The interdisciplinary major in the natural sciences enables students to construct science majors around subject areas that bridge two or more disciplines in the natural sciences, leading to graduate work and/or careers in many of the rapidly growing interdisciplinary fields developing along interfaces between the traditional natural sciences.

The interdisciplinary major in the natural sciences requires a primary concentration in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics and a secondary concentration in another of these sciences. Students interested in this major should seek advice from the department of primary interest in order to design a major consistent with both their interests and the requirements of the major. Interdisciplinary combinations of biology and chemistry have been replaced by the biochemistry major.

Required for the interdisciplinary major in natural sciences in a primary discipline and secondary discipline

  1. Introductory requirement: An introductory sequence in physics and two additional introductory sequences chosen from those in biology, chemistry, and geosciences so that sequences in both the primary and the secondary disciplines are included. The introductory sequences are:


  • BIOL 130: Integrative Biology: Cells to Organisms
  • BIOL 135: Ecology, Evolution and Society
  • BIOL 150: Integrative Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems


  • CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity
  • CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics


  • GEOS 110: Introductory Geology
  • GEOS 210: History of the Earth and Life


  • PHYS 141: Introduction to Physics I
  • PHYS 151: Introduction to Physics II
  1. Intermediate/advanced requirement: At least ten six-unit courses in the sciences (biology, chemistry, geosciences, physics) numbered 200 or above, with at least five in the primary discipline and at least three in the secondary discipline. More specific course and/or laboratory requirements may apply in specific departments.
  2. Participation in a Senior Experience as defined by the department of the primary discipline.