Integrative Science

Program Director: Todd Johnson

The integrative science major is designed to accommodate a student who has a broader interest in the areas of science. This major is especially appropriate for students desiring to continue their education in a variety of science or medically-related fields. These fields include the health professions, environmental science, neuroscience, bioinformatics, public health, industrial research and other opportunities.

Students have a chance to integrate their multiple scientific interests at various integration points: one at the sophomore, junior year, and by participation in the capstone.


Integrative Science majors are required to participate at several integration points throughout their major: at the sophomore, junior, and senior year. It is here that the major student learning outcomes for the major are assessed. These include competencies in literacy (quantitative and qualitative), Communication, Inquiry, and Integration as described below. These learning outcomes are scaffolded throughout the major:

  1. Students will identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use quantitative and conceptual information to share scientifically related information. (LITERACY)
  2. Students will use oral and written communication to purposefully and effectively convey scientific information. (COMMUNICATION)
  3. Students will effectively use the scientific process to evaluate methodology and original data to synthesize a conclusion based on this evaluation and in the context of disciplinary theories and the scholarly literature. (INQUIRY)
  4. Students will effectively synthesize concepts, scientific processes, and/or theories from at least two scientific disciplines to help understand and/or solve a scientific question or problem. (INTEGRATION)

Acceptance to Major Requirements

Course Requirements:  Math proficiency, 12 credits of level 1 coursework complete, and second integration point complete/ongoing
Minimum Grade and/or GPA for required courses:  2.00 GPA
Minimum Cumulative GPA:  2.00

Major: Integrative Science (50-54 credits)

The Integrative Science major offers flexibility in course choices but requires that coursework be completed in multiple scientific disciplines. To be admitted into the major , students need to fulfill the mathematics proficiency requirement and 12 credits at level 1 must be completed with a GPA of 2.00 or higher.

The Integrative Science (ISCI) major consists of 50-54 credits, including 32-36 credits of Natural Science Division courses, 4-6 credits of coursework that promotes integration of multiple disciplinary perspectives, and a 4 credit Integrative Science Capstone course (or set of courses totaling 4 credits). The remaining 8 credits may include courses offered through departments outside the Natural Science Division to encourage and emphasize connections with disciplines outside of the natural sciences.

Requirements for the ISCI major are listed here in the Academic Catalog. Please contact the Chair of the Integrative Science major, Jennifer Schaefer, if you have any questions.

LEVEL 1: Building a Scientific Foundation (16 Credits)

Students must complete a minimum of 16 credits from the following lower division Natural Science Division courses below; courses must come from at least two different disciplines. It is common that most students will take two introductory courses from each of two different disciplines to provide the background required for upper division work.

All courses are 4 credits unless noted (12 credits must be completed with a GPA of 2.00 or higher to be accepted into the major).

  • BIOL 101, 201, 202, 216
  • CHEM 125 + 201, 250 + 202, 251 + 203, 255 + 205
  • CSCI 130, 140, 150, 160, 200, 230, 239
  • ENVR 175, 275
  • MATH 118 or 119, 120, 124
  • NUTR 125, 225/223
  • PHYS 105 0r 191, 106 or 200, 211

LEVEL 2: First Integration Point (2-4 Credits)

Students must complete one two or four-credit course designed to develop the students' ability to identify, locate, evaluate, integrate, and effectively and responsibly use information from least two disciplinary fields in order to define or understand a scientific problem. This course is to be completed during the sophomore year.

Students will have an opportunity to construct a written analysis of an integrative scientific question or issue of their choice. They will explain and demonstrate the important role of oral communication in disseminating scientific information. They will demonstrate their quantitative and information literacy to investigate this scientific issue and effectively synthesize concepts, scientific processes, and/or theories from at least two scientific disciplines to help understand and/or solve the scientific question or issue. Students should be prepared to read, discuss and use information presented in the primary literature. Prerequisites: at least 12 credits from the Natural Science division in at least two different disciplines or permission of the instructor (the student must be almost completed with the level 1 coursework).

