10. College of Natural Sciences
Mary Ann Rankin
Jeffrey A. Brumfield
John C. Gilbert
Jeanne M. Lagowski
David A. Laude
Peter J. Riley
The academic program offered cooperatively by the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts provides what is sometimes referred to as a "liberal arts" or an "arts and sciences" education. No matter what area of knowledge a student intends to specialize in, the program of study will require courses in both colleges. The colleges work together to ensure that the individual interests and needs of the students pursuing an arts and sciences program are met.
Guidelines for developing a coherent plan of study are provided by major requirements, by sequential prerequisites, and by optional patterns of emphasis. Departmental majors, areas of concentration, and interdepartmental programs are designed to enable every student to study at least one field in depth. These programs are sufficiently broad in scope to allow students in the same major to develop quite different plans of study in pursuit of their individual interests and goals. Each student should choose courses that are intellectually challenging and that contribute to his or her long-term objectives.
Arts and sciences students are required to take a certain number of courses in the natural sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. Consequently, whatever their fields of study, they have the opportunity to learn something about the basic differences in the ways questions are raised and answered in several fields of inquiry, and about the techniques for validating the answers and putting the results to use. At the same time, they may gain some of the philosophical and historical perspectives that illuminate and give form to general or specialized knowledge and help to reveal its relevance.
The assumption is sometimes made by both teachers and students that independent and creative study is exclusively for the gifted. In fact, the primary condition is that the student be highly motivated, although he or she must also demonstrate ability. The departments that make up the two arts and sciences colleges encourage all qualified students to work independently--not only in special honors courses and seminars and in conference, studio, or laboratory work, but also in their regular courses. The student is free to define a major, to determine whether a given assignment will be an adventure or a chore, free to develop its latent possibilities or merely satisfy its explicit demands. True creativity presupposes more than a gift for innovation; it requires an unceasing commitment to thinking and working at one's highest level.
As competence is gained in a chosen field, the mind should be progressively sharpened, disciplined, and enriched. The student who leaves arts and sciences studies with an enhanced understanding of self and humankind, of cultural and historical heritage, of the world and the universe, and of the moral values conducive to significant living, will have made the most of education, having gained something over and above the objective of vocational preparedness.
The College of Natural Sciences offers the following programs to supplement the degree plans described below. Additional information is given at http://www.utexas.edu/cons/student/.
The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP), sponsored by the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and the College of Natural Sciences, is a nationally recognized program in which freshman calculus students also take a supplemental problem-solving course. Students are invited to participate who have strong academic credentials and a history of achievement in mathematics and sciences. The program allows highly motivated mathematics, science, and engineering majors to work closely with faculty members and other high-achieving students. Students in the program have the chance not only to excel in calculus but also to learn calculus in a more thorough, more satisfying way.
Texas Interdisciplinary Plan in Natural Sciences (TIP) is a freshman-year program designed to give cohorts of fifty students the advantages of a small-college learning environment. Students are selected from backgrounds that are not typically represented at the University. The program includes a yearlong sequence of the core mathematics and science courses appropriate to the student's degree program or career choice. Extensive mentoring and a group approach to study-skills development are used to promote students' success.
One advantage that the University offers undergraduates is the opportunity to participate in state-of-the-art research with some of the world's most respected scientists. Each department in the College of Natural Sciences supports undergraduate research programs in which students may earn University credit. Students may also earn special departmental honors for exceptional research. The college holds an annual Undergraduate Poster Session to recognize and reward students who participate in research. Additional opportunities vary from department to department; information is available in the Academic Advising Center for the student's major.
UTeach Natural Sciences is an innovative teacher preparation program that allows students to pursue middle grades and secondary school teacher certification within a four-year mathematics, science, or computer sciences degree program. While learning the subject matter of their majors, students also learn how to teach. Upon completing the program, students graduate with a bachelor's degree and are recommended for a middle grades or secondary school teaching certificate.
The UTeach Natural Sciences program invites students to explore their interest in teaching as early as the freshman year. Through courses taught by some of Texas's most respected secondary school math and science teachers, students learn quickly whether they are suited to the profession.
Interested students are encouraged to apply for admission to the program at any time during their undergraduate careers. Applications are available in the Office of Special Projects in the College of Natural Sciences. Applicants must be considering a teaching career in middle grades or secondary school science, computer sciences, or math and must meet grade point average requirements. Students who are interested in early childhood through grade four certification should contact the College of Education.
