Natural Sciences, Division of


The Division of Natural Sciences fulfills a two-fold purpose, preparing its majors for careers as science professionals and providing all students the grounding in the scientific awareness vital for being a citizen in the modern world and participating in a democracy.

To meet the first purpose, the six departments in the division offer rigorous programs in biology, chemistry, geosciences, physics, mathematics, and computer science and computer engineering. Inquiry-based learning is emphasized in laboratories, research courses, and capstone projects. The division-wide undergraduate research program supports one-on-one investigations with faculty in which students are immersed in all aspects of actually “doing” science.

To meet the second purpose, both major and non-major courses address the basic philosophy and methodologies of science. This encourages an awareness of the limitations of science as well as an appreciation for its benefits. Courses also attempt to place science and technology in its larger socio-cultural context, the connecting developments in one discipline with those in another and with influences outside the sciences.

Regardless of their major, students will find in the Natural Sciences Division a faculty devoted to teaching. Opportunities for close interactions abound, and the development of the whole person is a central concern.

As a division within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Natural Sciences offers major programs in each department leading to B.A. and B.S. degrees, minor programs, and core courses that fulfill General Education elements. The departments provide supporting courses for interdisciplinary programs within the sciences and for other schools of the university. Courses for B.A. in Education degrees with majors and minors in the natural sciences are available; see the Department of Education section of this catalog for the specific degree requirements. See also the sections on Environmental Studies and on the Health Sciences (located in the Pre-Professional Programs section) for related programs.

Descriptions of specific course offerings and degree requirements offered within the Division of Natural Sciences are listed under:

Computer Science
Computer Engineering

The following course is offered under Natural Sciences. Other courses suitable for satisfying General Education (GenEd) program elements may be found in the listings for each of the departments in the division.

NSCI 210 : Natural History of Hawaii - NS, SM

The Hawaiian Islands are an active museum of geology and tropical island plant and animal life. The islands, the most isolated in the world, have native plants and animals - 95 percent of which occur nowhere else. Students are expected to participate actively in daily lectures and fieldwork involving the geologic formation of Hawaii and its subsequent population by plants and animals, stressing the impact of human intervention. (4)