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College of Science

www.science.vt.edu/

Dean, Lay Nam Chang
Associate Dean for Curriculum and Instruction: Gary L. Long
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies: Randy Heflin
Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Academy of Integrated Science: JP Morgan
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies: Jerry W. Via
Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration: Janet Sanders

Science student

Overview

    The College of Science at Virginia Tech provides students with an interdisciplinary training in analytical skills and a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members conduct research and teach courses in fourteen disciplines leading to baccalaureate and advanced degrees. Coursework from the College of Science also provides a foundation of knowledge in a number of fundamental and advanced subjects for students in all Colleges across the campus. The College of Science also offers academic advising and appropriate preparatory coursework for students interested in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-veterinary medicine, and patent or intellectual property law.

Degree Programs

    Specific degree programs include:

    • Biochemistry (B.S.)
    • Biological Sciences (B.S.)
    • Chemistry (B.S. or B.A.)
    • Computational Modeling and Data Analytics
    • Economics (B.A.)
    • Geosciences (B.S.; options in Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics and Earth Science Education)
    • Mathematics (B.S.; options in Traditional Mathematics, Applied and Computational Mathematics, Applied Discrete Mathematics, and Mathematics Education)
    • Microbiology
    • Nanoscience
    • Neuroscience
    • Physics (B.S. or B.A.)
    • Psychology (B.S.)
    • Statistics (B.S.)
    In addition to traditional majors, the college offers courses in intellectual property law, and supports research centers in areas such as biomedical and public health sciences, applied mathematics, macromolecular science, and many other critical technologies and applied sciences that encompass other Colleges at the University. Allied disciplines emphasize the study of behavioral science as well as economic and strategic decision making. The College is committed to providing research opportunities for interested students at all levels.

    The college offers minors in:

    • Actuarial Science
    • Astronomy
    • Biological Science
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Geology
    • Mathematics
    • Nanoscience
    • Physics
    • Science, Engineering, and Law
    A Leadership minor is available to members of the Corps of Cadets.

General Requirements for Graduation

    A student in the College of Science must complete at least 120 hours for an undergraduate degree as well as satisfying the following requirements:

    • achieve a minimum overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 for all hours attempted
    • achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 for all hours attempted in all work applied to the major
    • complete all other requirements established for their degree by the major department
    • complete all college and Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements

    No course required for the major/minor may be elected to be taken on a pass/fail (P/F) basis (i.e., pass/fail may be used for free electives only). This excludes courses that are offered P/F only.

College Core Curriculum

    A description of the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) may be found in the Academics chapter of this catalog or on the Curriculum for Liberal Education website (http://www.cle.prov.vt.edu/). College Specific Requirements related to the Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE):

    Area 6: Creativity and Aesthetic Experience

    • Satisfactorily complete a three-credit hour course approved for the university Curriculum for Liberal Education. (The one-credit courses for the CLE will not fulfill this requirement.)

    Foreign Language· Must complete the third year (level III) of a single foreign language [including Sign Language (ESL)] in a secondary school. This requirement may also be fulfilled by successful completion of one of the following:

    • Satisfactorily complete 1106 for any foreign language offered including any prerequisites
    • Satisfactorily complete an accelerated course which combines 1105 and 1106 of a foreign language
    • Students who have not completed two (2) units of a single foreign language in high school must satisfactorily complete 1106 or an accelerated course which combines 1105 and 1106 of a foreign language. These hours are in addition to the 120 hours required for graduation, so these hours will not count towards graduation.
    • Credit by examination for a foreign or classical language. The credit by examination option is available only to students who have gained knowledge of a foreign language without the benefit of formal training. This privilege is intended to recognize informal, non-academic learning experience. This option is restricted and does not carry credit towards graduation. Requests must be made through the Foreign Language office. See http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html for available tests and procedures.
    • Students whose native language is not English may be exempted from the foreign language requirement through demonstrating satisfactory knowledge of the foreign language as prescribed by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. All requests for exemption should be addressed to and must be approved by the head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. This option does not carry credit towards graduation.

Satisfactory Progress

    In addition to the university and to the departmental criteria (see specific departments in this chapter), all students in the College of Science are evaluated for continued enrollment at Virginia Tech. The two College of Science criteria for satisfying progress toward degree state that:

    1) Students who have attempted 72 semester hours must have completed their foreign language requirement by the close of the academic year (Spring Semester), and

    2) Students must have completed all credits for the Curriculum of Liberal Education by the time 96 semester hours have been attempted.

College Level Minors

    Minor in Actuarial Science

    www.stat.vt.edu/undergraduate/actuarial-science.html

    Actuaries combine knowledge from statistics, finance, and business to assess rick and help create policies that minimize financial risk for individuals and companies. The actuarial profession is consistently ranked near the top of most desirable professions.

