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University of West Alabama    
 
    
 
  Dec 11, 2017
 
2016 - 2017 General Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics | 6


College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics


JOHN McCALL, DEAN

General Information

Purposes

The role of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in fulfilling the overall purposes of UWA encompasses the following objectives:

  1. To offer bachelor’s degrees in the areas of science and mathematics, including interdisciplinary areas, wherever student need and resources of the University make such degree programs feasible. At present, majors are offered in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, marine biology, mathematics, and mathematics-computer information systems. Minors are offered in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, medical sciences and mathematics. Most majors in the College are comprehensive.  However, through cooperation with the College of Business, College of Education, and College of Liberal Arts, students in Natural Sciences and Mathematics are also allowed to take minors in other disciplines.
  2. To provide general education courses in the natural sciences and mathematics for all undergraduate students in the University.
  3. To provide undergraduate courses in academic major and minor areas and elective natural sciences and mathematics courses for students in the College of Business, the College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, and the Division of Nursing.
  4. To provide superior undergraduate students with a more stimulating and challenging curriculum, closer contacts with outstanding faculty, and enriched non-traditional classes, as well as to allow the individual to follow his/her own intellectual interests more independently.
  5. To help students develop the necessary proficiency in the basic skill areas needed to meet the requirements of the regular college curriculum.
  6. To provide graduate-level courses in the natural sciences and mathematics as needed to support the programs in the School of Graduate Studies.
  7. To prepare students to pursue successful graduate work and professional training in appropriate areas of study. Holders of degrees from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are prepared to begin post-baccalaureate work in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, mathematics and medical technology, and in many professional areas, such as medicine, pharmacy, education, and others. 
  8. To provide two or more years of science and mathematics for students who intend to transfer to more specialized institutions for technical training in such areas as agriculture, engineering, forestry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and allied health.

Organization

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is organized under the Dean into units, as follows:

  1. The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, offering comprehensive majors in cell and molecular biology, conservation and field biology, marine biology, and environmental science.  In addition, a major requiring a minor may be completed in biology.  Students pursuing teacher certification may major in biology education or science comprehensive education.  In addition, the Department offers minors in biology and environmental science.
  2. The Department of Mathematics, offering a major and minor in mathematics, a major in mathematics education, as well as comprehensive majors in actuarial science and mathematics-computer information systems.
  3. The Department of Physical Sciences, offering a major and minor in chemistry and comprehensive majors in Traditional Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry and Pre-Pharmacy Chemistry.
  4. The Sumter County Nature Trust, supporting the study of the natural history of Sumter County and the Black Belt region and providing environmental education activities for students and adults.
  5. The West Alabama Environmental Services Center, providing service to educational institutions, industries, and governmental bodies.

Baccalaureate Programs

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics offers baccalaureate degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Marine Biology, Mathematics, and Mathematics-Computer Information Systems. These programs are described below with course requirements given in the Departmental Majors Curriculum section. Additional information may be obtained from the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Station 7, the University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama 35470-2009.

Biology (with Minor)

The Biology major provides valuable training for numerous careers in the life sciences, including various medical professions. It may also lead to graduate work and specialization in research and teaching.

The Biology program is designed to expose the student to concepts common to all areas of biology. Students take courses in general biology, botany, zoology, genetics, microbiology, cell/molecular biology, ecology, and evolution, as well as a variety of electives. The Biology major offers possibilities for specialization in such areas as cell biology, genetics, field biology, microbiology, zoology, botany, and ecology.

Extensive laboratory or field work is a component of many of the advanced classes in biology, and there is a focus on undergraduate research. This provides students with the opportunity to examine first-hand the living systems they are studying and to learn techniques of asking research hypotheses regarding them. The ALFA Environmental Center on the UWA campus provides access and is available for classes and research activities. Field trips are extensively utilized and include trips to local streams, ponds, and forests, as well as extended trips to the Gulf Coast, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the Florida Everglades.

This major requires the completion of a minor in another academic field.

Conservation and Field Biology

Conservation and Field Biology is a comprehensive major that bypasses the traditional degree minor requirement allowing students to concentrate more academic hours toward the study of Biology.  This degree plan is designed primarily for students who wish to gain employment or pursue graduate study in the areas of conservation, field biology, ecology, or plant/wildlife biology. State and federal agencies who manage public lands or other private entities who are stewards of nature and biodiversity are options for employment for graduates of this track. Also, graduates who wish to continue their studies in graduate school will have a strong foundation for these areas of biology.

