The Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences helps you to build a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and earth science. This entirely online science program gives you hands-on, at-home laboratory exercises to complement the concepts covered in the classroom. You’ll be taught the history and philosophy of science as well as the scientific method that is essential to research. This online bachelor’s degree helps you develop your skills in scientific analysis, research, communication, and documentation, and study the relationship between the human and the natural world. Knowledge gained from this program can be applied to careers as a scientist, biologist, laboratory technician, or manager, or to pursue higher-level graduate study in the natural science fields.

In addition, the B.S. in Natural Science meets all content standards of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for secondary science education. Therefore, upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to pursue teaching certification through a post-baccalaureate program in education if your goal is to become a high school or middle school science teacher. (This is not a teacher-preparation program and does not lead to licensure. It only covers the needed science content.)

This program has specific transfer credit requirements, including time limits on previous courses completed.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates:

  • Demonstrate a solid foundation in the theory and application of the natural sciences.
  • Apply the scientific method and appropriate tools to investigate and solve problems.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills in assessing and evaluating problems.
  • Formulate scientific models and apply them to solve problems or provide insights into complex issues.
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative methods from the scientific domains.
  • Use quantitative techniques to solve complex problems.
  • Effectively communicate scientific findings verbally and in writing, to both scientific and lay audiences.

Degree at a Glance

General Education Requirements30
Major Required36
Select one of the following concentrations:32
Final Program Requirements3
Elective Requirements19
Total Semester Hours120

Degree Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (30 semester hours)

Arts and Humanities (6 semester hours)
PHIL202Philosophy of Science3
Select 1 course from the following: 13
Art Appreciation
Film and Literature
Image Enhancement using Adobe Photoshop
World Literature through the Renaissance
World Literature since the Renaissance
English Literature: Beowulf to18th Century
English Literature: 18th Century to Present
American Literature before The Civil War
American Literature from The Civil War to Present
Arabic I
Arabic II
French I
French II
German I
German II
Introduction to Japanese
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Philosophy
Critical Thinking
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese
Introduction to World Religions
Russian I
Spanish I
Spanish II
Civics, Political and Social Sciences (6 semester hours)
Select 2 courses from the following: 16
Introduction to Anthropology
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Human Sexuality
Social Media and Society
Intercultural Communication
Microeconomics
Macroeconomics
Humane Education: A Global Interdisciplinary Perspective
Introduction to Geography
Practical Food Safety and Awareness
International Relations I
Contemporary World Culture Through Literature
Cultural Diversity in Contemporary American Literature
American Government I
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
American Popular Culture
Communication: Writing, Oral, and Multimedia (8 semester hours)
COMM110Information & Digital Literacy2
ENGL110Making Writing Relevant3
ENGL221Scientific Writing3
History (3 semester hours)
HIST270History of Science3
Mathematics (3 semester hours)
MATH111College Trigonometry3
Natural Sciences with Lab (4 semester hours)
SCIN134Introduction to Astronomy with Lab4
Total Semester Hours30
1

All literature courses require successful completion of ENGL101 - Proficiency in Writing or ENGL110 - Making Writing Relevant.

Major Required (36 semester hours)

CHEM133General Chemistry I with Lab4
BIOL133General Biology I with Lab4
CHEM134General Chemistry II with Lab (Prerequisite: CHEM133 - General Chemistry I with Lab)4
BIOL134General Biology II with Lab (Prerequisite: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab)4
GEOG103Physical Geography3
MATH225Calculus (Prerequisite: MATH111 - College Trigonometry)3
Select 1 course from the following:4
Elements of Physics I with Lab (Prerequisite: MATH110 - College Algebra, or MATH111 - College Trigonometry, or MATH225 - Calculus)
Physics I with Lab (Prerequisite: MATH225 - Calculus)
MATH226Calculus II (Prerequisite: MATH225 - Calculus)3
Select 1 course from the following:4
Elements of Physics II with Lab (Prerequisite: PHYS133 - Elements of Physics I with Lab)
Physics II with Lab (Prerequisites: SCIN233 - Physics I with Lab and MATH226 - Calculus II)
MATH302Statistics (Prerequisite: MATH110 - College Algebra, or MATH111 - College Trigonometry, or MATH225 - Calculus)3
Total Semester Hours36

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Biology or Earth Science Concentrations.

Concentration in Biology (32 semester hours)

In addition to the general biology courses required in this major, this concentration offers advanced courses to enable you to study biology at a deeper level across multiple scales. The concentration investigates the principles of genetics, heredity, and biological evolution, as well as the structure and function of organisms from the single cell to the complex mammals.