UTeach Natural Sciences prepares the student for single-field certification in mathematics or computer sciences or for composite certification with biology, chemistry, geological sciences, or physics as the primary teaching field. (Composite certification requires forty-eight semester hours of coursework, consisting of twenty-four hours in one science, twelve in a second science, and six each in two additional sciences.) Students can complete the courses for certification as electives within a standard bachelor's degree program; lists of the required content courses and additional certification requirements are available in the UTeach Natural Sciences office. However, students are strongly encouraged to consider the teaching options in biology, chemistry, geological sciences, mathematics, and physics. These incorporate not only the basic education requirements and coursework in the major but also the professional development courses, supporting courses, and courses in other sciences that are required for certification.
To graduate and be recommended for certification, the student must have a University grade point average of at least 2.50. He or she must have earned a grade of at least C in each of the professional development courses listed below and must pass the final teaching portfolio review. Information about the portfolio review and additional certification requirements is available from the UTeach Natural Sciences academic adviser.
Professional Development Sequence
Students seeking middle grades teacher certification must take the following courses in addition to the professional development sequence. To be recommended for certification, the student must earn a grade of at least C in each course.
The Elements of Computing Program is designed to support computational work in other disciplines and to provide students with skills in the use of computer applications. Any non-computer sciences major with a University grade point average of at least 2.00 may take any elements of computing course for which he or she meets the prerequisite. No application process is required.
Non-computer sciences majors who wish to build a concentration in computing may request certification in the elements of computing. Students who complete the following certification requirements and submit a request to the program director receive a certificate of completion of the program and a letter listing the courses taken. Additional information about the Elements of Computing Program is published by the Department of Computer Sciences.
The certification requirements are
A Certificate of International Studies in Science is awarded to students who fulfill specific requirements set out by the college's Study Abroad Committee. Information about the program is available from the Student Division of the Office of the Dean.
A number of scholarship funds established by individuals, foundations, and industrial or research organizations are available to students in the College of Natural Sciences. Awards are made for reasons ranging from academic promise to financial need. Interested students should inquire at the department offices or at the Student Division of the Office of the Dean, Will C. Hogg 2.112.
Natural Sciences Career Services, Will C. Hogg 2.308, offers career planning and job placement assistance for students and alumni. Career Services helps students with all aspects of their career planning and job search.
Career advisers are available to assist students individually, and workshops are held throughout the year. The staff offers interview tips, sets up mock interviews, and helps students with career planning, résumé writing, job search techniques, and business and professional etiquette.
Career Services helps students seeking full-time positions after graduation and those seeking part-time, intern, and cooperative education positions related to their academic majors and career goals. Job postings are available and on-campus interviews are held throughout the year. A Career Expo every fall brings students and employers together to discuss job openings and career information. Many company information sessions are scheduled on campus and a résumé referral service is available for students and employers.
A resource room provides a library of career information, including information on career options, company literature, employment and salary information, company contacts, books, and videotapes. Web access is available for students to register, submit their résumés, and sign up for interviews. Registered students are also contacted weekly by e-mail with career information.
Education Career Services, part of the College of Education, assists all University students who have completed a teacher certification program. Certification candidates must register with Education Career Services, George I. S…nchez Building 294, at the beginning of their student-teaching semester. The office also assists those who wish to find teaching jobs at the college level or in private schools, community colleges, or overseas schools in which certification is not required.
As a complement to the assistance available from the college, the Career Exploration Center provides comprehensive career services to all students. The center offers professional assistance to students in choosing or changing their majors or careers, seeking an internship, and planning for the job search or for graduate study.
The University makes no promise to secure employment for each graduate.
Admission and readmission of all students to the University is the responsibility of the director of admissions. Information about admission to the University is given in General Information.
The number of qualified students who want to major in computer sciences exceeds the number who can be adequately instructed by the faculty and accommodated within available facilities. To provide students with the best possible educational experience, the Office of Admissions limits the admission of students to the pre-computer sciences major, and the Department of Computer Sciences further limits admission to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences degree programs.
Application to the Turing Scholars Program is made by a different process than the one outlined below.
