College of General Studies

Natural Sciences (BS)

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care and social assistance industry is projected to create about 28 percent of all new jobs in the U.S. economy by 2020—an estimated 5.7 million new jobs.

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Students that have earned an undergraduate degree and want to take classes to prepare for medical school or a health professional school of choice often pursue a second Bachelor’s in Natural Science (BS) Pre-Medicine Option.  

The natural sciences major is a liberal arts major with a focus on courses from three natural sciences departments. Students customize this major to meet their interests and personal or career goals, choosing from a variety of courses with a concentration in three areas, such as anthropology, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, geology and planetary science, history and philosophy of science, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, psychology, and statistics.

Also available are a pre-medicine option (for those preparing for medical school or another health professional school); a pre-physician assistant option (for those preparing to apply to Physician Assistant education programs), and two pre-education options (for those preparing for teaching careers).


Natural Sciences Standard Major: 36 credits

Choose a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses) from any three departments below. All courses taken must be related to natural sciences. At least five courses must be taken from one department, and at least three courses should be taken from each of the two other departments. All courses selected for the natural sciences major must be approved by an academic advisor.

Anthropology (natural sciences-related course) 
Astronomy 
Biological Sciences 
Chemistry
Computer science (only courses numbered 0401 and above) 
Geology and planetary science 
History and philosophy of science (natural sciences-related course)
Mathematics (only courses numbered 0220 and above)
Neuroscience
Physics 
Psychology (natural sciences-related course) 
Statistics (0200 or 1000, and courses numbered 1000)


Pre-Medicine Option 

This natural sciences concentration incorporates the course work needed for admission to most medical and dental programs. Completion of this concentration does not guarantee acceptance into graduate study. Students pursuing this option can take advantage of the resources of the University of Pittsburgh’s health professions advising team, based in the University Honors College. Night sections of biology, chemistry, and physics courses are available, with seats reserved specifically for CGS students.

Pre-Medicine Curriculum: 39 credits
Course NumberTitleCredits
BIOSC 0150Foundations of Biology 13
BIOSC 0050Foundations of Biology 1 Lab1
BIOSC 0160Foundations of Biology 23
BIOSC 0060Foundations of Biology 2 Lab1
BIOSC 1000Biochemistry3
CHEM 0110General Chemistry 1 and Lab4
CHEM 0120General Chemistry 2 and Lab4
CHEM 0310Organic Chemistry 13
CHEM 0330Organic Chemistry 1 Lab1
CHEM 0320Organic Chemistry 23
CHEM 0340Organic Chemistry 2 Lab1

MATH 0220 or STAT 1000

Analytical Geometry and Calculus 1 or Applied Statistical Methods

4

PHYS 0110Introduction to Physics 13
PHYS 0111Introduction to Physics 23
PHYS 0212Introduction to Laboratory Physics2
Additional recommended courses for premedicine option:
BIOSC 1850Microbiology3
MATH 0230Analytical Geometry and Calculus 24
NROSCI 1000Introduction to Neuroscience3
NROSCI 1250
Human Physiology
3


Pre-Physician Assistant Option

The pre-PA concentration is designed for students interested in the Physician Assistant Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS). The pre-PA curriculum incorporates the prerequisite course work necessary for application to the PA program. Please note that completion of the pre-PA concentration does not guarantee direct admission into graduate study. For a full list of admission requirements, visit the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PA program Web site. Note: Requirements for other PA programs from other schools than the University of Pittsburgh may differ. 

Pre-Physician Assistant Concentration Curriculum: 40 credits
Course NumberTitleCredits
BIOSC 0150Foundations of Biology 13
BIOSC 0050 Foundations of Biology 1 Lab 1
BIOSC 0160 Foundations of Biology 2 3
BIOSC 0060 Foundations of Biology 2 Lab 1
BIOSC 1850 Microbiology 3
NUR 0012 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 3
NUR 0002 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 Lab 1
NUR 0013 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 3
NUR 0003 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2 Lab 1
CHEM 0110 General Chemistry 1 and Lab 4
CHEM 0120 General Chemistry 2 and Lab 4
CHEM 0310 Organic Chemistry 1 3
CHEM 0330 Organic Chemistry 1 Lab 1
PSY 0010 Introduction to Psychology 3
PSY 0310 Developmental Psychology 3
PSY elective Elective course 3
Outside major: Other Requirements  
HRS 1006Intro to Human Nutrition3
REHSCI 1235Medical Terminology1


Pre-Education Options

The College of General Studies and the Pitt School of Education have collaborated on two concentrations in the natural sciences major that incorporate the prerequisite science course work needed for admission into the certificate programs in earth and space science and general science. These options may be used by students interested in the Master of Arts in Teaching program offered in the School of Education. Completion of the prerequisites for the School of Education does not guarantee acceptance to its programs. Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits (approximately 40 courses) for a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in natural sciences. Of this total, students must take a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses) according to the specifications. The remaining credits required for the degree are outlined on the Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree information sheet.

Earth and Space Science Concentration Curriculum: 40 credits
Course NumberTitleCredits
ASTRON 0089Stars, Galaxies, and the Cosmos (or equivalent)3
CHEM 0110General Chemistry 1 and Lab4
CHEM 0120General Chemistry 2 and Lab4
GEOL 1030The Atmosphere, Oceans, and Climate3
GEOL 0055Geology Labratory2
GEOL 0060History of the Earth3
GEOL 0800Geology3
GEOL 0860Environmental Geology3
GEOL 1000-levelUpper-Level Geology Elective3
MATH 0220Analytical Geometry and Calculus 14
PHYS 0110Introduction to Physics 13
PHYS 0111Introduction to Physics 23
PHYS 0212Introduction to Laboratory Physics2
General Science Concentration Curriculum: 41 credits
Course NumberTitleCredits
ASTRON 0089Stars, Galaxies, and the Cosmos(or equivalent) 3
BIOSC 0150Foundations in Biology 13
BIOSC 0050Foundations in Biology 1 Lab1
BIOSC 0160Foundations in Biology 23
BIOSC 0060Foundations in Biology 2 Lab1
BIOSC 0370Ecology3
BIOSC 1000Biochemistry3
CHEM 0110General Chemistry 1 and Lab4
CHEM 0120General Chemistry 2 and Lab4
CHEM 0310Organic Chemistry 13
GEOL 0800Geology3
MATH 0220Analytical Geometry and Calculus 14
PHYS 0110Introduction to Physics 13
PHYS 0111Introduction to Physics 23

Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.

An internship program is available through the College of General Studies. Please see your advisor for additional information.