Jul 17, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Physical Science, BA

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The discipline of Physical Science is concerned with the study of the physical world around us. It primarily concerns non-living systems and includes the fields of Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Geology. The Bachelor of Arts in Physical Science is a flexible STEM degree with a strong Liberal Arts basis. All students in the major take not only several courses in algebra and trigonometry-based physics, but also an array of courses in other fields of Physical Science and related Natural Science. The general program is very flexible, allowing students to choose Physical Science electives most relevant to their  individual career goals. Alternatively, there are two optional concentrations: Teaching and Foundational Health. The Teaching concentration is intended for students working to teach Foundational General Science. Students will only be admitted to the Foundational Health concentration if they have already completed BIOL 115 or BIOL 110, BIOL 220, and BIOL 224. This concentration is intended for students interested in blending their Health background with a broad Physical Science education.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:

  1. Display a broad range of knowledge of the physical sciences: physics, astronomy, chemistry, and geology.
  2. Utilize a variety of experimental methods, both in acquiring data and analyzing it.
  3. Effectively communicate science, both in written and oral format.
  4. Employ critical reasoning in analyzing and making conclusions about a physical system.
  5. Understand and follow best practices for the responsible conduct of scientific research.

Degree Requirements

See the “Degree Requirements ” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

General Education Requirements (48 units)

See the “General Education ” requirements in the University Catalog for information on General Education requirements. Some major requirements may double count for GE requirements.

Career Opportunities

The BA in Physical Science is designed to produce STEM qualified graduates, prepared to enter a profession in the technical workforce (e.g. entrepreneur, technical engineer, environmental health and safety inspector, quality assurance professional, technical assistant). Its interdisciplinary liberal arts basis also allows graduates to enter related fields, such as Programmer/Analyst, Science/Technical Writer, Consultant, Marketing Professional, Manager, etc. The concentration in Teaching is designed to prepare students to continue to a credential program and ultimately teach Foundational Science. The concentration in Foundational Health is intended for students to leverage their interest in health combined with physical science to further their pursuit of careers within the broader health and related fields (e.g. Physician Assistant, Medical Dosimetrist, Medical Laboratory Technician, etc.).

Program Requirements

Major Core Requirements

Capstone Requirement

Program Elective Requirements

The major must include a minimum of 12 upper-division units in physics and astronomy; with an advisor, choose 6-8 units in additional upper-division physics and astronomy courses.

BA in Physical Science (without listed concentration)

The general BA Physical Science degree provides flexibility to select additional courses. In addition to the Physical Science Core Requirements, with the help of an advisor, choose at least 30 units in the Physical Sciences and related Natural Science (see approved list). It is required that this include at least 3-units in CHEM and 3-units in GEOL.

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