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Academic Advising

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General Science

Coordinator and Primary Contact: Dr. Michael Roberts
Murdock 216, 503-883-2537,


Why consider a General Science Major? The General Science Major is designed to be broader than each of the four natural science departmental majors within the Science Division. It thus includes majors’ and minors’ level coursework in four departments rather than in just two or three, but it requires fewer credits in all of these departments.

Areas of concentration. Students taking a General Science Major will concentrate their efforts, taking 25 credits of fundamental courses in one department, nine in another, and five in two additional natural science departments (details are given below). This distribution allows students to choose an overall direction for their studies (e.g. biological or physical sciences).



Students considering a General Science major are advised to take MATH 150 Precalculus or MATH 170 Calculus I (use math placement advising form for proper placement).  Additionally, they should take an introductory year-long science course that meets the criteria for the Biology, Chemistry, or Physics major.


A student who has completed MATH 150 should enroll in MATH 170 Calculus I. A student who has completed MATH 170 Calculus I should enroll in MATH 180 Calculus II and continue with an introductory year-long science course that meets the criteria for the Biology, Chemistry, or Physics major.


A General Science major requires at least 48 credits chosen from the four departments (Biology (excluding courses numbered 109 or lower), Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics) and distributed as follows:  25 credits in one department, composed of the course requirements for a minor in that department and at least five additional credits in courses that count toward a major or minor in that department; no fewer than nine credits in each of two of the remaining departments; and no fewer than five credits in the fourth department.  The major’s writing intensive course must be one listed as MWI for the department in which the 25-credit concentration is taken or one that has been pre-approved by the department chair.