Area of Study Guidelines: Science, Mathematics, and Technology for Students Matriculating After Jan. 1, 2009 Policy

Area of Study Guidelines: Science, Mathematics, and Technology for Students Matriculating After Jan. 1, 2009 Policy


Academic Affairs


Vice Provost





Effective Date:


Implementation History:


Area of study guidelines; Science, Mathematics, and Technology

Background Information:


To provide context for the area of study guidelines for area of study Science, Mathematics, and Technology.


Area of Study Guidelines: This set of guidelines helps students plan their degree plans by spelling out what the academic world and many employers understand a particular concentration to mean. The guidelines are found in many academic publications.

Disciplinary — A program of study guided by the existing framework of a discipline.

Interdisciplinary — The simultaneous and interrelated study of two or more disciplines.

Problem Oriented — A program of study organized around a problem.

Professional/Vocational — A study which focuses on acquiring knowledge and skills needed for specific career performance and applications. It also entails inquiry into the conceptual foundations of the profession, the role of the professional in that career, and the relations between the profession and society at large.

Thematic — A program of study focusing on a particular theme or set of ideas.


Program Goals

Concentrations in Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) may include work in the natural sciences (physics, chemistry and biology), mathematics, computer science and a range of technological, applied science and health-related fields. Organizing frameworks may be disciplinary, interdisciplinary, thematic,
problem oriented or professional/vocational.

Since knowledge in Science, Mathematics and Technology is rapidly and continually evolving, students must develop an awareness of the field or area as an ongoing area of inquiry, including knowledge of recent developments. They should develop skills for acquiring knowledge independently, in order to avoid
scientific and technological obsolescence.

SMT degrees should demonstrate both breadth and depth. Degrees should be designed to provide the student with an understanding of the definition and
scope of a field or area, including its fundamental laws and concepts. SMT students should also pursue a progression of study that leads to the
development of in-depth knowledge and skills, and an increasingly critical and sophisticated understanding of the theoretical and conceptual models of the

Program Objectives

Students with degree programs in Science, Mathematics and Technology should demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the definition and scope of a field or area including its fundamental laws and concepts, including:
    • A working knowledge of the vocabulary of a field
    • An understanding of fundamental principles by applying them to a variety of problems or situations
  • Basic competencies needed to work in Science, Mathematics or Technology, such as:
    • Working knowledge of needed experimental techniques, including data acquisition
      and interpretation
    • Working knowledge of needed mathematics
    • Communication skills appropriate to their fields including reading, writing,
      and presentation skills
    • Familiarity with established computer applications to the particular field of
  • A critical perspective that allows them to compare and evaluate theories, models and experimental work.
  • An awareness of the wider context in which science andtechnology operate, i.e. understand the relationships between science, technology, and society.

Additional specific guidelines have been developed for concentrations in the following areas:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • computer
  • science
  • information systems
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • information technology
  • technology

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Introduction to the Area of Study Guidelines

Area of Study: Science, Mathematics, and Technology Guidelines for Students Matriculated Before January 1, 2009

College Learning Goals Policy