General Science


If you enjoy science and math and are interested in pursuing a science-related career, general science could be an ideal major. Alvernia’s general science program offers students insight into the intellectual and philosophical natures of science, and helps you develop the ability to select, adopt, evaluate and employ strategies and materials.

In this major, you’ll acquire a broad background in the sciences, enabling you to develop skills that relate to a variety of topics, ideas and experiences. You’ll study biology, chemistry, physics and earth science, and learn how science intersects with society.

We are extremely proud of our science programs and facilities at Alvernia. Science courses are taught in the O’Pake Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility with two floors of laboratory and classroom space, all offering the latest in educational technology.

As a general science major at Alvernia, you’ll learn much more than what is contained in textbooks. You’ll experience “real-world learning” that will enable you to link your classroom experiences to the larger community and, indeed, the world.


Why should you study general science at Alvernia University?
Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a setting that includes personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has an average 17:1 student-faculty ratio, with fewer than 20 students in most classes. This type of setting facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students and assures that you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. In small class settings faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed.

Research Opportunities
Alvernia offers opportunities for science students to work with faculty mentors on research projects relating to their areas of concentration. These collaborations prepare students for professions and/or graduate school.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides science students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

General science majors may have the opportunity to participate in an internship in a setting that relates to their area of interest. An internship sponsor will supervise your work.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at

Study Abroad
Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.

General science majors can benefit from participation in a Study Abroad program. Programs are available in countries including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Palestine, China and Mexico.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Study Abroad program at


Earning a degree in general science from Alvernia University can help to prepare you for a number of careers, as well as entrance to graduate school. If you’re interested in a health-related career, general science can prepare you for further study in medicine, dentistry, medical technology or occupational or physical therapy.

Science students at Alvernia have been accepted for graduate school at prestigious institutions including Villanova University, Lehigh University, Penn State University and Temple University Dental School.

Because general science provides a broad scientific background, it is beneficial to those who are interested in the neurosciences, environmental sciences or biophysical sciences. Combined with a minor or second major in English or communication, general science can prepare you for a writing career in science, natural history or technology. The major also can benefit students who want to teach elementary or middle school science.

Check out these websites for more information about science-related careers, career opportunities and news of the scientific community.

For more information about Alvernia’s general science program, contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or


All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

Courses required for general science majors are:
BIO 103 Principles of Biology I
BIO 104 Principles of Biology II
CHE 104 General Chemistry I
CHE 105 General Chemistry II
CHE 107 Laboratory Safety
CHE 110 General Chemistry I Lab
CHE 111 General Chemistry II Lab
CHE 402 Seminar
MAT 131 Precalculus Mathematics
MAT 209 Probability and Statistics
PHY 103 Earth Science
PHY 110 General Physics I
PHY 111 General Physics II
CIS 114 Microcomputer Applications
3 credits in research and independent study

General Science Elective Requirements
You must complete between 10 and 14 credits in the area of either biology, chemistry or physics as an area of concentration.

General Science Minor Requirements (19-23 Credits)
Choose two of the following:
BIO 103 Principles of Biology I
BIO 104 Principles of Biology II
BIO 109 Human Biology
BIO 203 Biosphere

Choose two of the following:
CHE 102 Physical Science
CHE 103 Science and Contemporary Society
CHE 106 Fundamentals of Chemistry

Choose two of the following:
PHY 103 Earth Science
PHY 106 Ideas of Physics
PHY 110 General Physics I
PHY 111 General Physics II

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2016-2017 Academic Course Catalogue at

Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. You can find out more about real world learning at

As a general science major, you may have the opportunity to participate in an internship with an applicable organization. Internship opportunities through Alvernia University may be available with:

  • Clinical Laboratories, Inc.\
  • Drug Scan
  • Lancaster Laboratories
  • Puritan Products, Inc.
  • Reading Hospital

Research Opportunities
General science majors are required to complete a one semester research/independent study course. Faculty members in Alvernia’s science department have professional experience in a variety of areas, and can help you decide what kind of project would be most beneficial to your career goals.

Faculty members who teach in Alvernia’s science department participate in a wide range of research, and enjoy assisting students with ongoing research projects. You can visit the science faculty pages to learn more about research that might match your interests.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alvernia’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at

The Eight-Semester Plan
You can do it! It’s easy to stay on track to graduate in four years if you pay close attention to what classes you need and make sure to take them in a timely manner. Advisors are available to assist in planning academic programs, course selection and registration, but it’s your job to make sure that you meet all academic requirements and comply with University policies.

Academic programs vary among students, so work with your academic advisor to assure that you complete applicable courses and meet the requirements necessary to assure that you graduate on time.

Study Opportunities beyond Campus
Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that will change your life. Alvernia offers some great opportunities for students who want to spend some time studying beyond its campus.

The Washington Center
The University’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service manages a relationship with The Washington Center, an organization that offers residential academic programs and internships in the nation’s capital.

