Natural Sciences, BS, Foundational Science Concentration

The Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics offer a Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences. This degree program offers the required subject matter content to prepare prospective science teachers to apply for subject matter certification in California by taking the California Subject Matter Examinations for Teachers (CSET) in Science.

The core courses in the BS in Natural Sciences offer a broad foundation in all four of the natural science areas (Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics), Engineering, and Mathematics. The disciplinary concentrations add depth preparation in one of the four areas, while the foundational science concentration adds credential coursework to this foundation. While this broad foundation has been developed for prospective teachers, it also serves as excellent preparation for employment in any area of business, industry or government where scientific skills are in demand. Please be aware that several courses in the core may require satisfactory scores on placement tests or completion of prerequisite courses.

The disciplinary concentrations in the BS in Natural Sciences consist of two components: I. Core Coursework, which all students complete, includes all four sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics. II. A Concentration consisting of additional courses within a specific science discipline (Biology, Chemistry, Geology or Physics).

The disciplinary concentrations prepare the candidate for the CSET Science exams, which consist of two exams: one covering breadth in science (Life Science, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Science, Engineering and Physics), and one covering depth in one of the science disciplines, corresponding to the concentration. Passage of the CSET in science is required to certify subject matter competency before entering a teacher credential program. Consult your advisor or the Department of Education for details on other entry requirements for pursuing a secondary teaching credential.

The foundational science concentration requires the same core coursework as the disciplinary concentrations, but the disciplinary concentration is replaced by teaching credential coursework. It has been developed for individuals seeking the Foundational Science Credential for Middle School and Junior High School science teachers.

The Foundational Science Concentration prepares the candidate for the CSET exam in Foundational Science, which consist of one exam covering breadth in science (Life Science, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Science, Engineering and Physics). This allows students to earn the Foundational Science Credential in a blended, 4-year program including both science and credential coursework (125 units). Please be advised that the Foundational Science Credential is intended only for teaching in grades 6-8. Additional appropriate post-baccalaureate coursework and CSET exams can be taken to add an authorization for High School level single subject certification.

Credential Program: Entry into the Credential Program requires a separate application. The CSET exam must be passed, and attendance of a Credential information session offered by the Department of Education is required for acceptance into the Credential Program; this will aid in the application process. Both of these should be done by the end of the Junior year. Prerequisite/Foundational credential courses should be taken during the junior year. Please consult an advisor for help with CSET and credential planning.

Optional Minors: Minors are highly recommended. Additional subject matter competency can be established via the CSET in the area of the minor, increasing versatility and job prospects of the prospective teacher. Please see the appropriate department for minor requirements. Students are especially encouraged to complete a minor in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Applied Statistics or Mathematics. For students pursuing science minors, up to eight lower division units from the core, in the same discipline as the minor, may be counted towards the minor, and it is strongly recommended that students select courses from the corresponding concentration, below, to satisfy the upper division requirements for science minors.