    Please visit the University Registrar website at http://www.registrar.vt.edu/graduation/checksheets/index.html to view the minor checksheet detailing requirements.

    Minor in Science, Engineering, and the Law

    www.science.vt.edu/ais/stl

    The rights of inventors and authors to royalties for patents and copyrights are protected by intellectual property (IP) law. Today, intellectual property has become a major part of the world's economy and one of the fastest growing areas of law: stem cell research, gene patents, clean technology, file sharing, digital libraries - every day we are faced with a new issue at the intersection of science, technology, and the law. The minor in Science, Engineering, and the Law trains students in the fundamentals of IP law. It identifies and discusses myriad issues that all students who work in the realm of discovery, and who may develop patentable products, need to have knowledge of. This minor is housed in the Division of Science, Technology, and Law within the Academy of Integrated Science.

The Honors Program

    The University Honors Program is available to students in the College of Science. These programs provide an enriched environment for qualified students who are highly motivated and possess outstanding scholastic ability. Specific requirements for the three possible honors degrees are available from the honors program and participating departments.

Dean's List

    An undergraduate student who attempts at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F option and who earns a 3.4 GPA for either spring or fall semester will be included on the online Dean’s List for that term. Please note: Students will not appear on the online Dean’s List if they are listed in the system as confidential or if they do not have an active permanent address. Questions about omissions from the online list should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar.

Pre-Professional Advising in the College of Science

    Health professions advising offers services and programs for students at all levels at Virginia Tech.  Students interested in any health profession requiring graduate or professional school are encouraged to participate in health professions advising http://career.vt.edu/HealthProfessionsAdvising/Index.html.  Health professions advising is particularly helpful in advising students interested in nursing, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, allopathic medicine (MD), osteopathic medicine (OD), physical therapy, becoming a physician’s assistant/nurse practioner, etc.  Advising for students interested in patent or intellectual property law careers is available in the college advising center.

Phi Beta Kappa

    Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious honor society dedicated to recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Students in the College of Science who have exhibited outstanding academic ability in eligible coursework may be eligible for selection to Phi Beta Kappa.

Scholarships

    A number of scholarships are available for outstanding students enrolled in the College of Science. Descriptions and deadlines are available on the Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

Undergraduate Research

    Research opportunities and experiencing the excitement of discovery can play an important part in undergraduate training in science. College of Science departments offer diverse research opportunities in which students may choose to participate. Individuals interested in undergraduate research should contact a faculty member in the department where they wish to conduct research.

Internships, Co-op Opportunities and Enrichment Programs

    Students are encouraged to participate in internship and co-op opportunities to gain relevant work experience prior to graduation. Career advisors in the college advising center as well as departmental career advisors can help students identify opportunities. In some cases, students can receive credit for qualifying work experience. Enrichment studies include field station opportunities, study abroad and summer laboratory experiences outside of the university.

Career Advising

    Career advising is available from a number of sources. The university offers centralized career services and on-campus interviewing http://career.vt.edu  The College of Science works with employers interested in hiring students with degrees from the college and organizes employer panels and information sessions. Every major has a departmental career advisor who specializes in guiding students from their field towards career success.

    Career Services offers each student a FREE Hokies4Hire account. Undergraduate students who are seeking any type of career-related employment, including internships, co-ops, career-related summer employment, and permanent positions are eligible to use Hokies4Hire. You may upload your resume and apply for jobs listed in Hokies4Hire. These include jobs with on-campus interviews as well as job postings. Additional information may be found at http://www.career.vt.edu/H4H-OCI/H4HIndex.html

Graduate Programs in Science

    College of Science departments offer graduate degrees at both the Master's and Ph.D. levels. Complete information on these programs including descriptions of graduate courses can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Undergraduate Course Description (COS)

1015-1016: SUCCESSFUL STARTS IN SCIENCE: CURIE & DA VINCI LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES
First year experience course for students living in the Curie or Da Vinci Living Learning Communities at Virginia Tech. Provides resources and fundamental skills to enhance learning experiences and support academic success in the sciences. Engages students with professional and academic development activities both in the classroom and within a science-themed residence hall. Uses a "learn by doing" approach to blending technical know-how with leadership, ethical, interpersonal and professional skills fundamental to the practice of science. Requires teamwork to envision, design, and implement research projects while using innovative discipline-specific technology. Provides first-year students with support through a weekly peer mentoring program. 1015: Emphasis on scientific inquiry, curriculum planning, career planning in the sciences, skills to promote academic success, awareness of academic and career resources and opportunities. 1016: Emphasis on collaborative problem-solving skills using innovative discipline-specific technology, critical thinking; Integration of ideas and experiences to encourage life-long learning through service work related to their academic/career interests. (1H,1C)

