Nov 30, 2023  
2012-2013 General Catalog 
2012-2013 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Science



Associate Dean for Student Services

Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services

Senior Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration

Assistant to the Dean




OFFICE 336 Hatcher Hall
TELEPHONE 225-578-4200
FAX 225-578-8826

The College of Science offers preparation for careers in biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, geology and geophysics, mathematics, microbiology, and physics and astronomy. Students are also provided with strong academic backgrounds for professional study in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and many other careers that require in-depth study of science and mathematics.

The departments within the college, the various curricula, and the degrees that may be earned are shown in the chapter, “Academic Programs.” These curricula provide broad general education as well as knowledge of the structure of science. Students in the college may also choose curricula that provide pre-medical or pre-dental preparation, including curricula in biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry with a pre-professional concentration, computer science with a life sciences concentration, and physics with a medical physics concentration. Classroom and laboratory study may be supplemented by contact with active research programs.

The Department of Computer Science offers work leading to the bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in computer science and is a participating department in the University’s graduate program leading to the Master of Science in Systems Science degree. The other departments of the college offer work leading to the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Degree Programs

All undergraduate degrees in the College of Science are Bachelor of Science degrees. The following programs are offered by the College of Science:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

For specific information concerning undergraduate degree programs, refer to the curricula offered by the departments on the following pages. Detailed information about graduate degree programs may be obtained from the Graduate School • Professional Programs section.

Admission Requirements

Students who contemplate entering this college should give special attention to the mathematics and science courses they select and should consult a representative of the department they plan to enter prior to completing their initial registration.

Students will be admitted to the college when they:

  • have earned 24 or more semester hours of credit in courses numbered 1000 or above;
  • have maintained a grade point average of at least 2.00 on both LSU and cumulative averages;
  • have passed all courses in mathematics and science with grades of “C” or better or received special approval of the dean of the college;
  • have passed ENGL 1001  or the equivalent with a grade of “C” or better;
  • have earned credit in either MATH 1022 , MATH 1023 , MATH 1550  or MATH 1551  with a grade of “C” or better.
  • entry into any of the three majors (biochemistry, biological sciences, and microbiology) in the Department of Biological Sciences requires earned credit in BIOL 1201  and BIOL 1202 ; CHEM 1201 ; and MATH 1550 .
  • entry into any of the four secondary education concentrations (biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, or physics) requires a 2.50 LSU and cumulative GPA and passing scores on the PRAXIS I assessments or minimum ACT composite of 22 or minimum SAT composite of 1030.

Students transferring from another institution must meet university transfer admission requirements. Transfer students must also meet the current admission requirements of the senior college and receive approval of the dean of the college.

Students who, after initial enrollment in this college, wish to obtain credits from colleges or universities other than LSU and who plan to offer such credits toward their degree requirements must obtain prior approval from the dean on a specific-course basis.

Degree Requirements of the College

The college offers the bachelor’s degree in curricula designed to give students a thorough education in a particular scientific discipline. In addition, a core of material representing a broad exposure to the human cultural heritage is an integral part of the curricula in the college. That core consists of the following course work:

English • Nine semester hours including ENGL 1001 , ENGL 2000  and three hours chosen from 2000 level or above English or Honors courses from the general education humanities list. Some curricula require an additional three hours in English.

Mathematics • A minimum of five semester hours of calculus (MATH 1550 ). Most curricula require additional credits in mathematics. Degree credit will not be allowed for mathematics courses numbered below 1550.

Foreign Language • Students may satisfy the college foreign language requirement by passing four semester hours in foreign language. Some curricula require eight semester hours in a single foreign language.

International students whose native language is not English and who did not attend an English-speaking high school may satisfy the foreign language requirement as follows:

  • As shown above (in a language other than the student’s native language); or
  • By passing six to nine hours (depending on curricula) in his or her native language in courses that may be taken for credit by native speakers of the language; or
  • By taking six to nine hours (depending on curricula) of English and/or speech (CMST) above the minimum requirements in the curriculum for the BS degree. The courses must be pre-approved by the dean and must be taken at LSU. At least three hours must be at the 2000 level or above.

Sciences • Eleven hours including a two-semester sequence of study in a biological science or a physical science and a one-semester course in the alternative field not chosen for the one-year requirement. Courses selected to meet this requirement must be chosen from courses offered by departments in the College of Science.

Social Sciences and Humanities • These hours are in addition to the English and foreign language requirements described above. Nine to twelve hours of the required social sciences/humanities courses must be chosen from the list of general education courses in the following way: three hours in the arts, three hours in the humanities (depending on the curriculum), and six hours in the social sciences.

Academic Policy • Following is a listing of the more important academic policies of the college offered to guide students toward degrees.

