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University Studies Program

Natural Science (S, SB, SP, SE)


The body of pure and applied scientific knowledge pertaining to the natural world.


All baccalaureate graduates of UW should have a basic understanding of the logic and methods of the natural sciences, and their relevance to the modern technological world.  The Natural Sciences USP requirement recognizes the different needs of science and non-science majors; in keeping with the USP philosophy, exposure of non-science majors to broader, more integrated science courses may be more appropriate than traditional science major or non-major courses.  Students may therefore fulfill the natural science USP requirement in one of three ways:

  • Student category 1:  Non-science majors may meet the USP natural science requirement by taking any two course from the three categories:  biological (SB), physical (SP),  and earth sciences (SE).  One of these courses must have a laboratory component (4 credits).
  • Student category 2:  Non-science majors may also satisfy the natural sciences USP requirement by taking one four-credit integrated core course (S) as they become available in the UW curriculum.  Courses designated (S) must have a laboratory component.  It is envisioned that these courses will emphasize an integrated, interdisciplinary approach spanning across the traditional categories of the biological, physical, and earth sciences.
  • Student category 3:  Science majors are expected to meet the USP natural science requirement through the normal course of their major requirements.

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