2164 (ENGR 2164): INTRODUCTION TO SCIENEERING
Seminar-based course providing a survey of current interdisciplinary science and engineering research problems; introduction to interdisciplinary thinking and communication; issues related to interdisciplinary research teams. (1H,1C)

2964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

4064 (ENGR 4064): SCIENEERING CAPSTONE
A capstone experience centered around an open-ended, faculty-advised senior project involving the design of a process, material, or technique for solving an interdisciplinary problem. Pre: Enrollment in Interdisciplinary Engineering and Science Minor. Pre: ENGR 2464 or BIOL 2124. (3H,3C)

4304: PATENT LAW
The protection and enforcement of patent law, U.S. case law that interpret Sections 35 of the US Statutory code; Analysis of the goals and costs of the patent law system; patentability requirements, infringement, remedies, patent prosecution issues, and patent transactions; Patent and intellectual property strategies. Pre: 2304. (2H,2C)

4324: GLOBAL ASPECTS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
Comparative study of international intellectual property systems; international treaty arrangements for copyrights, patents and trademarks; protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in foreign markets; policy analysis of the globalized intellectual property system. (3H,3C)

4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

Undergraduate Course Description (ISC)

1105-1106: INTEGRATED SCIENCE I
Introduction to the fundamental principles of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics in an integrated environment. 1105:Discrete dynamical systems, differentiation and integration, differential equations, population dynamics, chemical reactions, chemical kinetics, Newton's laws, linear and rotary motion, kinetic and potential energy. 1106: Genetics, evolution, molecular biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, thermodynamics, statistics, multivariable calculus. Restricted to majors in the College of Science. Only by permission of the instructor. Pre: 1105 for 1106. Co: 1115 for 1105; 1116 for 1106. (6H,6C)

1115-1116: INTEGRATED SCIENCE LABORATORY I
Laboratory component of Integrated Science Curriculum where students conduct project-based interdisciplinary laboratories organized into content modules. 1115: Tools of scientific research, gene delivery, kinetics, solar energy. 1116: Tools of scientific research, water, thermodynamics, plant genetics, surfactants. Restricted to majors in the College of Science. Only by permission of the instructor. Pre: 1115 for 1116. Co: 1105 for 1115; 1106 for 1116. (6L,2C)

2105-2106: INTEGRATED SCIENCE II
Introduction to the fundamental principles of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics in an integrated environment. 2105 Molecular cell biology, metabolism, photosynthesis, membrane transport, quantum theory, spectroscopy, elasticity, waves, fluids, electricity and magnetism, linear algebra, genomics, probability theory. 2106: Gene regulation, signal transduction, development, motility, intramolecular forces, stochastic processes, optics and microscopy, materials science, analytical tools. Restricted to majors in the College of Science. Only by permission of the instructor. Pre: 1106, 1116 for 2105; 2105 for 2106. (6H,6C)

2115-2116: INTEGRATED SCIENCE LABORATORY II
Laboratory component of Integrated Science Curriculum where students conduct project-based interdisciplinary laboratories organized into content modules. 2115: tools of scientific research, measurements with tools of science, forensics and environmental analysis, nanoparticles, sensing and sensor. 2116: tools of scientific research, measuring with tools of science, geoscience, neuroscience, circuits and electricity & magnetism. Pre: 1116 for 2115; 2115 for 2116. Co: 2105 for 2115; 2106 for 2116. (6L,2C)

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

2994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (STL)

2304: LEGAL FOUNDATIONS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Study of process of civil litigation from commencement of lawsuit through final judgment under modern statutes and rules of court, special emphasis on intellectual property lawsuits; Introduction to US intellectual property law including copyrights, patents, trademarks & unfair competition and trade secrets; Commonalities and differences among different intellectual property rights and related state and federal doctrines; Introduction to legal research and writing. Pre: (ENGL 1105, ENGL 1106) or ENGL 1204. (3H,3C)

4304: PATENT LAW
The protection and enforcement of patent law, U.S. case law that interpret Sections 35 of the US Statutory Code; Analysis of the goals and cost of the patent law system; patentability requirements, infringement, remedies, patent prosecution issues, and patent transactions; Patent and intellectual property strategies. Pre: 2304. (2H,2C)

4314: CURRENT TOPICS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & LAW
This seminar course covers current developments, problems and cases at the intersection of science, technology, and law. Particular focus is placed on intellectual property law and on social, ethical and other legal issues prompted by new technologies and scientific advancements. Topics will include information privacy, fair use and plagiarism, patenting of life forms, stem cell research etc. Pre: 2304 or 4304 or 4324. (3H,3C)

4324: GLOBAL ASPECTS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
Comparative study of international intellectual property systems; international treaty arrangements for copyrights, patents and trademarks; protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in foreign markets; policy analysis of the globalized intellectual property system. Pre: senior standing. (3H,3C)

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

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