  • All students must complete a program of study established by the department concerned and approved by the faculty and the dean of the college.
  • No curriculum in the college requires less than 120 semester hours; some curricula require more. Students in all degree programs of the college must earn at least 24 of the last 30 semester hours offered toward their degrees as registrants in the College of Science at LSU. The University requires that all candidates for the bachelor’s degree must fulfill a minimum residence requirement of at least 25 percent of the total number of hours required for the degree at this university.
  • Students in all degree programs of the college must earn in residence on the LSU campus (Baton Rouge) at least 18 of the hours offered toward their degrees in courses offered by departments in the College of Science. In all degree programs, at least nine of these 18 hours must be in courses numbered above 3000 and offered by the department administering the major program. Students majoring in the Biological Sciences Department must have nine semester hours in courses numbered above 3000 in their major. Research courses cannot be used in the residence requirement of nine hours numbered above 3000. A maximum of three semester hours in research courses may be used in the 18-hour residence requirement. Courses used to satisfy all residence requirements must be passed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Distance program courses and courses in which credit was earned through credit examination may not be used to satisfy the college residence requirement.
  • The following courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or better: (1) all required science, computer science, and mathematics courses; (2) all restricted, second discipline, and advanced sciences electives; and (3) ENGL 1001  and ENGL 2000 . If a student makes a “D” or “F” in a course requiring a “C,” the course must be taken and not dropped the next semester the student is in residence and the course is offered.
  • Nonparticipation courses in kinesiology may be taken for elective credit. A maximum of three semester hours will be allowed in kinesiology participation (activity) courses. Twelve semester hours of ROTC may be allowed for degree credit, with no more than six of the twelve semester hours in courses numbered below 3000. However, the sum of basic (1000/2000 level) ROTC course credits and kinesiology activity course credits allowed toward the degree may not exceed six semester hours.
  • Students are expected to make reasonable and satisfactory progress in a degree program. Consequently, sequential scheduling of courses in the major field is necessary, and required courses in English and mathematics must be scheduled each semester until they are satisfactorily passed. If necessary, a required course may be dropped once, but normally, not a second time.
  • Application for the bachelor’s degree must be made in writing and approved by the dean of the college during the semester prior to the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.
  • In order to meet graduation requirements, students must have a 2.00 on both the LSU and cumulative grade point average. A 2.50 LSU and cumulative grade point average is required for students graduating in any of the secondary education concentrations.

Earning Two Degrees or one Degree with Two Majors

With the dean’s approval, a student may be enrolled in two bachelor’s degree programs concurrently and thereby either earn two degrees, or earn one degree with two majors listed on the transcript, provided all requirements are completed as of the same commencement.

A student may earn one degree, with two majors listed on the transcript, by completing the residence and academic requirements for each major and the degree program to which it belongs. The student may earn two degrees by, in addition, earning 30 hours more than required for the degree that requires the fewer number of hours.

If the two programs are in different colleges, then the student must be accepted for admission to both colleges and must adhere to the regulations of both colleges. The student must declare a home college, where registration will be initiated and permanent files maintained, and must maintain contact with the second college to ensure that satisfactory progress is being made toward the requirements of its degree program.

College Probation

A student in the College of Science who fails to earn a 2.00 semester average in a regular semester or a summer term will be placed on college probation. In addition, students who fail to meet the college academic requirements noted in the section on degree requirements, or who enter the college with deficiencies may be placed on college probation. At the discretion of the dean, a student who is on college probation and fails to meet the academic requirements, including earning a 2.00 or better semester average, may be declared ineligible to continue in the college. A student on college probation who does earn a 2.00 or better semester GPA, who remediates course deficiencies, and who makes satisfactory progress in the degree program will be removed from college probation.

Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Counseling

Counselors are available to help students with applications to medical and dental schools. This application process begins one and one-half years prior to professional school entry. Information regarding the pre-medical/pre-dental program at LSU and the professional school application process is available at the following 

The College of Science sponsors a Pre-medical/Pre-dental Review Committee that provides letters of evaluation for LSU students applying to professional schools. Students wishing to use the services of the LSU Pre-medical/Pre-dental Review Committee must: (1) have a minimum 3.0 cumulative and science GPA, (2) have been enrolled on the LSU main campus as a full time student for the two semesters preceding the committee review, (3) attend mandatory informational meetings, and (4) meet all registration deadlines.

Further information about the committee procedures and requirements may be obtained in the dean’s office, 351 Hatcher Hall.

Pass-Fail Option

Students in the College of Science may register for courses in the college on a pass-fail basis under the following conditions:

  • Only students with a 2.50 average or better may participate.
  • Only free elective courses may be taken on a pass-fail basis. Required courses, restricted electives, and courses germane to the major and the career for which the student is preparing may not be taken on a pass-fail basis. Registration for a course on a pass-fail basis will not be permitted until the required work in the same area has been satisfactorily completed. A student may not take courses offered by the Honors College on a pass-fail basis.
  • Eligible students may take one course per semester up to a total of 12 hours toward the degree on a pass-fail basis.
  • A student must have permission (by signatures on a petition form) from the dean of this college, the instructor of the course, and the student’s department chair.
  • Pass-fail registration must be completed before the final day for adding courses.