Freshman and transfer applicants to the University who wish to major in computer sciences should apply to the pre-computer sciences major. Admission to pre-computer sciences is highly competitive, and the admission requirements are more stringent than those of the University. As a result, a student may be admitted to the University but denied admission to pre-computer sciences. Because even qualified students may be denied admission, every student who applies for admission to the pre-computer sciences major should have an alternate major in mind in case the application is denied.
Freshmen and transfer students from other institutions are admitted to pre-computer sciences only for the fall semester. They are expected to attend Orientation the summer before they enter the University. Current University students may apply for a change of major to pre-computer sciences for either the fall or the spring semester. Deadlines are published by the Department of Computer Sciences.
Students in the pre-computer sciences major have priority to register for Computer Sciences 307 and 315. Other students may enroll in these courses when space is available. Courses in the major sequence beyond 315 are open only to computer sciences majors.
Pre-computer sciences students who lack either one year of programming in high school or credit for Mathematics 305G (precalculus) will be delayed by at least one semester in completing the basic sequence coursework that is required for admission to the computer sciences major. Students who lack both of these prerequisites are at a disadvantage in completing the basic sequence coursework and may benefit from special programs offered by the University; information about these programs is available in the College of Natural Sciences Transitional Advising Center.
To apply for admission to a computer sciences degree program, the student must earn a grade of at least C in each of four basic sequence courses: Computer Sciences 307 and 315, Mathematics 408C, and Philosophy 313K. He or she must also have a grade point average in these courses of at least 2.46 and must complete at least two of the courses in residence at the University. These requirements apply both to pre-computer sciences students and to other University students seeking admission to a computer sciences degree program.
Applications are evaluated after the end of each long-session semester by the Department of Computer Sciences Admission Committee. Students whose applications are denied may reapply the following summer. Admission decisions are based on the student's grade point average in the basic sequence courses, his or her University grade point average, and other factors; these factors include, but are not limited to, the difficulty of the student's course load, course repetitions, and proven mathematical ability. The grade point averages required for admission vary from semester to semester. Students should consult advisers in the College of Natural Sciences Transitional Advising Center (TRAC) for information about the application process and application deadlines.
Admission to computer sciences degree programs is highly competitive; a student may be denied admission even though he or she meets the coursework and grade point average requirements to apply for admission. Because even qualified students may be denied admission, every student who plans to major in computer sciences should have an alternate major in mind in case the application for admission is denied.
General Information gives information about registration, adding and dropping courses, transfer from one division of the University to another, and auditing a course. The Course Schedule, published before registration each semester and summer session, includes registration instructions, advising locations, and the times, places, and instructors of classes. The Course Schedule and General Information are sold at campus-area bookstores. They are also published on the World Wide Web and are accessible through the registrar's Web site, http://www.utexas.edu/student/registrar/.
Students in the College of Natural Sciences are advised by faculty members and by academic advisers at one of the college's advising centers. Students who are not seeking a degree and those who have not yet selected a major are advised through the Student Division of the Office of the Dean.
Academic advising in the college begins after the twelfth class day in the fall and spring and after the fourth class day in the summer. Students for whom advising is required are encouraged to meet with an adviser as early as possible. Those who wait until the period immediately before registration may be unable to schedule an appointment and therefore may be unable to register.
No student may enroll in any course in the College of Natural Sciences more than twice, even if the course is needed to meet degree requirements, without first obtaining the written consent of his or her major adviser and of the department that offers the course; students in colleges other than the College of Natural Sciences need only departmental approval. A symbol of Q or W counts as an enrollment unless it has been approved by the dean's office for nonacademic reasons.
Departments in the College of Natural Sciences may have additional requirements for students who repeat courses.
University-wide honors are described in chapter 1 and in General Information. In addition, the College of Natural Sciences encourages academic excellence through the Dean's Scholars Program and Turing Scholars. Students may also graduate with departmental honors and earn membership in one or more of the honorary scholastic societies open to undergraduates.
The Dean's Scholars Program is the honors program for the College of Natural Sciences. It offers exceptional science and mathematics majors an opportunity to enrich their undergraduate education by introducing them to cutting-edge research and placing them in contact with students with similar aptitudes and interests. Students may apply for admission either when they apply for admission to the University or after they are enrolled; about 40 percent of those admitted to the program are current students. Current students should apply to the director of the program in the Office of the Dean within four weeks following the end of spring semester classes.