Objectives

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Describe the organization, functions, and biochemical pathways required for life at the cellular level.
  • Integrate the laws of chemistry and physics with the principles of cell biology.
  • Relate the structures and functions of multicellular organisms with the maintenance of homeostasis.
  • Integrate the principles of genetics, heredity, and biological evolution.
  • Relate the survival of individual organisms with the principles of population biology, the environment, and biological evolution.
  • Describe common research methods in biology.

Concentration Requirements (32 semester hours)

BIOL240Elements of Biological Chemistry (Prerequisites: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab and CHEM134 - General Chemistry II with Lab)3
BIOL241Cell Biology (Prerequisites: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab and CHEM134 - General Chemistry II with Lab)3
SCIN211Principles of Genetics with Lab (Prerequisite: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)4
BIOL342Evolutionary Biology with Lab (Prerequisites: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab and SCIN211 - Principles of Genetics with Lab)4
EVSP416General Ecology (Prerequisite: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)3
SCIN400Research Methods in Natural Sciences3
Select 4 courses from the following:12
Molecular Biology (Prerequisite: SCIN211 - Principles of Genetics with Lab)
Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems I
Introduction to Microbiology (Prerequisite: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)
Marine Biology (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Vertebrate Zoology (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Fishery Biology (Prerequisite: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab, SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab, or SCIN206 - Marine Biology)
Botany (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Systematics (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Mammalogy (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Ornithology (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Plant Science (Prerequisite: SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab or BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab)
Independent Study - Natural Sciences
Total Semester Hours32

Concentration in Earth Science (32 semester hours) 

In this concentration, you will study the relationship between the physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in and on the Earth. You will learn about the history of the Earth and the evolution of systems such as the oceans and atmosphere, as well as detailed information about soils, streams, weather, and climate. The relationship between humans and the Earth is examined from multiple perspectives.

Objectives

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Use the scientific method and scientific tools to solve programs related to the Earth.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the interrelated physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in the Earth system.
  • Identify the process and features associated with the Earth’s interior, landscapes, oceans, and atmosphere.
  • Construct a history of the Earth, focusing on physical, chemical, and biological changes.
  • Present earth science information clearly, in multiple formats (written, oral, graphically).
  • Integrate knowledge of earth science into an understanding of societal issues and problems.
  • Demonstrate good scientific ethics.
  • Identify different earth materials, including those of economic value.

Concentration Requirements (32 semester hours)

SCIN138Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab4
GEOG200Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems I3
ERSC204Earth System History (Prerequisite: SCIN138 - Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab)3
ERSC206Weather and Climate (Prerequisites: PHYS134 - Elements of Physics II with Lab or SCIN234 - Physics II with Lab and MATH226 - Calculus II)3
SCIN261Introduction to Planetary Science with Lab4
ERSC305Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics (Prerequisite: ERSC206 - Weather and Climate)3
SCIN400Research Methods in Natural Sciences3
Select 3 courses from the following:9
Geomorphology (Prerequisite: SCIN138 - Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab)
Conservation of Natural Resources (Prerequisite: GEOG103 - Physical Geography)
Natural Hazards and Society (Prerequisites: ERSC206 - Weather and Climate, ERSC302 - Geomorphology, and GEOG103 - Physical Geography)
Water Science (Prerequisites: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab and MATH302 - Statistics)
Soil Science (Prerequisites: CHEM133 - General Chemistry I with Lab or SCIN131 - Introduction to Chemistry with Lab and SCIN138 - Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab)
General Ecology (Prerequisite: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)
Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems II (Prerequisite: GEOG200 - Fundamentals of GIS I)
Independent Study - Natural Sciences
Total Semester Hours32

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

SCIN499Senior Seminar in Natural Sciences (to be taken as the last course before graduation) 13
Total Semester Hours3
1

Prerequisite: SCIN400 - Research Methods in Natural Sciences and senior standing and completion of all major courses prior to enrollment.

Elective Requirements (19 semester hours)

Select any courses that have not been used to fulfill major requirements. Credits applied toward a minor or certificate in an unrelated field may be used to fulfill elective credit for the major. Students in the Biology concentration are encouraged to consider the 4 semester hour courses BIOL201 -  Principles of Anatomy and Physiology with Lab, BIOL202 - Principles of Microbiology with Lab, or the Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab sequence (BIOL250 and BIOL251) as part of their elective choices.