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General Studies — Sciences
Associate Director, S. Ritchie
General Studies - Sciences is for students who have varied interests that may cut across the usual departmental boundaries and who wish to play a role in deciding on a suitable curriculum of study. General Studies- Sciences seeks to prepare students for a wide variety of opportunities after graduation ranging from professional and graduate school to entry into business and industry. Graduates of General Studies- Sciences are expected to: 1) have a thorough understanding and knowledge of their major area of study; 2) understand and critically analyze research and journals from their field of study; 3) communicate clearly about their field to a wide variety of audiences, and 4) understand that they will need to engage in lifelong learning to stay current in their field. The degree offered is the Bachelor of Science. The degree is not identified with a specific subject-matter field on the diploma.
Students work with specific academic advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences to plan individual programs of study leading towards the Bachelor of Science degree. If you are interested in pursuing General Studies - Sciences, you must meet with the appropriate advisor as soon as possible. There are three options under General Studies - Sciences: General Studies - Biological Sciences, General Studies - Mathematics, and General Studies - Physical Sciences. Program planning and advising are provided by the School of Biological Sciences, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, respectively. For more information on specific advisors and how to contact them, go to https://cas.wsu.edu/undergraduate-studies/advising/meet-our-advisors/
Student Learning Outcomes
- Ability to understand and communicate effectively about scientific or mathematical concepts.
- Ability to think critically and adapt concepts to analyze and solve problems
- Ability to apply scientific or mathematical skills in formulating logical hypotheses to explain natural phenomena.
- Ability to design tests of hypotheses through experiments, observational studies, mathematical models, or statistical tests.
- Ability to identify central body of knowledge in a scientific discipline or mathematical specialty.
- Ability to use scientific or mathematical knowledge to analyze contemporary social, cultural, and environmental issues and contribute to informed opinion.
Plans of Study
Students may follow Plan A or Plan B for each of the General Studies options below, except for the Mathematical Science option which offers only the Plan A option. All options require 120 credit hours for the degree. In addition, students will satisfy the University Core Requirements and College of Arts and Sciences graduation requirements. Students must complete two [M] courses and at least 40 of the 120 hours for the degree must be at the 300-400-level. Honors students must complete the Honors College requirements which replace the UCORE requirements but must satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences additional graduation requirements.
Students who complete a General Studies Science curriculum receive a Bachelor of Science degree. The transcript (not the diploma) will identify the option and areas of concentration.
Plan A—Primary/Secondary Concentration:
Primary concentration: a minimum of 24 semester credits, including at least 15 upper division (300-400-level) credits, must be completed in biological sciences, in mathematics, or in a single physical science with a minimum 2.00 primary concentration GPA.
Secondary concentration: a minimum of 15 semester credits, including at least 6 upper division (300-400-level) credits, must be completed in an area specified by the option or in another academic program with a minimum 2.00 GPA.
Plan B—Three Related Areas in Biological Sciences or Physical Sciences:
A combination of biological sciences or physical sciences courses of at least 39 credits in three or more related academic areas; 9 credits in each academic area are required and 21 upper division (300-400-level) credits must be completed with at least a 2.0 GPA. The related areas in general biological sciences include biology, biochemistry, botany, genetics and cell biology, microbiology, zoology, and approved biology-based courses in agriculture. The related areas in general physical sciences are broadly defined and include astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, physics, and approved courses in computer sciences and engineering.
General Studies - Biological Sciences is an option for students who want a curriculum of study that cuts across disciplines but has biology at the core of integrative studies. This degree has two plans of study (Plan A or Plan B). Both require prerequisites of one year biology, one semester introductory calculus, one year general chemistry, and one semester organic chemistry. The academic areas from which courses may be drawn include biology, biochemistry, botany, genetics and cell biology, microbiology, zoology, and approved biology-based courses in agriculture. However, students may not use General Studies Biological Sciences as part of a double major with either biology or zoology. Students will work with their academic advisor in the School of Biological Sciences to plan individual courses of study for this option of the Bachelor of Science degree.
General Studies - Mathematical Sciences is an option for students who want a curriculum of study that cuts across disciplines but has Mathematics at the core of integrative studies. Plan A is the only option offered for this degree. It requires prerequisites of three semesters of calculus and linear algebra. Students will work with the academic advisor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics to plan individual courses of study for this option of the Bachelor of Science degree.
General Studies - Physical Sciences is an option for students who want a curriculum of study that cuts across disciplines but has Physics or another Physical Science such as Chemistry at the core of integrative studies. This degree has two plans of study (Plan A or Plan B). Both require prerequisites of one year calculus, one year calculus-based physics, and one year general chemistry. Students must satisfy all prerequisite work for 300-400 level courses. Students will work with the academic advisor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy to plan individual courses of study for this option of the Bachelor of Science degree.
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