  • ISCI 201 (2 credits) or ESSS 273 (4 credits)
  • Must be taken sophomore year

LEVEL 3a: Building Depth and Breadth (20 Credits)

Students will complete 20 credits of upper division natural science coursework, with no more than 12 credits coming from any one academic department. The coursework will be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor and will be dependent on the student's area of interest. The following courses will count toward fulfilling the LEVEL 3a natural science upper division credit requirement:

  • BIOL (All 300 level BIOL courses excluding BIOL373A Exploring Medicine)
  • CHEM (All 300 level CHEM courses)
  • CSCI (All 300 level CSCI courses)
  • MATH (All 300 level MATH courses)
  • PHYS (All 300 level PHYS courses)
  • ESSS306 Kinesiology
  • ESSS308 Exercise Physiology 
  • ISCI 310 Applied Pathophysiology
  • NUTR 301 Diet, Health & Disease Prevention
  • NUTR 302 Physiology and Weight Regulation
  • NUTR 320 Micronutrient Metabolism and Nutritional Supplementation
  • NUTR 323 Public Health Nutrition: Infancy Through Aging
  • NUTR 326 Global Health & Nutrition
  • NUTR 330 Nutritional Biochemistry and Assessment 
  • ENVR 300 Topics in Environmental Studies-Natural Science
  • ENVR 311 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
  • ENVR 321 Sustainable Agriculture
  • ENVR 331 Science of Global Climate Change

Level 3b: Building Depth and Breadth: Additional coursework (8 credits)

An additional eight credits of upper division (300 level) coursework must be completed by the student. Numerous courses may count towards this requirement. The student may complete an additional eight credits of natural science coursework, which may or may not be included in the list above. In addition, students are encouraged to complete these credits with coursework from outside the natural science division IF THE COURSEWORK IS COHERENT WITH THE STUDENT'S TRACK, CONCENTRATION OR AREA OF STUDY. All upper division elective courses must be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor and approved by the Integrative Science chair.

LEVEL 4: Second Integration Point (0-2 additional credits after Level 3)

All courses are 4 credits unless noted. Students must complete one two or four-credit course intended to develop the ability to integrate and apply information from at least two disciplinary fields in order to solve a problem or explore complex issues in an original way. Developing effective written and oral communication and inquiry/analysis skills will also be a component of this course.

  • ISCI 301 (2 credits)
  • ISCI 310 Applied Pathophysiology (4 credits)
  • NUTR 330 Nutritional Biochemistry and Assessment (4 credits) 
  • ESSS 306 Kinesiology (4 credits)
  • ESSS 308 Exercise Physiology (4 credits)

Coursework counted for Level 4 can also be counted toward level 3a or 3b (ISCI 301 is the only course listed that is not on the list of 3a or 3b courses) 

LEVEL 5: Integrative Science Capstone (2-4 Credits)

In completing the Integrative Science Capstone, students will apply skills, abilities, theories, and/or methodologies gained through the Integrative Science curriculum to a new situation in order to solve a difficult problem or explore a complex issue in an original and interdisciplinary way, and effectively communicate the outcomes and implications of their work. All courses are 4 credits unless noted.

  • ISCI 378 Integrative Science III
  • BIOL 397 Internship
  • ESSS 397 Internship

Should students apply for distinction in the major, they would enroll in one of the following sets of research. The must obtain an A for distinction in this coursework:

  • ESSS Research  
    • ESSS 316 Research Methods (2 credits)
    • ESSS 395 Research Seminar I (1 credit)
    • ESSS 396 Research Seminar II (1 credit)
  • NUTR Research
    • NUTR 380 Research Seminar I (1)
    • NUTR 381 Research Seminar II (1)
    • NUTR 396 Nutrition Research Capstone (2)

Integrative Science tracks

Designated tracks in Health Science, Public Health, and Environmental Science have been designed.  These tracks are recommended for those interested in an interdisciplinary and integrated perspective on health, public health, or environment.  Students should consult with the appropriate advisor in selecting specific courses to fulfill the major requirements.

Minor (None)

Courses (ISCI)

Courses (NATS)