The College of Arts and Sciences announced changes to the Natural Sciences and Mathematics sector requirement in an effort to offer students a more interdisciplinary approach to studying the natural sciences and applying the principles they learn to other areas.
The new sector, called Natural Science Across Disciplines, was announced to College students on Tuesday morning in an email from Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Molly McGlone and Chair of the Natural Science and Math Faculty Committee Alain Plante. The new definition and title will take effect for students in the Class of 2025, but all current students may choose from the list of Natural Science Across Disciplines courses.
McGlone and Plante wrote that a new list of courses that fulfill the Natural Science Across Disciplines sector will become available on Penn InTouch and on the College website by March 11.
Courses in the new sector will bring together different perspectives by focusing on two or more distinctive scientific disciplines, natural sciences and mathematics, or natural sciences and social issues. The sector will also include intermediate and advanced courses for STEM majors, according to the email.
The Class of 2025 will be required to take one course in each of the three science sectors: Living World, Physical World, and Natural Science Across Disciplines. Students in the Class of 2024 and earlier may still take a second course in the Living World or Physical World sector to fulfill the current Natural Sciences and Mathematics sector, or they may choose from one of the new courses.
The new list of courses is intended to offer science experiences to both non-science and science majors, according to the email.
Beginning with the Class of 2010, courses in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics sector have covered topics in physics, biology, chemistry, environmental science, and other disciplines.
"The committee is responding to our growing understanding that, while the solutions to many societal problems ranging from the crisis of climate change and our ongoing daily experience of pandemics are grounded in the natural sciences, they are increasingly to be found at the intersection of science and other disciplines," McGlone and Plante wrote.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.