If you participate in The Washington Center program, you might be placed in an internship in a science-based organization, government agency or non-profit organization. You can learn more about the Washington Center and opportunities there at

Study Abroad Programs
Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Students have studied and traveled in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco, Palestine and China.

You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at or by contacting

Year-by-Year Major Map


Think Globally

  • Explore opportunities for study abroad, alternative break trips, pilgrimage to Assisi, the Washington Center and service trips
  • Start at the Study Abroad Office or

Take the Right Classes

  • Review general education, University and major requirements
  • Be aware of which semester required courses are offered
  • Focus on getting good grades

Get Good Advice

  • Get to know Science Department faculty and your advisor
  • Visit the Educational Planning Center on the first floor of Bernardine Hall

Real Life Learning

  • Explore opportunities for upcoming internships and research opportunities
  • Utilize skills acquired in First Year Experience

Make the Right Connections

  • Identify peers that support your academic goals
  • Get involved with the Environmental Club, the Pre-Health Professions Club, the Science Association and/or other student clubs, along with community organizations

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Develop a working resume
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Begin the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


Think Globally

  • Review opportunities for extended learning and, if interested, start planning with the Study Abroad Office

Take the Right Classes

  • Focus on getting good grades
  • Work with your advisor to make sure you’re taking the classes you need in the semester they’re offered

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to Science faculty and your advisor about your area(s) of interest within the field of general science
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Work with your advisor on selecting an internship (if applicable) for your junior year

Real Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program\
  • Shadow in jobs that relate to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Volunteer for community service
  • Stay involved in clubs and organizations
  • Observe the roles of those in leadership positions
  • Form study groups

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Update your working resume
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Complete the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


Think Globally

  • Participate in Study Abroad program, if feasible
  • Participate in service trips or “May”mester

Take the Right Classes

  • Finalize your plans for your internship, if applicable
  • Work with faculty to select an appropriate research topic, if applicable
  • Focus on getting good grades and improving GPA
  • Work with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Get familiar with, a career services library available on Educational Planning Center’s website

Real Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that relate to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Assume leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in your field
  • Attend Science Department events

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Get feedback on working resume from Educational Planning Center
  • Get resume ready for practicum applications and job fair
  • Work on getting recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Look for coaching opportunities


Think Globally

  • Look for service opportunities

Take the Right Classes

  • Complete individual research project, if applicable
  • Complete internship, if applicable

Get Good Advice

  • Work closely with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center.
  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Ask for advice from professionals in your area of interest

Real Life Learning

  • Look for opportunities to gain additional experience in your areas of interest within the field of general science

Make the Right Connections

  • Continue in leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in my field – attend Alumni Mixer
  • Meet professionals in the community who work in your area of interest

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Fine tune your resume
  • Search for jobs through
  • Finalize recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Attend the Alvernia Job Fair

Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at, or by emailing

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at or by emailing

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the general science program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-ALVERNIA or at An admissions counselor who specializes in helping science students and can answer any questions you might have.

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s science program is staffed by dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are leaders in their fields and committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience.

Many faculty members in the science program are actively engaged in research, and some encourage students to work with them on research projects. All enjoy working with students on students’ individual research projects.

In addition, Alvernia faculty members have written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications, and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences.

You can learn much more about Alvernia’s Science Department faculty members at


There is so much more to college than classes. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy include:

  • Beta Kappa Chi is the Science Honor Society, with more than 66,000 members in 67 chapters at colleges and university across the United States. You’ll meet like-minded people who are interested in advancing scientific education and high scholarship in pure and applied science. Acceptance into an honor society can be very advantageous, so it’s something you might consider. You can learn more about Beta Kappa Chi at

  • The Environmental Club is committed to maintaining the temperate deciduous forest, riparian and freshwater ecosystem that surround Alvernia. The club works to recruit new members, educate the public and sponsor events that call attention to environmental issues. Events include trail clean-up days, Eco-Fun day and public speaker seminars. Learn more about the Environmental Club at

  • The Pre-Health Professions Club at Alvernia is for students who are working toward future careers in health professions. It provides opportunities for sharing ideas and information and gaining support from students who share your interests and concerns. Learn more at

  • The Science Association will enable you to experience the advantages of interacting with others who share your scientific interests. It provides opportunities to prepare and present technical materials before science-oriented audiences, and is intended to foster a professional spirit among members. You can learn more about this club

  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. It partners with a variety of organizations to provide opportunities for service for students. Activities have included helping in an after-school program for city children, spreading stone in Nolde State Forest and counting brown bats at Blue Marsh Lake. Learn more at

  • While these are organizations that may be of particular interest to Biochemistry majors, there are many other ways to become involved, both on and off campus. You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at

General science students at Alvernia have found careers such as:

  • Agricultural specialist
  • Consumer protection specialist
  • Environmental health specialist
  • Food and drug analyst
  • Laboratory assistant
  • Occupational safety specialist
  • Quality assurance manager
  • Science lab technician

general science

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