The Department of Computer Sciences offers a comprehensive honors program for highly motivated and talented students. The key features of the program are an intensive, accelerated path through the core curriculum within the freshman year; a first-semester sophomore-year course that exposes students to significant concepts that are often not encountered until graduate school; special Turing Scholars sections of many advanced computer sciences courses; a second-semester sophomore-year course that introduces students to the research activities of the department; and at least two semesters of supervised research and writing. Upon completion of both a sequence of Turing Scholars courses, approved by the program director, and an approved thesis, students graduate as Turing Scholars in Computer Sciences.
Students may enter the program either as freshmen or after they have enrolled at the University. Factors in the admission decision are the student's high school grades, his or her class rank, the rigor of the courses the student has taken, the quality of the essays required by the application, and the student's interest and aptitude in math, science, and computing as demonstrated by extracurricular activities. Additional information is available from the Department of Computer Sciences.
Several departments within the College of Natural Sciences sponsor honorary scholastic and professional societies. For information about eligibility criteria and activities, the student should consult the appropriate department office or the faculty adviser for the society.
The University sponsors chapters of the following national organizations of interest to students in natural sciences: Alpha Chi Sigma, professional chemical fraternity; Alpha Epsilon Delta, honorary fraternity for students who have completed at least three semesters of premedical coursework; Beta Beta Beta, honorary biological society; Omicron Nu, honorary human ecology society; Pi Mu Epsilon, honorary mathematical society; Sigma Gamma Epsilon, honorary geological sciences society; Sigma Pi Sigma, honorary physics society; Upsilon Pi Epsilon, honorary computer sciences society.
Most departments in the College of Natural Sciences offer departmental honors programs to their majors. Minimum requirements for the completion of all such programs include (1) a University grade point average of at least 3.00; (2) a three-semester-hour thesis or research project, or a reasonable equivalent, with a grade of at least B; some programs may require a higher grade; (3) completion, with a grade point average of at least 3.50, of the coursework required for a major in the field in which the student seeks honors; and (4) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.
The statement "Special Honors in (name of field)" appears on the transcript of each graduate certified as having completed the honors program.
Majors who plan to seek special honors in astronomy should apply to the honors adviser for admission to the honors program no later than the beginning of the fourth year; application by the end of the third year is recommended. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a combined University grade point average in physics and astronomy of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors are (1) Astronomy 379H, Honors Tutorial Course, in which the student completes a supervised research project; the student may take a second semester of Astronomy 379H if necessary to complete the project; two semesters in this course may be counted toward the major requirement; (2) a written report and oral presentation on the research project, approved by the research supervisor and the honors adviser; (3) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a combined University grade point average in physics and astronomy of at least 3.50; and (4) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.
Majors who plan to seek special honors in biochemistry should apply to the honors adviser for admission to the honors program no later than the beginning of the senior year. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in chemistry of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors are (1) all requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry; (2) two semesters of Chemistry 379H, Chemistry Honors Tutorial Course; (3) satisfactory performance on a comprehensive honors examination or a reasonable equivalent; (4) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in chemistry of at least 3.50; (5) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree; and (6) approval of the honors adviser.
Majors who plan to seek special honors in biology should apply to the honors adviser for admission to the honors program no later than the beginning of the senior year. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in biology of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors, which are in addition to the requirements of the major, are (1) Biology 679H or two semesters of Biology 379H, Honors Tutorial Course; (2) a thesis or presentation based on original research and approved by the supervising faculty member and the honors adviser; honors students in the human biology option must select both a thesis supervisor and a second reader, one of whom must be a tenure-track faculty member or senior lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences; (3) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in biology of at least 3.50; and (4) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.
Majors who plan to seek special honors in chemistry should apply to the honors adviser for admission to the honors program no later than the beginning of the senior year. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in chemistry of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors are (1) all requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry; (2) two semesters of Chemistry 379H, Chemistry Honors Tutorial Course; (3) satisfactory performance on a comprehensive honors examination or a reasonable equivalent; (4) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in chemistry of at least 3.50; (5) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree; and (6) approval of the honors adviser.
|Top of File|
19 August 2002. Registrar's Web Team
Send comments to Official Publications