Departments, Schools and Degree Programs
Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
Aims and Objectives
The Ray P. Authement College of Sciences takes as its primary missions the advancement of scientific knowledge through research and the extension of the scientific heritage through teaching. Its undergraduate programs are designed to provide both a broad general educational background and an intense concentration in a particular scientific discipline; in some cases, the curricula are structured to include specific courses necessary for admission to graduate or professional schools.
Undergraduate Degree Requirements
Areas of Specialization
Four undergraduate degree programs are offered: biology, microbiology, resource biology and biodiversity, and environmental sciences. These curricula are sufficiently flexible that a student can choose to emphasize areas such as botany, marine biology, wildlife biology, or zoology. The research and instructional programs in the biological sciences are greatly enhanced by the University’s Microscopy Center and Center for Ecology and Environmental Technology; the National Wetlands Research Center, the Estuarine and Coastal Habitats Center, and other federal research facilities in the University’s Research Park; and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, which sponsors summer field courses and other research opportunities.
The College’s programs in computer science, informatics and mathematics strive for a balance between theory and application; they are complemented by courses in related fields such as business, engineering, and statistics. Modern technology plays an important role in the mathematics, informatics and computer science programs: Students use graphing calculators, a variety of computers, and the latest hardware and software for computation, visualization, and program development.
The faculties of chemistry and physics encourage individual study and research experiences for undergraduates, as well as the necessary and traditional lecture and laboratory courses. Instructional and research projects are supported by several interdisciplinary laboratories, including the Louisiana Accelerator Center with its ion beam capabilities. Because the principles of chemistry and physics are so universal, students often select one of them as a major to prepare for careers in areas such as medicine, law, environmental studies, and business management.
Students may concentrate in either petroleum/resource geology or hydrogeology/environmental geology. Both concentrations feature courses in all the major aspects of geology; field experiences; and opportunities for work in the department’s X-ray analysis laboratory, other research laboratories and centers, and the local petroleum industry.
Professional School Preparation
Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine
Schools of medicine and dentistry usually require that a student complete an undergraduate degree program (as well as specific courses) before beginning professional studies, although no particular major is required. Biological sciences and chemistry are the most popular pre-professional majors, but students with degrees in other areas are successful in gaining admission to these schools. The College’s Pre-Professional Committee provides advising, mentoring, and special programs for students preparing for medical or dental school. The two-year pre-veterinary program housed in Biology provides course work and advising for those students preparing for veterinary school.
The physical therapy program administered by the Louisiana State University School of Medicine is a graduate-level program leading to a Master’s degree; students must have earned an undergraduate degree before enrolling. The College has a special advisor in the Department of Biology to assist students in planning an appropriate course of study.
Allied Health Professions
Many schools in allied health fields have admissions requirements involving good performance in specified preparatory courses, but do not require undergraduate degrees. The College has established transfer programs, based on current admissions standards at schools in Louisiana, in medical technology, pharmacy, and occupational therapy. The College also assists students in planning a schedule of courses to meet the requirements of other professional programs, such as those leading to certification as a physician assistant. In such cases, the student should obtain a catalog from the school that he or she plans to attend and consult with an advisor to plan the preparatory course of study.
The Undeclared Science curriculum is a temporary option for a student who has not yet decided on a specific degree or preparatory program. The College provides special advisors for undeclared students to assist them in selecting courses and in deciding on career goals. It is expected that students will enroll in the Undeclared Science major for at most one academic year.
Admission and Continuation
The College does not impose admission or continuation requirements beyond those prescribed by the University, although such additional requirements may be imposed by a particular department.
Curriculum and Course Requirements
Specific requirements pertaining to particular programs or courses are detailed in the curriculum listings and course descriptions in this Catalog. Students should take careful note of the University regulation that a student must have upper division status in order to register in any 400-level course.
Transfers and Re-entries
The College does not impose admissions requirements for transfer students beyond those specified by the University. When a student transfers into the College from another institution, the Office of Admissions determines which credits can be accepted by the University. The major department, in consultation with the dean as necessary, then evaluates the student’s academic record to decide which of these credits are to be used to fulfill program requirements. The student may be asked to provide the department copies of course descriptions from previous institutions.