The curriculum of this track is weighted with courses dedicated to organismal biology (identification, morphology, evolution, life strategies, and conservation) and the ecology of those organisms. Many of the courses have a field component where organisms can be studied in their native habitats.

Cell and Molecular Biology (Medical)

Cell and Molecular Biology is also a comprehensive degree.  This degree program is designed primarily for students who wish to gain admission into professional schools (medical, veterinary, dentistry, physical therapy, optometry) or pursue graduate school in the areas related to cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, etc. This pattern includes courses in human biology, advanced mathematics, physics, and chemistry and is designed to prepare students for professional school admission exams.

UWA offers basic courses to students who plan to enter medical, dental, optometry, or veterinary schools. In general, these program requirements are similar for medicine and dentistry. Students planning careers in one of these fields should indicate their intentions to the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics upon entering college, or as soon as they decide on one of these professions. Students are assigned an advisor who assists in planning a program of study designed to meet the admission requirements for these professional programs.

There is some variation in the admission requirements of various professional schools. For this reason, a student should indicate to their advisor the specific professional school to which he/she intends to apply so that a program of study can be designed to fulfill requirements for the particular school.

Chemistry Comprehensive

Chemistry Comprehensive is a comprehensive major, allowing students to focus more heavily on Chemistry requirements by bypassing the traditional minor requirement.  Three tracks are available in Chemistry Comprehensive:

Chemistry Comprehensive:  Traditional Track.  This degree plans allows students to pursue a rigorous academic program in Chemistry that will prepare them for entry into graduate study in the field, or as applicants for work in a chemical laboratory.

Chemistry Comprehensive: Forensic Track.   The comprehensive Chemistry track in forensic chemistry prepares students for careers analyzing chemical materials at crime scenes.

Chemistry Comprehensive: Pre-Pharmacy Track.  The Pre-Pharmacy preparation is designed specifically for those students wishing to gain entrance into schools of pharmacy.  The coursework is designed to satisfy the prerequisites for pharmacy school and to prepare students to well on entrance examinations.

Environmental Sciences

UWA offers a comprehensive major in Environmental Sciences. The program provides the basic knowledge and training needed to work in a number of environmentally-related fields. Waste disposal companies, paper mills, chemical companies, testing laboratories, state and federal agencies responsible for monitoring environmental quality, and environmental consulting firms hire environmental scientists. As public awareness of environmental quality grows, this field will offer promising and rewarding careers in great numbers.

Students take general education courses, science and mathematics core courses, and a variety of courses in the areas of biology, chemistry, geology, and technology. During the students’ senior year, they intern at one of a number of intern sites with which UWA is affiliated. Students receive 12 semester hours of academic credit for this internship, as well as gain work experience in environmentally related activities before graduating.

Marine Biology

UWA is a member of the Alabama Marine Environmental Science Consortium (MESC). The Consortium consists of participating member colleges and universities from the State of Alabama. Its objectives are to provide educational programs in marine sciences on both the undergraduate and graduate levels and to promote and encourage pure and applied research in marine sciences and related areas.

Through MESC, UWA offers a comprehensive major in Marine Biology which includes courses in biology, chemistry, geology, marine sciences, and physics. Students complete the general education courses, science and mathematics core courses, and the majority of the hours for the comprehensive major courses on the UWA campus. At least twelve semester hours in the marine sciences are completed at the MESC Marine Laboratory, located at Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Mathematics

The Mathematics major provides a student with the computational, reasoning, and problem solving skills needed to work in a variety of fields. Mathematics is used extensively in business, the social sciences, the life sciences, and the physical sciences. With undergraduate preparation in Mathematics, one can qualify for desirable positions in business or industry. With advanced training in Mathematics a student can enter various research and/or teaching positions.

The Mathematics major includes courses in Calculus, Abstract and Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, and various electives in upper-level Mathematics. To ensure the best preparation for college mathematics, a student should take as much Mathematics as possible in high school. A student without such background may still major in Mathematics, but may have to take several lower-level courses in preparation for course work in the major.

Two well-equipped computer laboratories serve the Mathematics major. These facilities not only enhance the learning process, but also help the student develop computer literacy, which is so important in today’s job market.

Actuarial Science

The Department of Mathematics offers a comprehensive degree in Actuarial Science, encompassing the study of mathematics, finance, insurance, and risk management.  This is a highly lucrative area of specialty for students taking both mathematics and business courses. Students who wish to consider Actuarial Science should take as a minimum the Calculus sequence (MH 121 , MH 122 , and MH 223 ) and MH 341. Probability and Statistics (4)  to be able to qualify for the first Actuarial Examination. For the second Actuarial Examination, students need to have taken at least EC 202 , EC 201 , and FI 300  along with all necessary prerequisites for both mathematics and business courses.

Mathematics-Computer Information Systems

The Mathematics-Computer Information Systems Comprehensive Major provides the student the quantitative, analytic, and problem-solving skills from mathematics along with the programming and application skills from Computer Science. With undergraduate preparation in both mathematics and computer science, students can qualify for desirable positions in business, industry, and applied research facilities. Graduates from this program will be qualified for advanced study in both areas.

To ensure the best preparation for this comprehensive major, the student should take as much mathematics as possible in high school. The major pattern assumes readiness for Calculus I as a beginning mathematics course.

Requirements for all Bachelor’s Degrees

Residence Requirements

A candidate for a degree in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics must be officially registered in the College for at least two semesters after the freshman year, one of which must be the semester immediately preceding completion of the requirements for the degree. To comply with this latter stipulation, a student must complete the transfer to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics prior to registration for the last semester in residence.

Course Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts

For non-teaching students:

All courses required in the basic curriculum as shown below, with a 2.0 quality-point ratio (overall and in basic curriculum courses at UWA).

A total of at least one hundred and twenty semester hours with twice as many grade points as hours on record.

At least twelve semester hours, or the equivalent, of a foreign language with a 2.0 quality-point ratio.

One major and one minor, one comprehensive major, or two majors, as shown in the patterns below, with a 2.0 overall quality-point ratio in each and a 2.0 quality-point ratio in courses at UWA in each. At least twelve semester hours in the major(s), at least eighteen semester hours in the comprehensive major, and at least six semester hours in the minor must be earned at UWA.

For teaching certification students:

All courses required in the basic curriculum as shown below, with a 2.5 quality-point ratio (overall and in basic curriculum courses taken at UWA).

A total of at least one hundred and twenty semester hours with a 2.5 quality-point ratio.

At least twelve semester hours, or the equivalent, of a foreign language with a 2.0 quality-point ratio.

A major, as shown in the patterns below, and additional courses in the teaching field and professional studies with a 2.5 quality-point ratio and a 2.5 quality-point ratio in the major/teaching field and the professional studies component in courses taken at UWA. No grade below “C” in professional studies or the teaching field(s) may be used to meet certification requirements.

Course Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Science

For non-teaching students:

All courses required in the basic curriculum as shown below, with a 2.0 quality-point ratio (overall and in basic curriculum courses at UWA).

A total of at least one hundred and twenty semester hours with twice as many grade points as hours on record.

One major and one minor, one comprehensive major, or two majors, as shown in the patterns below, with a 2.0 overall quality-point ratio in each and a 2.0 quality-point ratio in courses at UWA in each. At least twelve semester hours in the major(s), at least eighteen semester hours in the comprehensive major, and at least six semester hours in the minor must be earned at UWA.

For teaching certification students:

All courses required in the basic curriculum as shown below, with a 2.5 quality-point ratio (overall and in basic curriculum courses taken at UWA).

A total of at least one hundred and twenty semester hours with a 2.5 quality-point ratio.

A major, as shown in the patterns below, and additional courses in the teaching field and professional studies with a 2.5 quality-point ratio and a 2.5 quality-point ratio in the major/teaching field and the professional studies component in courses taken at UWA. No grade below “C” in professional studies or the teaching field(s) may be used to meet certification requirements.

Programs

Basic Curriculum

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Programs

Major

Minor

Comprehensive Major

Dual-Degree

Department of Mathematics

Programs

Major

Minor

Comprehensive Major

Dual-Degree

Department of Physical Sciences

Programs

Major

Minor

Comprehensive Major