Chair: Steven Stern, PhD
An understanding of natural sciences contributes significantly to a liberal education, and all students at Pitt-Johnstown are encouraged to explore the division’s resources. For those planning careers in medical and health sciences, engineering, engineering technology, and a variety of other fields, a strong foundation in natural sciences is essential. Students with interest in research, applications, and teaching in the sciences can acquire the background necessary for graduate study or a broad range of occupations. For those students wanting a broad education in the sciences, it is possible to complete a double major in two natural sciences departments (e.g., chemistry and psychology; biology and chemistry; etc.). Please contact the division office for more details.
Division Policies and Requirements
Candidates for graduation in natural sciences must have earned a minimum of 120 credits. Of the 120, a maximum of 15 credits may be earned in other non-arts and sciences programs of the University (e.g., engineering) or in courses offered for the convenience of students with particular professional goals (e.g., chemistry for nursing).
The final 30 credits MUST be earned at Pitt-Johnstown.
Degree candidates must have a grade point average of 2.00 (C average) or higher in all work at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown or at the University’s other campuses.
The courses required for a major must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.00.
Completion of no fewer than 12 credits in a related area is required in certain major programs. Consultation with an advisor will determine a student’s responsibility in this matter. A related area and the specific courses taken to constitute it must be approved by a student’s major advisor.
A satisfactory level of competence in writing, speaking, and quantitative reasoning must be demonstrated by the successful completion of general education requirements: competency areas as described earlier in this bulletin.
Students may earn no more than 2 credits in physical education per term, to a maximum of 8 during their entire scholastic career at Pitt-Johnstown. Only the first 4 physical education credits are counted as being in arts and sciences; any additional credits are considered non-arts and sciences.
Majors in natural sciences may not elect the H/S/U option for courses in their major.
There are no second language requirements for majors in the Division of Natural Sciences. However, it should be noted that many graduate programs require a reading knowledge of one or two second languages or computer science. Therefore, students planning graduate study should seriously consider course work in a foreign language, or Computer Science.
All students, unless specifically noted in the major requirements, must complete the general education requirements, in addition to major requirements, by earning at least 12 credits in each of the three divisions of arts and sciences: the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. The 12 credits in each division must be distributed in the manner described in the General Education Requirements: Knowledge Areas section. All major programs in the division require at least 12 credits in the humanities and social sciences divisions as described earlier in this bulletin. For general education natural sciences knowledge area requirements in these three majors, courses must be distributed as described in handouts obtained from the department of interest.
These degree requirements apply to students who will complete degrees in natural sciences at Pitt-Johnstown. Students who plan to relocate to other schools of the University should be guided by the requirements set forth in the appropriate University bulletin.
Natural Sciences Internships
A limited number of students majoring in the division may serve a one to six credit internship in biology, chemistry, energy and earth resources, mathematics, or psychology. This experience is designed to provide students with field experience in their chosen majors. Students must seek permission from the department coordinator for admission.
Academic Programs Offered
In addition to an academic major, a student may elect to pursue a minor in another academic discipline. The specific requirements for each minor are established by the individual academic disciplines. However, all minors require the completion of a minimum of 18 credits of course work.
The following programs are designed to allow a student to begin studies at the Johnstown campus then complete the program at the Pittsburgh campus. Students take general and prerequisite work at Pitt-Johnstown for two years, usually 60 credits. After completion of 45 credits, the SHRS undergraduate application must be completed for the following programs: clinical dietetics and nutrition, health information management, and rehabilitation science and athletic training. Students interested in majoring in communication science and emergency medicine programs are only required to complete the relocation form for academic program change. The relocation form can be obtained at the Office of the Registrar. For further information, please contact the Division of Natural Sciences office and ask for the appropriate program advisor. Additional information about these programs can be found at the Web page for the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, www.shrs.pitt.edu. Or from Shameem Gangjee, director of admissions, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 4021 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261; Shameem@shrs.pitt.edu; or 412-383-6557.