A student who transfers into the College from another college at UL Lafayette, who reenters the University after having been out for more than one regular semester, or who changes from one major to another within the College must follow the provisions of the Catalog in effect at the time of the transfer or change of major.
Courses Taken at Other Institutions
A UL Lafayette student who wishes to take courses at another institution must obtain approval in advance from the major department and the dean to insure that such credits can be applied to degree requirements. Forms for this purpose are available from the Registrar. It may be necessary for the student to provide official course descriptions from the other institution. The University’s “repeat rule” provides that a grade earned at another institution may not be counted as a repeat of a course taken at UL Lafayette.
The University requires completion of at least forty-five semester hours of upper level courses to earn an undergraduate degree. For the purposes of satisfying this requirement, the level of a course is determined by its level at the institution where it was taken, and not by the level of a UL Lafayette course to which it is “equivalent”.
Upper Division Requirements
The College requires 24 hours completed that are applicable to the University Core Requirements including 6 hours of mathematics, 3 hours of science, 6 hours of English, and a 2.3 GPA in the major area of study.
Specific Degree Requirements of the College
A general University degree requirement is that a student must have an adjusted grade point average of at least 2.0 in all course work. The College requires an adjusted grade point average of at least 2.3 for all courses in the major field of study. Some departments have additional grade requirements.
The College expects that students earning degrees from UL Lafayette will take substantial course work in the major field at this institution; therefore, each department has established minimum requirements in this regard. The University’s general residency requirements may be found elsewhere in this Catalog.
All elective courses, except those listed as Free Electives, must be approved by the student’s advisor. Courses that are explicitly or implicitly prerequisite to courses required in the curriculum may not be applied toward degree requirements. No more than four semester hours of physical education activity (PEDA) courses may be used to satisfy degree requirements.
Electives should be selected carefully. In particular, the Louisiana Board of Regents and the University have established distributional requirements (see the section of this Catalog titled “Core Curriculum”). Also, electives may need to be chosen at the 300- or 400-level to satisfy the University’s requirement of at least forty-five semester hours of upper level courses.
College and department electives are to be chosen from among appropriate course offerings of the indicated college or department. Unless otherwise specified, area electives are to be chosen as shown below. Note that in some cases, electives to satisfy core curriculum requirements must be selected from an approved list.
Arts (ART): Courses in art, architecture, dance, music, or theater.
Behavioral Sciences (BHSC): Courses in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology.
Humanities (HUMN): Approved courses in English, foreign languages, history, humanities, or philosophy.
Literature (LIT): Literature courses given by the Department of English, the Department of Foreign Languages, the Honors Program, or the Humanities Program.
Sciences (SCI): Courses in biology, chemistry, informatics, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics, or statistics and some environmental science.
A formal degree plan endorsed by the student’s advisor must be submitted to the College office by the semester immediately preceding the semester in which degree requirements are expected to be completed. Once this degree plan has been accepted by the dean, any change must be approved in advance by the advisor and the dean. The necessary degree plan and substitution forms are available from advisors or department offices.
The maximum period for which the requirements and curriculum of a given Catalog are valid is six years. A student who started in a degree program more than six years before completing degree requirements must follow the provisions of the current Catalog.
Minor or Area of Concentration
As part of the course of studies leading to an undergraduate degree in the College, a student must complete a minor in an academic discipline or an area of concentration. The minimum course requirement in the minor is eighteen semester hours, including advanced (300-or 400- level) courses; in some disciplines the minor may require more than eighteen hours or completion of particular courses. If a student changes major, then the courses required for a minor may also change. Students desiring a minor from another college must contact their academic advisor for guidance in the proper procedure to obtain approval prior to starting the minor course work. In order for the minor to appear on the student’s final transcript, the specific minor discipline or area of concentration and the required sequence of courses must first be made in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Approval of a completed application for official minor form, as well as the degree plan, will be made by the Dean’s office one semester prior to anticipated graduation semester. The minor will be awarded at the time of graduation. The following is a list of approved official minors for the College. The complete description of coursework necessary to complete these minors if available in the Dean’s office.
College of Sciences Official Minors: