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Foundational Area Five

Foundational Area Five

Through observation and analysis of the physical and biological world, scientists discern basic principles that explain natural phenomena and unravel many mysteries. Whether chemist, biologist, physicist, or experimental psychologist, scientists rely on theory and experimentation to test and refine understanding of our bodies, our complex environment, and the universe.

All courses in this Foundational Area focus on the nature of scientific reasoning, discovery, and invention through systematically exploring basic concepts within their historical context. Laboratory courses unite hands-on scientific experimentation, inductive reasoning, and deductive analysis with the study of such basic principles as the structure of matter, biological evolution, human behavior, and thermodynamics. More advanced courses include both traditional advanced study in each discipline as well as integrative courses, such as oceanography, earth sciences, astronomy, and human biochemistry and health.

Area Goals

Area Goals
  1. investigate the natural world and the living forms that inhabit it by studying the systems and processes that occur at scales from the atomic to the cosmic
  2. develop problem-solving skills and utilize the scientific method to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena through laboratory experiences
  3. analyze the role of science in public discourse and in addressing societal problems

Course Offerings

see Schedule of Classes for class times and course descriptions

please note that at least one of your Area Five classes must have a lab component, for a total of 7 credits (or more) in Area Five. Courses with a lab component are marked with an * .


ANTH-250 Human Origins


BIO-100 Great Experiments in Biology*
BIO-110 General Biology I*
BIO-200 Structure and Function of the Human Body
BIO-210 General Biology II*
BIO-220 The Case for Evolution
BIO-240 Oceanography


CHEM-100 The Molecular World*
CHEM-110 General Chemistry I*
CHEM-150 Chemistry of Cooking*
CHEM-205 The Human Genome
CHEM-210 General Chemistry II*
CHEM-230 Earth Sciences
CHEM-250 Criminalistics: Crime and Society

Environmental Science

ENVS-150 The Sustainable Earth*
ENVS-160 Introduction to Environmental Science I
ENVS-220 Energy and Resources
ENVS-250 Living in the Environment
ENVS-260 Introduction to Environmental Science II

Health Promotion

HPRM-205 Introduction to Nutrition


PHYS-100 Physics for the Modern World*
PHYS-105 General Physics I*
PHYS-110 Principles of Physics I*
PHYS-160 Astronomy With Lab*
PHYS-200 Physics for the New Millennium
PHYS-205 General Physics II*
PHYS-210 Principles of Physics II*
PHYS-220 Astronomy


PSYC-115/PSYC-116 Psychology as a Natural Science/Lab*
PSYC-200 Behavior Principles
PSYC-220 The Sense
PSYC-240 Drugs and Behavior

Public Health

PUBH-115 Why Aren't We Dead Yet? The Role of Public Health in Society*


SOCY-275 Epidemiology of Everyday Life