
Faith and Life Sciences
MATH or STAT: 200-level or higher
Or a 200-level or higher natural or health science elective from list below
Total Hours64-72

Open electives

CourseTitleHours
Select two-24 open elective credits2-24
Total Hours2-24

The minimum total of credit hours required for this degree is 120.

Natural science electives

CourseTitleHours
LFSC 301Integrative Life Sciences Research3
LFSC 401Faith and Life Sciences3
PHTX 400Drugs and Their Actions3
Any 200-level or higher BIOL, BNFO, CHEM, CLSE, EGRB, ENVS, FRSC, INSC or PHYS course, except:
Introduction to Research
Biology Capstone Seminar: ____
Biology Capstone Experience
Communicating Research
Presenting Research
Independent Study
Biology Internship
Research and Thesis
Biology Preceptorship: ____
Independent Study
Independent Study
Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship in Bioinformatics
Directed Study
Independent Study
Chemistry Internship
Engineering Seminar
Independent Study in Engineering
Research Seminar in Environmental Studies
Independent Study
Environmental Studies Internship
Professional Practices in Forensic Science
Forensic Science Independent Study
Forensic Science Internship
Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science
Seminar in Conceptual Physics
Independent Study

Natural science laboratory electives

CourseTitleHours
BIOL 205Basic Human Anatomy 14
BIOL 309Entomology 14
BIOL 320Biology of the Seed Plant 14
BIOL 402Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 15
BIOL 417Mammalogy 14
BIOL 435Herpetology 13
BIOL 445Neurobiology and Behavior 14
BIOL 503Fish Biology 14
BIOZ: any 200-level or higher course
BNFO 380Introduction to Mathematical Biology 14
BNFO 420Applications in Bioinformatics 13
BNFO 440Computational Methods in Bioinformatics 13
CHEZ: any 200-level or higher course
EGRB 307Biomedical Instrumentation 14
EGRB 308Biomedical Signal Processing 14
EGRB 310Biomechanics 14
ENVZ 335Environmental Geology Laboratory1
FRSZ: any 200-level or higher course
PHIZ 206Human Physiology Laboratory1
PHYS 202General Physics II 14
PHYS 208University Physics II 15
PHYZ 320Modern Physics Laboratory1
1

Courses have a combined lecture and lab and will satisfy both natural science lecture and laboratory requirements.

Health science electives

CourseTitleHours
AFAM/ANTH/INTL/GSWS 309Gender and Global Health3
AFAM 310Black Health Matters: Social Determinants of Health in the African American Community3
AFAM 4013
GSWS 392Women's Health Care Across the Life Span3
HPEX 325Pathology and Pharmacology in Athletic Training3
HPEX 345Nutrition for Health and Disease3
HPEX 350Nutrition3
HPEX 353Disease Trends, Prevention and Control3
HPEX 373Structural Kinesiology3
HPEX 374Musculoskeletal Structure and Movement4
HPEX 375Physiology of Exercise3
HPEX 440Chronic Disease and Exercise Management3
PSYC 401Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 412Health Psychology3
PSYC/GSWS 414Psychology of Women's Health3
SCTS 300Introduction to Science and Technology Studies3
SCTS 301Illness Narratives3
SCTS 392Revolutions in Science I3
SCTS 393Revolutions in Science II3
SCTS 397Genetics and Society: 1865 to the Present3
SCTS 398History of Medicine and Public Health: ____3
SOCY 344Medical Sociology3

Ethics electives

CourseTitleHours
LFSC/RELS 401Faith and Life Sciences3
PHIL 201Introduction to Ethics3
PHIL 211History of Ethics3
PHIL 212Ethics and Applications3
PHIL 213Ethics and Health Care3
PHIL 214Ethics and Business3
RELS 340/INTL 341Global Ethics and the World's Religions3

Research, internship, co-op experience electives

CourseTitleHours
AFAM 399Interdisciplinary Research Methods3
ANTH 303Archaeological Methods and Research Design3
BIOL 490Presenting Research1
BIOL 492Independent Study1-4
BIOL 493Biology Internship1-3
CHEM 492Independent Study1-4
CHEM 493Chemistry Internship1-3
COOP 298Cooperative Education Experience0
COOP 398Cooperative Education Experience0
FRSC 492Forensic Science Independent Study1-3
FRSC 493Forensic Science Internship3
PHYS 492Independent Study1-3
PSYC 317Experimental Methods3
SOCY 320Research Methods in the Social Sciences3

