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Integrated Science

Michael Kerckhove, Coordinator (Math)

The Integrated Sciences minor is designed for the student interested in an interdisciplinary approach to science. The over-arching theme is exploring the richness of types of problems that may be approached using a combination of sciences rather than one alone. Research experience is the cornerstone of the minor.

Coursework for the minor falls chronologically into three categories. In their first two years, students will typically take either the Integrated Quantitative Science (IQS) courses or the Science, Math, and Research Training (SMART) courses, plus PHYS 131. The IQS and SMART classes are structured around common themes that allow students to study topics in depth and from the perspectives of several scientific disciplines. The follow-up for each set of introductory science courses is the Research Training Seminar (IDST 284). Students not enrolled in IQS or SMART during the freshman year may qualify for the minor by taking the first course in the major in each of the five core disciplines as listed below and then enrolling in the Research Training Seminar (IDST 284). This seminar focuses on how interdisciplinary research programs are constructed and the types of problems that can be addressed using this approach.

During their junior and senior years, students will take two interdisciplinary courses that focus on a topic from at least 2 different disciplinary perspectives. A list of approved courses is available here, though students are encouraged to check with the coordinator for updates. The third component of the minor is the Senior Research Seminar (IDST 484). This is a literature-based course, for seniors only, that allows students to knit together their own research experiences with an in depth study of scientific papers on current interdisciplinary research or an independent project of their design that integrates a study of primary literature with some aspect of interdisciplinary research.

The Integrated Science Minor

Note:  The grade point average of the coursework comprising the minor must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade in the minor below C- (1.7).  Students are strongly advised to consult with faculty in planning their minor curriculum.

6.75-7.75 units, including

Biology - BIOL 190 or BIOL 192 or BIOL 199
Chemistry - CHEM 191 or CHEM 192 or CHEM 141
Computer Science - MATH 190 or CMSC 150
Mathematics - MATH 190 or MATH 211
Physics -  PHYS 191 or PHYS 131
IDST 284 Research Training Seminar
IDST 484 Integrated Science Senior Seminar

Two units, (one of which must be in addition to courses completed for a major or other minor), chosen from:

BIOL 315/ENVR 315/GEOG 315 Landscape Ecology
BIOL 317 Mechanochemical Cell Biology
BIOL 320 Experimental Design and Biostatistics
BIOL 321 Strategies of Sex and Death
BIOL 335 Structural Biology
BIOL 336 Eco-epidemiology
BIOL 344 Behavioral Ecology
BIOL 390 Special Topics: Bioinformatics
BIOL 390 Special Topics: Epigenetics
BIOL 390 Special Topics: Genomics
CHEM 310 Physical Chemistry II
CHEM 311 Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
CHEM 316 Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 329 Protein Structure, Function, and Biophysics
CHEM 330 Special Topics in Biochemistry: Interdisciplinary Thinking in the Molecular Life Sciences
CHEM 333 Chemical Biology
MATH 304 Mathematical Models in Biology and Medicine
PHYS 203 Systems Biology
PHYS 215 Computational Methods in Physics
PHYS 479 Special Topic: Biophysics
or another approved elective

An undergraduate research project in any science, math, or computer science area of significant length that culminates in a written report or poster presentation, chosen from:

One unit in
BIOL 350 Undergraduate Research
CHEM 320 Introduction to Research
PHYS 381 Research
CMSC 340 Directed Independent Study
MATH 340 Directed Independent Study

or a full time summer research experience of at least 8 weeks.

Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the minor. Prerequisites do not count toward the minor unless otherwise noted.