College of Science
- Undergraduate Majors
- Undergraduate Certificates
- Undergraduate Minors
- Graduate Degree Programs
- Graduate Certificate Programs
- Graduate Degree Programs
- Undergraduate Degree Programs
- College-Level Requirements
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Science
- Physical Education Courses
- Teacher Licensure
- Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
- Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Climate Dynamics
- Computational and Data Sciences
- Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences
- Environmental Science and Policy
- Mathematical Sciences
- Molecular and Microbiology
- Physics and Astronomy
- Earth Science
- Medical Technology
- Earth Science
- Geographic Information Systems
- Math for Undergraduates in the School of Management
- Ocean and Estuarine Science
Graduate Degree Programs
- Applied and Engineering Physics, MS
- Biodefense, MS, PhD
- Bioinformatics, MS, PhD
- Biology, MS
- Biosciences, PhD
- Chemistry, MS
- Climate Dynamics, PhD
- Computational Science, MS
- Computational Sciences and Informatics, PhD
- Computational Social Science, PhD
- Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences, PhD
- Earth Systems Science, MS
- Environmental Science and Policy, MS
- Environmental Science and Public Policy, PhD
- Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, MS
- Mathematics, MS, PhD
- Neuroscience, PhD
- Physical Sciences, PhD
Graduate Certificate Programs
- Actuarial Sciences
- Biological Threat and Defense
- Computational Social Science
- Computational Techniques and Applications
- Environmental Management
- Geographic Information Sciences
- Microbial Biodefense
- Nanotechnology and Nanoscience
- Remote Sensing and Earth Image Processing
The College of Science (COS) serves as the nexus for research and education in the natural, mathematical, and computational sciences at Mason. The central mission of COS is to create and disseminate scientific knowledge, provide outstanding scholarship in concert with excellent teaching, and develop human and technical resources required to address the current and future needs of society. Through its innovative and multifaceted educational and research mission, COS offers exciting opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, scientists, educators, and other professionals in Northern Virginia and the capital region.
In addition to the wide variety of undergraduate degree programs offered by its 10 departments, COS also offers many innovative graduate degrees and interdisciplinary minors. The research strength of COS provides an essential resource to graduate students, as well as to undergraduates whose involvement in research is strongly encouraged. Many undergraduates go on to graduate school; and to pursue careers in public service, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. Graduate students engage in more specialized study at the master’s and doctoral levels, preparing them for first or second careers or job advancement and providing personal enrichment.
Faculty members are committed to teaching grounded in scholarship and research. They strive to make students rigorous thinkers and clear communicators while encouraging experimentation with new approaches and ideas. Students are thus prepared for their role as informed citizens in a complex, global society; they will be able to adapt to an ever-changing world.
Menas Kafatos, Co-Dean
Vikas Chandhoke, Co-Dean
George E. Taylor, Jr., Senior Associate Dean
Zita E. Tyer, Senior Associate Dean
Graduate Degree Programs
COS offers 10 master’s degrees and 11 doctoral degrees. The requirements for each degree are described in the departmental and degree sections that follow.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
The undergraduate degree consists of course work in university-wide general education and a major area of study, and electives. COS offers six bachelor of arts degrees and seven bachelor of science degrees. To earn a bachelor’s degree, students must complete 120 credits, of which at least 45 must be in upper-level courses (numbered 300 and above). At least one course at the 300 or 400 level must be designated “writing intensive.” All entering students who have not yet satisfied the university-wide general education requirement in quantitative reasoning are required to take the math placement test prior to enrollment.
Students should consult the “University General Education” chapter for information concerning university-wide general education requirements for undergraduate degrees.
The baccalaureate degree is designed to provide a broad knowledge of the world, develop in students the ability to think both conceptually and critically, acquaint them with many different methods of inquiry, and provide skills to continue intellectual growth throughout life. Because these goals can be achieved in many ways, students may select from a range of courses for completing them. But education involves more than fulfilling requirements. The selection of courses should not only deepen knowledge in areas of interest, but also expand the range of those interests. The courses enable students to link the present to the past; their culture to other cultures; and what is, to what could be. Learning to make these connections increases the ability to understand and enjoy the world in ways not yet imagined.
Bachelor of Arts
The BA degree provides students with a breadth of knowledge as well as the necessary skills to make in-depth study of a major truly meaningful. In addition to the university-wide general education program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the course work below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college-level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements such as university-wide general education requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major.
- Literature: 3 credits in addition to the university-wide requirement, for a total of 6 credits of literature. This requirement is fulfilled by any course in literature at the 200 level in English, designated courses at the 300 level or above in modern and classical languages, or PHIL 253.
- Philosophy or religious studies: 3 credits, fulfilled by any course in philosophy or religious studies (PHIL, RELI).
- Social science: 9 credits, fulfilled by any course in ADJ, ANTH, ECON, GEOG (except GEOG 102 or 309), GOVT, PSYC, or SOCI.
- Foreign language: intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by completion of one foreign language course at the 202 level or above, or by a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test. International students should consult the COS Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office about a possible waiver of this requirement.
- Science sequence requirement: 1 additional credit; may be fulfilled only by an approved two-semester sequence in a single science.
- Non-Western culture: 3 credits; may be fulfilled by any of the following courses: ANTH 114, 300, 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 311, 313, 330, 332, 396; ARTH 203, 319, 320, 380, 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 482; CHIN 318, 320, 325; DANC 118; ECON 361, 362; FREN 451; GEOG 101, 316, 325, 330, 399; GOVT 328, 332, 333, 432; HIST 125, 130, 251, 252, 261, 262, 271, 281, 282, 328, 329, 353, 354, 355, 356, 365, 366, 387, 426, 459, 460, 461, 465, 466; MUSI 103; RELI 211, 212, 313, 314, 315, 337, 374, 490; or RUSS 353, 354.
Students who can document attendance at a native school in a non-Western country for at least four years may request a waiver from this requirement through the COS Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office. Requirements for each BA major are listed in the departmental sections that follow.
Bachelor of Science
The BS degree provides students with a more intensive approach to the core technical concepts in their major field of study. Therefore, this curriculum has a reduced number of courses in humanities and social sciences in comparison with the BA degree to allow students to achieve greater depth in their majors. Requirements for each BS major are listed in the departmental sections that follow.
Physical Education Courses
Activity courses offered by the Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources Department cannot be counted toward credits required for a degree in COS. Students may take nonactivity PHED courses for the elective credit for COS degrees.
Students who wish to become teachers should consult the CEHD chapter and attend an information session early in their undergraduate career. For more information, call 703-993-2892, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to gse.gmu.edu.
Student may elect to take a minor in addition to their major field of study. For policies governing all minors, see the Academic Policies chapter of this catalog. Students interested in earning a minor should complete the appropriate section of the Change/Declaration of Academic Program form.