Natural Science

Program Director: Barbara J. May

The natural science major is designed to accommodate a student who has a broader interest in the areas of science. This major is especially 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.

Assessment

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.

Major

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 (54 credits*)

Requirements for the NS major are listed here in the Academic Catalog; there is also a four-year plan and additional information available in the Natural Science Brochure.
Please contact the Director of the Natural Science major Barbara J. May, if you have any questions.

Lower Division Breadth (24 credits)

Required Courses:

Two courses (8 credits) from three of the following areas:

  • ASTR 211, 212
  • BIOL 121, 221, 222
  • CHEM 125, 201, and 251, 202, or 234
  • CSCI 140, 150, 160
  • ENVR 175, 275
  • GEOL 211, 212; or 213, 214
  • MATH 119 or 118 (not both), 120, 124
  • NUTR 125, 225
  • PHYS 105, 106; or 191, 200 

Upper Division Depth (20 credits)

Twenty credits from the following, including a minimum of four credits from each of two disciplines.

  • BIOL, BCHM, CHEM, CSCI, MATH and PHYS: any 300-level courses except capstone courses
  • Designated upper-division science courses in Environmental Studies
  • NUTR 301, 330, and 331 or other designated upper-division science courses in Nutrition approved by the Natural Science Program Director

 Additional Coursework (8 credits)

At least eight additional credits from the natural sciences and mathematics. 100-level courses in this category must be selected from the courses listed above; any 200-level and 300-level courses in the natural sciences may be counted toward this requirement. In many cases, these courses will be 200-level courses needed to bridge to the 300-level in the student's chosen upper-division areas.

The Capstone (2 credits)

One of the following:

  • NATS 378 -- Senior Capstone in Natural Science
  • NATS 398 --Honors Thesis
  • Another capstone approved by the faculty advisor and the program director

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, physics, and one course in mathematics plus four semesters of chemistry; 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).

Suggestions:
Students whose interests lie primarily in biology and chemistry should begin with BIOL 121, 221, or 222 and CHEM 125, 201, and 250, 202, or 234. If inclined toward a physics concentration, students should begin with PHYS 191, 200 and MATH 119, 120.

Concentration in Natural Science/Secondary Education

Lower Division Breadth (24 credits)

Two courses (8 credits) from three of the following areas:

  • ASTR 211, 212; GEOL 211, 212, 214
  • BIOL 121, 221, 222
  • CHEM 125, 234
  • CSCI 140, 160
  • ENVR 175, 275
  • MATH 119 or 118 (not both), 120, 124
  • NUTR 125, 225
  • PHYS 105, 106; or 191, 200

Students seeking licensure in secondary science education will need to choose their lower-division breadth courses carefully; not all the courses listed above can be applied to meeting the standards for licensure. These students should consult with the Chair of the Education Department as soon as possible to plan an approved program of study and practice leading to teacher licensure. For further details, see the section on Requirements for Licensure in Secondary Science Education below.

Upper Division Depth (20 credits)

Twenty credits from the following, including a minimum of four credits from each of two disciplines.

  • BIOL, BCHM, CHEM, CSCI, MATH and PHYS: any 300-level courses except capstone courses
  • Designated upper-division science courses in Environmental Studies
  • NUTR 330, and 331 or other designated upper-division science courses in Nutrition
  • EDUC 355 Pedagogy in Grades 9-12 for Science or EDUC 358 Mid-Level Literacy and Pedagogy in Science, but not both. (Students seeking dual licensure may need to take both courses, but only one may be counted toward the major.)

The Capstone (1 or 2 credits)

One of the following:

  • NATS 379 -- Senior Capstone in Natural Science Education (Science Education minors only)
  • NATS 398 --Honors Thesis
  • Another capstone approved by the faculty advisor and the program director

Requirements for Science Education Licensure

Students interested in teaching science in Minnesota's public schools must meet Minnesota's teacher licensure standards by completing required education department courses and clinical experiences that conform to those standards. While preparation for teacher licensure does not usually require additional natural science courses, students may need a ninth semester to complete student teaching, enroll for more than 16 credits during some semesters, or complete summer courses to meet licensure requirements. Consult with the colleges' Natural Science Program Director or Education Department Chairperson as soon as possible to plan an approved program of study and practice leading to teacher licensure.

  • Those who only seek a grade five through eight (middle school) general science teaching license will ordinarily complete a natural science major in addition to selected courses and experiences as part of an education minor, thereby demonstrating the knowledge and skills required for teaching middle school general science.
  • Those who only seek a grade nine through twelve (high school) teaching license in chemistry, life science or physics will complete a natural science major or a major in the appropriate discipline along with an education minor, which together provide opportunities to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for a license to teach high school chemistry, life science, or physics.
  • Prospective teachers who seek to teach both middle school (5-8) general science and high school chemistry, life science or physics (9-12) will complete a natural science major and an education minor which together provide opportunities to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for a license to teach both middle school general science and high school chemistry, life science, or physics.

