Degrees and Programs

The College of Natural Sciences offers the following undergraduate degrees:

  1. Bachelor of Science and Arts, with majors in astronomy, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, human development and family sciences, human ecology, nutrition, mathematics, neuroscience, and physics.
  2. Bachelor of Science degrees in astronomy, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, human development and family sciences, mathematics, medical laboratory science, neuroscience, nutrition, physics, public health, and textiles and apparel.
  3. Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, with majors in astronomy, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics.

The Bachelor of Science and Arts degree offers a cross-disciplinary experience for students who want to combine a strong core science experience with coursework in areas such as business, communications, fine arts, and the liberal arts. Students choose a major of up to 55 hours of science and mathematics. Students choose either a transcript-recognized minor outside of the sciences, 15 hours in a field of study outside of sciences, or an 18 to 24 hour transcript-recognized certificate. A full list of the minor and certificate programs offered at the University can be found in The University section of the Undergraduate Catalog

The Bachelor of Science degrees provide deep exploration of science fields for students preparing for graduate science programs and careers as specialized scientists. The degrees contain between 80 to 90 hours of science and mathematics, and typically have multiple specialized options that reflect niche areas of study.

The Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, is shared with the College of Liberal Arts.

A student may not earn more than one Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Arts, or Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree from the University. A student may earn only one undergraduate degree in a particular field of study from the College of Natural Sciences. A student who holds a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree from the University may earn a second major designation in another field of study that will appear on the University transcript. 

The title of a graduate's degree appears on his or her diploma, but the major does not. The degree, the major, the transcript-recognized certificate, and the minor appear on the graduate's University transcript.
A natural sciences student who wishes to add another major in the college must meet the criterion described in the Admission and Registration section.

Applicability of Certain Courses

Physical Activity Courses

Physical activity (PED) courses and Kinesiology 119 may not be counted toward a degree in the College of Natural Sciences. However, they are counted as courses for which the student is enrolled, and the grades are included in the grade point average.

ROTC Courses

ROTC units are maintained on campus by the Departments of Air Force Science, Military Science, and Naval Science. Information about each program is available from the chair of the department.

Nine semester hours of designated University of Texas at Austin coursework in air force science, military science, or naval science may be counted toward any degree in the College of Natural Sciences.

Courses Taken on the Pass/Fail Basis

No more than 16 semester hours taken on the pass/fail basis may be counted toward the Bachelor of Arts, Plan I. No more than six semester hours taken on the pass/fail basis may be counted toward the Bachelor of Science and Arts degree and the Bachelor of Science degrees. In general, only electives may be taken on the pass/fail basis. Complete rules on registration on the pass/fail basis are given in the General Information Catalog.

Courses in a Single Field

For the Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, no more than 39 hours may be counted in any one field of study, including the major, unless major requirements state otherwise. Additionally, for the Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, no more than 39 hours may be counted in any one college or school other than the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Natural Sciences.

College Algebra

Algebra courses at the level of Mathematics 301 or the equivalent may not be counted toward a degree in the College of Natural Sciences.

UTeach-Natural Sciences Teacher Certification

UTeach-Natural Sciences prepares students in the College of Natural Sciences, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and Cockrell School of Engineering for middle school or secondary teacher certification in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). However, any students in any major at the University may seek STEM teacher certification through UTeach-Natural Sciences.

There are two ways students can seek STEM teacher certification through UTeach-Natural Sciences:

  1. Students can complete the courses for certification as electives within a standard bachelor's degree program.
    • Students can obtain lists of the required content courses and additional certification requirements, which are available in the UTeach-Natural Sciences office and online.
  2. Students can consider the teaching options in biology, chemistry, computer science, geological sciences, mathematics, and physics degree programs.
    • This option is strongly encouraged because these majors incorporate not only the required coursework in the major but also the professional development courses, supporting courses, and courses in other sciences that are required for teacher certification.

The courses required for all teacher certifications include a minimum of 30 field-based experience hours prior to the clinical teaching experience. All students in these field experience courses, (UTS 101, 110, EDC 365D, and 365E), which are part of the Professional Development Sequence, are observed by and received feedback from clinical faculty and in-service educators throughout the semester. Students must pass the field experience in order to pass these courses. During clinical teaching (UTS 170, EDC 651S), supervision and feedback are provided by clinical faculty, field supervisors, and the cooperating teacher.

To graduate and be recommended for teacher certification at the middle school or secondary level in the State of Texas, the student must have a University grade point average of at least 2.50. The student must have earned a grade of at least C- in each of the professional development courses and supporting courses listed below and must pass the final teaching portfolio review. Information about the portfolio review and additional certification requirements is available from the UTeach-Natural Sciences academic adviser.

State of Texas teacher certification requirements are governed by the Texas Education Agency and are subject to change. Students must adhere to current teacher certification requirements, even if they differ from those listed in the University catalogs.


Professional Development Sequence

All students seeking teacher certification must complete the following courses:

UTS 101Secondary Teacher Education Preparation: Step 11
UTS 110Secondary Teacher Education Preparation: STEP 21
UTS 170Student Teaching Seminar1
EDC 651SSecondary School Teaching Practicum6
EDC 365CKnowing and Learning in Math and Science3
EDC 365DClassroom Interactions3
EDC 365EProject-Based Instruction3

Students seeking teacher certification for middle school must also complete the following courses. To be recommended for teacher certification, the student must earn a grade of at least C- in each course.

EDC 339ESecondary School Literacy across the Disciplines3
PSY 301
PSY 304
Introduction to Psychology
and Introduction to Child Psychology
or EDP 350G Adolescent Development

Supporting Courses

One of the following:
BIO 337Selected Topics in Biology (Topic 2: Research Methods: UTeach)3
CH 368Advanced Topics in Chemistry (Topic 1: Research Methods: UTeach)3
PHY 341Selected Topics in Physics (Topic 7: Research Methods: UTeach)3
One of the following:
HIS 329UPerspectives on Science and Mathematics3
PHL 329UPerspectives on Science and Mathematics3

Interested students are encouraged to start the program at any time during their undergraduate careers. Students must be considering a teaching career in middle school or secondary science, computer science, mathematics, and/or engineering, and must meet grade point average requirements. Students who are interested in teaching earlier grades should consult the College of Education. See Preparation for Teacher Certification for additional information.