Introduction to Natural Science


Fall 2015, Winter 2016 and Spring 2016 quarters

Taught by

physics education research, cognitive abilities development and assessment, adult and continuing science education
organic chemistry


Proficiency with high school algebra.

This introductory-level program is designed for students who are prepared to take their first year of college-level science using an interdisciplinary framework. This program offers an integrated study of biology, chemistry, and physics that serves as an introduction to the concepts, theories, and structures which underlie the natural sciences. The goal is to equip students with the conceptual, methodological, and quantitative tools they need to ask and answer questions in a variety of disciplines using the models and tools of chemistry, physics and biology. Students will also gain a strong appreciation of the interconnectedness of physical, biological and chemical systems, and an ability to apply this knowledge to complex problems.

Program activities will include lectures and small-group problem-solving workshops, where conceptual and technical skills will be developed. There will be a significant laboratory component: students can expect to spend at least a full day in lab each week, maintain laboratory notebooks, write formal laboratory reports, and give formal presentations of their work. Biology laboratories in this program will include participation in the SEA-PHAGE program coordinated by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the use of bioinformatics tools on a bacteriophage genome. We will make extensive use of quantitative applications in all program activities.

All laboratory work and approximately one-half of the non-lecture time will be spent working in collaborative problem-solving groups. It will be a rigorous program, requiring a serious commitment of time and effort. Overall, we expect students to end the program in the spring with a solid working knowledge of scientific and quantitative concepts and the ability to reason critically and solve problems.

Students completing this program will have covered material equivalent to one year of general biology with laboratory, one year of general chemistry with laboratory, and two quarters of algebra-based physics with laboratory. Successful students will be prepared to pursue upper-division work in chemistry, biology, and environmental science.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

biology, chemistry, environmental studies and health-related fields. This program will prepare students for more advanced work in biology and chemistry, such as in the programs Molecule to Organism and Environmental Analysis.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day

Advertised schedule: First spring class meeting : Tuesday, March 29 at 9am (Sem II D4107)


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.


Date Revision
March 2nd, 2016 Signature requirements updated: students need 2 quarters college-level algebra-based Physics in addition to General Biology and General Chemistry.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 80


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10102
So - Sr (16 credits): 10105

Go to to register for this program.


Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students will need to have previous study in the topics studied fall quarter (1 quarter of college-level General Biology, 1 quarter of college-level General Chemistry, and 1 quarter of college-level, algebra-based General Physics).  Interested students can contact Lydia McKinstry ( or meet with the faculty at the Academic Fair December 2nd.

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20050
So - Sr (16 credits): 20051

Go to to register for this program.


Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students will need to have previous study in the topics studied fall and winter quarters (2 quarter of college-level General Chemistry, 2 quarter of college-level General Biology, and 2 quarters of college-level, algebra-based General Physics).

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 30028
So - Sr (16 credits): 30029

Go to to register for this program.

Need Help Finding the Right Program?

Contact Academic Advising for help in answering your questions, planning your future and solving problems.