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Natural Science

Divisional Head: J. Andrew Holey

The natural science major is designed to accommodate the student's broader interest in the areas of science. This major is appropriate for students desiring to continue their education in a variety of science or medically-related fields. These fields include the health professions, teaching at various levels, agricultural and environmental pursuits, geology, law, economics, government positions, industrial research and other opportunities. The exact sequence of studies must be chosen carefully in consultation with an appropriate faculty advisor in the natural sciences.


Natural Science majors are required to complete an on-line survey when they apply to the major and a follow-up survey during their senior year. They are also required to take the Major Field Test in their area of concentration during the last semester of their senior year.


The natural science major offers concentrations in natural science and natural science/secondary education. Students need to fulfill the mathematics proficiency requirement before they can be admitted to the major.

Concentration in Natural Science (64 credits*)

Required Courses:
Two courses (8 credits) from each of four of the following areas:
ASTR 211, 212;
BIOL 121, 221, 222;
CHEM 123, 234;
CSCI 161, 162;
GEOL 211, 212; or 213, 214;
MATH 119 or 118 (not both), 120, 124;
PHYS 105, 106 or 191, 200.

Eight additional 4-credit courses, or the equivalent from biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics or physics; five of the eight courses must be upper division. NUTR 125, 330, 331 and ENVR 175, 275 may be selected to fulfill up to three of the eight courses.

The only 100-level science courses that may be used to fulfill a requirement for this concentration are listed above. It is not possible to major in both natural science and another science.

Special Requirements:
*For the "three-one" program in dentistry (see listing under "Pre-Professional Programs"), the requirements for a natural science major will be fulfilled by meeting the lower-division requirements in biology, chemistry, physics and one course in mathematics plus CHEM 235, 236; a minimum of two upper-division science electives; and credits from the first year of professional school (when transferred back to Saint Benedict's or Saint John's).

Students whose interests lie primarily in biology and chemistry should begin with BIOL 121, 221 or 222 and CHEM 123, 234. If inclined toward a physics concentration, students should begin with PHYS 191, 200 and MATH 119, 120.

General Science 5-8, 5-12 or 9-12 Science Licensures (All Science Licensures are under review, subject to change based on MN Board of Teaching review)

These programs are designed for students interested in teaching science at the secondary (grades 5-12) level. These course sequences must be combined with a minor in secondary education and a subject area major. Students should contact the education department early in their college career for advice on licensing requirements.
Students are advised that a science program fulfilling Minnesota licensure academic requirements may require a ninth semester, course overloads and/or summer school. Consult the Natural Science Division Head or the Education Department Chair for the approved program.

Science Requirements for 5-8 Licensure (40 credits)
BIOL 121, 221 and 222 (12)
CHEM 123 and 234 (8)
ASTR 211 and 212 (8)  
GEOL 211 (4)
PHYS 105 and 106 (8)
Suggested mathematics courses: MATH 118 or 119 or 124

Education Requirements for 5-8 Licensure
EDUC 109, 111, 203, 213, 310, 358, 359, 362, 390, and fulfillment of speech requirement.

Biology 9-12 Licensure
(Total: 52 credits)
BIOL 121, 122, and 222 (12)
BIOL 305 Invertebrate Zoology (4) or BIOL 306 Plant Diversity (4) or BIOL 307 Biology of Microorganisms (4)
BIOL 316 Genetics (4)
BIOL 339 Evolution (4)
BIOL 334 General Ecology (4) or BIOL 336 Behavioral Ecology (4) or BIOL 337 Aquatic Ecology (4)
BIOL 323 Animal Physiology (4) or BIOL 327 Plant Physiology (4)

Chemistry 9-12 Licensure
(Total: 29 credits)
CHEM 123 and 234 (8)
CHEM 235 Organic Chemistry I (4)
CHEM 236 Organic Chemistry II (4)
CHEM 320 Chemical Literature (1)
CHEM 335 Analytical Chemistry (4)
8 additional credits in chemistry

Physics 9-12 Licensure
(Total: 34 credits)
PHYS 191 and PHYS 200 (8)
PHYS 211 Foundations of Physics III (4)
PHYS 320 Modern Physics (4)
PHYS 332 Intermediate Physics Laboratory (0-1) (2 semesters)
MATH 119 Calculus I (4)
MATH 120 Calculus II (4)
MATH 239 Linear Algebra (4)
MATH 337 Differential Equations (4)

Education Requirements for 9-12 Licensure Areas
EDUC 109, 111, 203, 213, 310, 355, 359, 362, 390, and fulfillment of speech requirement.

Minor (None)