School of Natural and Social Sciences

Degree programs in the School of Natural and Social Sciences provide students with a solid grounding in a discipline and an appreciation for the complex relationships that exist among systems of inquiry (economic, mathematical, biochemical, ecological, political, psychological, cultural, and social). Each program is designed to prepare students for career opportunities and for graduate and professional studies. The courses also provide a contemporary focus as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education for students who may not be seeking careers in any of the sciences.

Students are taught to think independently, communicate effectively, conduct serious research, and use community resources. Our faculty members encourage learning by including students in both laboratory and field research. This hands-on philosophy culminates in the senior year, when each student completes a year-long research project under the close supervision of a faculty mentor.

Natural Sciences
Within the natural sciences, six majors are offered: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental studies, mathematics/computer science, and psychology. Premedical studies are most conveniently undertaken as a biology, biochemistry, or chemistry major, but other options are possible. Optional concentrations are also available, ranging from evolutionary and behavioral biology, bioresearch technology, and marine biology/ecology to cognitive neuroscience.

Social Sciences
Within the social sciences, four majors are offered: anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology, with concentrations in such areas as world cultures; anthropology and the arts; Islam and the Middle East; human rights; globalization, communities, and social change; and social and health advocacy. Through their coursework, students are introduced to both traditional and innovative research techniques and also receive extensive experience with computer applications. Research skills are developed to facilitate work in advanced classes and to help prepare students for the ongoing technological revolution.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Faculty members in the natural and social sciences also collaborate across the disciplines in such areas as Asian studies, gender studies, and Latin American studies (Interdisciplinary Studies), and in new media and media, society, and the arts (in the School of Film and Media Studies).

Ronnie Halperin, PhD, Chair, School of Natural and Social Sciences

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