Students from other colleges who wish to register for courses in this college on a pass-fail basis will present a petition form to the dean of the college. If the petition is approved, the student will then present the form to the instructor concerned for the appropriate action.

Courses offered by the College of Science that are required in a student’s curriculum or are normally considered important in preparation for the student’s career will not be approved on a pass-fail basis.

Distance Program Credit and Intersession Credit

Distance program credit may be accepted toward meeting degree requirements only with approval of the dean of the college and may not exceed a total of 12 hours.

Students in residence may take distance program credit only in exceptional cases (e.g., conflicts between single sections of required courses) and with specific approval of the dean of the college.

Students may not be enrolled in distance program credit the semester they intend to graduate.

Students in the College of Science may not register for more than three semester hours of credit during Intersession without approval of the dean.

Student Responsibility

Students in this college bear final responsibility for selection of their academic programs and adherence to all published regulations and requirements of the college and the University. Each student must see his or her counselor in the college office for a final degree checkout during the semester prior to the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.

Minor Field Requirements (Optional)

A student in the College of Science may earn a minor in a second field under the following conditions:

  • The minor must include at least 17 semester hours of course work, of which at least six semester hours must be taken on this campus and at least three of the six hours must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.
  • Each course used in the minor must be passed with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Courses used for the minor may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.
  • All minors must be approved by the dean.

The department offering the minor may impose additional requirements; the specific requirements of the department must be stated in the catalog.

Students in other colleges who wish to obtain a minor in one of the departments of the College of Science must meet the same requirements listed above.

Teacher Preparation Program for Grades 6-12

The departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics & Astronomy offer undergraduate degree programs with an area of concentration in secondary education (middle school and high school). Students in the program may receive a BS in biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics, or physics and qualify for teacher certification. The curricula have been developed cooperatively with faculty in the College of Human Sciences and Education and include courses taught jointly by faculty in the College of Science and the College of Human Sciences and Education. Students completing these degree programs and meeting any additional requirements of the Louisiana Department of Education will be eligible for certification in the state of Louisiana as teachers in grades 6-12.

The following requirements pertain to students enrolled in the secondary education concentration:

Admissions Requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative and LSU grade point average of 2.50
  • Passing scores on all parts of the Praxis I Series or minimum ACT composite score of 22 or minimum SAT composite score of 1030

Retention Requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative and LSU Grade point average of 2.50 for entry into and continuation in upper-level (3000/4000) level education courses, including student teaching

Degree Requirements:

  • Satisfactory completion of an approved program of study as determined by all of the following: faculty of the college in which the major/concentration resides, the University, the LSU P-12 Education Advisory Council, and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Minimum cumulative and LSU GPA of 2.50 on all work completed
  • Passing scores on all required parts of the Praxis II Series
  • Grade of “C” or higher in course work as specified by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

A second option for students interested in middle/high school science teaching is to pursue a traditional bachelor’s degree in science and then complete a master’s degree in the LSU College of Human Sciences and Education. The master’s degree program (Holmes Program) begins in June and requires 12 consecutive months of course work and classroom experience leading to both the master’s degree and teaching certification. Information about the program and potential scholarship assistance is available through the College of Human Sciences and Education, Office of Student Services.

Phi Beta Kappa

Seniors and juniors with GPA of at least 3.60 and 3.90, respectively, are considered for membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest scholastic honor society in the United States. Excellence in a variety of intellectual disciplines, rather than proficiency in a single field of study, is the major criterion for election.

The academic record should include satisfactory completion of the general education requirement, including two courses in English or American literature or literature in a foreign language (if not the major field); six-hour sequences in both a life science and a physical science, with an additional two hours of related laboratory work in one of these fields; upper division courses (3000 level or above) in at least two different humanities or social sciences outside the major; and electives that show a commitment to a liberal education.

Sophomores and juniors with high GPAs should consult with Phi Beta Kappa officers or college counselors for more specific information. Specific requirements are described on the Phi Beta Kappa website

Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. Its chapters are on nearly 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Each year, approximately 30,000 members are initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, writer John Grisham, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, and Netscape founder James Barksdale. The LSU chapter was founded in 1930 as the 43rd chapter in the nation.

The mission of Phi Kappa Phi is to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others. Phi Kappa Phi is unique because it recognizes superior scholarship in all academic fields, rather than restricting membership to a limited field. Juniors in the top 7.5 percent and seniors and graduate students in the top 10 percent of their classes may be invited to become members of Phi Kappa Phi. New LSU Phi Kappa Phi members are initiated and honored in the spring semester each year and wear identifying ribbons on their academic gowns at commencement exercises. Additional information about the Society may be found at

Departments and Curricula

Department of Biological Sciences

Go to information for Department of Biological Sciences.




Department of Chemistry

Go to information for Department of Chemistry.




Department of Computer Science

Go to information for Department of Computer Science.




Department of Geology & Geophysics

Go to information for Department of Geology & Geophysics.




Department of Mathematics

Go to information for Department of Mathematics.




Department of Physics & Astronomy

Go to information for Department of Physics & Astronomy.




Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)