Why Study Natural Sciences at New College?

If you have a broad-based interest in the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, math, bioinformatics, scientific history and more, then our Natural Sciences AOC is for you. The freedom to pursue your own special interests and goals, the opportunity to take a more interdisciplinary approach to the sciences, and the ability work alongside a broad sampling of our highly-acclaimed faculty are three reasons why students choose our Natural Sciences AOC.

Natural Sciences area of concentration

The Natural Sciences faculty have agreed that a student who earns “Natural Sciences” as an Area of Concentration should have a diverse enough background to be reasonably called a natural scientist and, at the same time, should have attained some level of mastery in one of the following disciplines: biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics or physics.

More than any of the more specialized programs we offer in the sciences, our Natural Sciences AOC allows you the flexibility to work with your faculty advisor in designing a course of study that matches your specific interests and goals. You won’t explore areas as deeply as you would in say, Chemistry, but you will enjoy unparalleled breadth, which is one of the reasons this program is so popular with pre-med and pre-dentistry students, as well as with students interested in environmental law and other professional areas where a broad-based familiarity and understanding of the sciences is needed.

An additional benefit to our Natural Sciences AOC is that it allows students to take classes with our expert faculty from a wide variety of disciplines. For example, one of our physics professors was recently awarded a $1.7 million grant from the United States government to fund her research on nanoparticles, while a professor in physical chemistry received a large grant from the U.S. Navy for his research on microwave spectroscopy. A biology professor received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of a research team exploring gene networks and endosperm development in maize, and a professor in biochemistry received NSF funding for her research on animal development and gene expression. As a major in Natural Sciences, you have an opportunity to take classes, as available, with each of these faculty members, as well as others who are widely published and regarded in their fields.

In addition to medicine, dentistry and law, popular career paths chosen by our students who pursue a Natural Sciences AOC are lab work, quality control, and environmental and conservation work.

View Natural Sciences Academic Learning Compact

View Natural Sciences courses offered in last 5 years


Area of Concentration Requirements

The goals of an Area of Concentration in Natural Sciences are normally achieved by meeting the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of at least 6 introductory courses distributed among at least three Natural Sciences disciplines (chosen from biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics or physics). This usually involves the successful completion of the introductory sequence (2 semester courses) in each of three discipline.
  2. A minimum of an additional two semester courses beyond the introductory sequence in one discipline. The faculty will entertain requests for exceptions to these specific requirements as long as work of sufficient breadth and depth has been done in the division.
  3. At least one Independent Study Project in the Natural Sciences.
  4. A senior thesis in some area of the natural sciences is sponsored by a faculty member of the Natural Sciences Division.


As a student in Natural Sciences at New College, you have access to faculty members who cover the gambit from our language and literature programs, including biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics.

Recent Theses

  • A Language Independent Text Editor
  • Ribulose-1,5-Biphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase
  • Hermit Crab Attraction to Gastropod Predation Sites
  • Simulated Annealing from Random Graphs
  • Informal Math Education: Using Origami to Teach Elementary School Students Math Concepts
  • Food is the Best Medicine: Enhancing Post-Surgery Recovery with Diet
  • Sensitivity Analysis of Biochemical Networks: Computer Algebra Application to the Escherichia Coli Trypyophan Operon

Careers of Natural Sciences Graduates

Healthcare technology entrepreneur, CEO

Research entomologist
University of Florida

Miami, Florida

Fisheries biologist
National Marine Fishery Service, Miami, Florida.

Vascular surgeon
Samson Showalter Lepore Surgeons, Sarasota, Florida.

SAMPLE PATHWAYS to complete AOC Requirements

These pathways show how you could complete the AOC requirements within four years at New College or within two years after earning an associate’s degree. Please consult with your academic adviser to determine the most appropriate courses for your area of concentration.

A Sample Four-Year Pathway for Natural Sciences

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 1LAC Course 1ISP 1LAC Course 5
LAC Course 2LAC Course 6
Nat Sci Discipline 1, also LACNat Sci Discipline 1
Nat Sci Discipline 2, also LACNat Sci Discipline 2
Year 2Diverse Perspectives LACNat Sci ISPNat Sci Discipline 3
Nat Sci Discipline 3, also LACNat Sci Discipline 1, upper level
Nat Sci Discipline 1, upper levelAny two courses
Any course
Year 3Any 4 courses ISP 3Any three courses
Nat Sci thesis tutorial
Year 4Any three courses
Nat Sci thesis tutorial

A Sample Two-Year Pathway for Natural Sciences

YearFall Term January / ISPSpring Term
Year 3Nat Sci Discipline 3Nat Sci ISP,Nat Sci Discipline 3
Upper level Nat SciUpper level Nat Sci
Any two coursesAny two courses
Year 4Any 2-3 coursesISPAny two courses
Nat Sci thesis tutorialNat Sci thesis tutorial

Assumes student took the intro sequence in at least two different Nat Sci disciplines as part of the AA degree.