Review the general requirements for licensure by consulting the Education Department Handbook at http://www.csbsju.edu/Education/Curriculum/Natural-Science-5-8.htm.

Licensure in 5-8 Science Education
All of the following courses must be completed as part of the major (40-44 credits):
ASTR 211
BIOL 121, 221, 222
CHEM 125, 201, 234
GEOL 211
PHYS 105, 106
EDUC 358 for mid-level science pedagogy
Suggested mathematics courses: MATH 118, 119 or 124 

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

9-12 Licensure in Chemistry
All of the following courses must be included in the major (16 credits)
CHEM 125, 201, and 234
CHEM 250 and 202 Reactivity I
CHEM 251 Reactivity II
CHEM 335 Analytical Chemistry  
EDUC 355 for 9-12 science pedagogy

9-12 Licensure in Biology
One course from each of the following areas must be included in the major (24 credits):
BIOL 121, 122, and 222
BIOL 305 or 307
BIOL 316
BIOL 323 or 327
BIOL 334, 336 or 337
BIOL 339
EDUC 355 for 9-12 science pedagogy

9-12 Licensure in Physics
All of the following courses must be included in the major (36-38 credits):
PHYS 191, 200
PHYS 211, 320
PHYS 332 (0-1 credit, 2 semesters)
MATH 119, 120 
MATH 239, 337
EDUC 355 for 9-12 science pedagogy

Education Requirements for 9-12 Licensure Areas
EDUC: 109, 11, 203, 213, 310, 355, 359, 362, 390, and fulfillment of speech requirement.

Minor (None)

Courses

150 Research Topics: Integrated Science. (2)
This is an introductory research-based seminar series that will introduce scientific concepts and research methodologies from multiple disciplines within an interdisciplinary theme. The theme is based on a current problem that is best solved using an interdisciplinary scientific approach. Examples include mass extinction, the brain, energy, and management of water resources. Throughout the course, students will actively discuss, analyze, and create a series of research questions based on the identified scientific problem. The students then conduct, analyze, and present experiments that utilize skills and concepts from multiple scientific disciplines. Concepts from the following natural science disciplines will be introduced: mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, and nutrition.

151 Integrative Science I. (4)
This introductory research-based course will introduce scientific concepts and research methodologies from multiple disciplines in the context of interdisciplinary themes. Each theme is based on a current problem that is best solved using an interdisciplinary scientific approach. Examples include mass extinction, the brain, energy, and management of water resources. Throughout the course, students will actively discuss, analyze, and create a series of research questions based on the identified scientific problem. The students then conduct, analyze, and present experiments that utilize skills and concepts from multiple scientific disciplines. Concepts from the following natural science disciplines will be introduced: mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics, and nutrition. Prerequisites: Three years of college preparatory mathematics and satisfactory performance on the university administered Quantitative Skills Inventory Test. Students who have an ACT - Math score of 21 or greater or SAT - Math score of 530 or greater will be granted satisfactory performance status without taking the examination. Otherwise, the examination will be administered by appointment with the Mathematics Skills Center.

152 Integrative Science II. (4)
This introductory research-based course will introduce scientific concepts and research methodologies from multiple disciplines in the context of interdisciplinary themes. Each theme is based on a current problem that is best solved using an interdisciplinary scientific approach. Examples include mass extinction, the brain, energy, and management of water resources. Throughout the course, students will actively discuss, analyze, and create a series of research questions based on the identified scientific problem. The students then conduct, analyze and present experiments that utilize skills and concepts from multiple scientific disciplines. Concepts from the following natural science disciplines will be introduced: mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, physic and nutrition. Prerequisites: NATS 151 or permission of the instructor, three years of college preparatory mathematics and satisfactory performance on the university administered Quantitative Skills Inventory Test. Note: Students who have an ACT-Math score of 21 or greater or SAT-Math score of 530 or greater will be granted satisfactory performance status without taking the examination. Otherwise, the examination will be administered by appointment with the Mathematics Skills Center.

271 Independent Study. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

371 Independent Study. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

378 Senior Capstone in Natural Science. (2)
This course provides the capstone experience for NATS majors. Students will independently investigate a scientific question chosen in consultation with the instructor. They will do a thorough literature review of the question and propose a possible hypothesis and/or experiment that would further knowledge about the question, using current literature to defend their hypothesis/experiment. They will address at least two different scientific fields as part of their research.  Offered for A-F grading only.  Prerequisites: SR standing in NATS major.

379 Senior Capstone in Natural Science Education. (1)
The course provides the capstone experience for NATS/Secondary Education majors by providing an opportunity to integrate new scientific knowledge and the scientific process with the student-teaching experience. Offered for A-F grading only.  Prerequisites: SR standing in the NATS major; concurrent enrollment in EDUC 362.

397 Internship. (1-16)
Completed Application for Internship Form REQUIRED See Internship Office Web Page.