Natural science approved capstone courses

CourseTitleHours
BIOL 475Biology Capstone Seminar: ____1-3
BIOL 477Biology Capstone Experience (in conjunction with BIOL 492, BIOL 493, BIOL 495 or BIOL 497, as specified and approved by the biology department)0
BIOZ 476Molecular Capstone Laboratory2
BNFO 420Applications in Bioinformatics3
CHEM 398Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar1
CLSE 402
CLSE 403
Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)
and Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)
4
EGRB 402Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Studio3
ENVS 490Research Seminar in Environmental Studies3
FRSC 490Professional Practices in Forensic Science3
PHYS 490Seminar in Conceptual Physics1

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
Select one of the following CHEM sequences:3-4
CHEM 101
CHEZ 101
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (or placement)
-
CHEM 110Chemistry and Society-
MATH 151Precalculus Mathematics (or placement)4
STAT 208
Statistical Thinking
or Basic Practice of Statistics
3
UNIV 101Introduction to the University1
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I [View Image]
Focused Inquiry I3
 Term Hours: 14-15
Spring semester
Select one of the following sequences:4-5
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
-
BIOL 103
or ENVS 103
Environmental Science
or
-
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
-
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
-
CHEM 102
CHEZ 102
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
-
PHYS 101
PHYZ 101
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
-
PHYS 107Wonders of Technology-
PHYS 201General Physics I-
PHYS 207University Physics I-
HUMS 202Choices in a Consumer Society1
MATH 200
Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
or Differential Calculus and Optimization for Business
or Applications of Statistics
3-4
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II [View Image]
Focused Inquiry II3
Approved diverse and global communities3
 Term Hours: 14-16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
Select one of the following BIOL sequences:4
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
-
BIOL 103
or ENVS 103
Environmental Science
or
-
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
-
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
-
Select one of the following PHYS sequences:4-5
PHYS 101
PHYZ 101
Foundations of Physics
and Foundations of Physics Laboratory
-
PHYS 107Wonders of Technology-
PHYS 202General Physics II-
PHYS 208University Physics II-
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved general education elective3
Approved human, social and political behavior3
 Term Hours: 17-18
Spring semester
Select one of the following combinations or a 200-level science with laboratory:4
ENVS 105
URSZ 204
Physical Geology
and Physical Geography Laboratory
-
URSP 204
URSZ 204
Physical Geography
and Physical Geography Laboratory
-
Select a second introductory foundation course (with laboratory) in one of the following three areas: biology, chemistry or physics4
Approved literature and civilization3
Approved science and technology (BIOL/Z 101, BIOL/Z 103, CHEM 110 and PHYS/Z 103 also fulfill major requirements)4
Experiential fine arts (SPCH 321, ARTE 301 or other upper-level option recommended)1-3
 Term Hours: 16-18
Junior year
Fall semester
Select one of the following or upper-level science:3
INSC 300Experiencing Science-
ENVS 368
Nature Writing
or Nature Writing
-
PHYS 103Elementary Astronomy3
PHYZ 103Elementary Astronomy Laboratory (or Introduction to Pre-Health topics course, or a 200-level science with laboratory)1
Approved general education elective3-4
Ethics or other health-related science3
Foreign language (101), upper-level open elective or minor elective3-4
 Term Hours: 16-18
Spring semester
Select one of the following:3
BIOL 317Ecology-
BIOL 332
Environmental Pollution
or Environmental Pollution
-
ENVS 315
Energy and the Environment
or Energy and the Environment
-
ENVS 310
Introduction to Oceanography (or upper-level science)
or Oceanography
3
Additional course at the 200-level or higher in mathematics, science, teaching mathematics and/or science with adviser’s approval3
Foreign language (102), upper-level open elective or minor elective3-4
Upper-level open elective or minor elective3
 Term Hours: 15-16
Senior year
Fall semester
BIOL 341
Human Evolution (or upper-level science)
or Human Evolution
3
ENVS 301
Introduction to Meteorology
or Meteorology and Climatology
3
Additional course at the 200-level or higher in mathematics, science, teaching mathematics and/or science with adviser’s approval3
Select a second introductory foundation course (with laboratory) in a second of the following three areas: biology, chemistry or physics4
Upper-level open elective or minor elective1-2
 Term Hours: 14-15
Spring semester
Select one of the following:1-3
INSC 490Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science-
Or approved capstone from another science major (biology, chemistry or physics)-
Research, internship, co-op or upper-level service-learning experience3
Upper-level open electives or minor electives10-11
 Term Hours: 14-17
 Total Hours: 120-133

The minimum total of credit hours required for this degree is 120.