A UAH undergraduate who discovers that his or her interests don’t coincide with one of the departmental majors in the College of Science may propose an individualized science major which would allow the student to create a program of study appropriate for his or her individual educational and career goals. The student will need a clear concept of what his or her college degree is to accomplish.
Some examples of individualized science majors are biochemistry, biophysics, mathematical biology, astrophysical modeling, computational chemistry, environmentally sustainable systems, climate change, medical physics, and many others.
The primary objective of the program is to encourage students to think deeply about their career goals and make it possible for students to tailor their education in order to achieve those goals. A second objective is to ensure graduates of the program acquire a solid understanding, an undergraduate level, of an interdisciplinary area of science or mathematics. The third objective is to allow students to stay abreast of changes in the employment marketplace for science and mathematics graduates.
Graduates with Individualized Bachelor of Science degrees will demonstrate:
- Knowledge in an existing core major offered by the College of Science
- Ability to write in a scholarly manner
- Capability to work collaboratively to achieve academic and career goals
The IBS degree consists of courses offered through the departments of the College of Science and other University departments. Every individualized degree with be built around a core of seven classes from an existing major in the College of Science.
The core plus courses from no more than three other departments (disciplines), not counting honors seminars, will account for a minimum of 54 semester hours. The course work in the additional disciplines will range from a low of 7 courses to a high of 11 courses depending on the number of semester hours for the selected courses.
A student must have earned at least 32 semester hours at UAH, with a grade point average of at least 3.0, before being admitted to the individualized major. However, the student must be admitted to the program no later than the first semester of the junior year. The student will work with a faculty mentor to develop a proposal consisting of an essay clearly explaining the area of intellectual focus, a statement of why the student requires an individualized science major in preference to a traditional major, a discussion of how the proposed coursework relates to the central focus of the program of study, and a description of the student’s goals beyond the bachelor’s degree. Consult with an Academic Advisor.