Physical & Life Sciences, BAAS

The physical and life sciences share fundamental principles that lie at the heart of scientific discovery and innovation. The Physical and Life Sciences concentration is a hybrid course of study including both online and on-campus courses. If you are enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) program and wish to declare a concentration in Physical and Life Sciences and enroll in some on-campus courses, you must take a diagnostic exam to be admitted. On-campus science courses become available to Physical and Life Sciences students beginning in Fall 2020.

While Penn LPS Online students may enroll in online courses within the Climate Change and Neuroscience course blocks without committing to the Physical and Life Sciences concentration, on-campus science courses are only available to BAAS degree students who have been admitted to the Physical and Life Sciences concentration.

For more information: https://lpsonline.sas.upenn.edu/academics/bachelors-degree/baas-concentrations/physical-and-life-sciences

Curriculum

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) recognizes the power of an applied liberal arts education to provide students with strong communication skills, understanding of different cultures and perspectives, and the ability to apply their knowledge to nuanced, complex scenarios with insight, perspective, and empathy.

Overview of degree requirements

30 course units are required for the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree.

Requirements
Foundational Requirements8
Concentrations12
Electives10
Total Course Units30

BAAS students are only required to visit campus for two on-campus learning experiences, which may be as short as an extended weekend. In addition to course requirements, BAAS students complete a capstone project in their degree concentration as well as an e-portfolio.

Foundational requirements 

The foundational requirements of the BAAS degree reflect the core competencies and values of Penn LPS Online: the skills and knowledge needed to understand and solve complex problems, the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of audiences and an appreciation for diverse cultures and traditions. Students can transfer a maximum of 4 course units of foundational courses from a regionally accredited institution. Our program team can also give a preliminary evaluation of transfer credits before students officially apply. Visit the Transfer Preparation & Policies page for more details.

Foundational Requirements
Ethical Reasoning
Select 1 Ethical Reasoning course 1
Qualitative Analysis
Select 2 Qualitative Analysis courses2
Quantitive Analysis
Select 2 Quantitative Analysis courses2
Scientific Process
Select 1 Scientific Process course1
Writing
Select 1 Writing course *1
Cross-Cultural Interactions & Diversity
Select 1 Cross-cultural Interactions & Diversity course1
Total Course Units8

Concentrations 

Just as a college major serves to focus your studies during a four-year degree, the BAAS concentrations enable students to tailor their undergraduate education to specific personal and professional goals. Concentrations progress from introductory-level courses to higher-level courses so that students develop skills and knowledge with greater complexity as they move through the curriculum. Many concentrations are interdisciplinary, to provide students with opportunities to explore their areas of interest from multiple perspectives and develop a flexible approach to solving complex problems in professional as well as academic contexts. 

Physical & Life Sciences Concentration
Select 1 from each of the following:3
Foundations of Life Sciences course
Foundations of Physical Sciences course
Mathematical Sciences course *
Complete 4 courses in either the Climate Change or Neuroscience course blocks **4
Select 5 additional courses ***5
Total Course Units12

Electives 

Electives are courses that do not apply toward your foundational or degree concentration requirements. You may choose to deepen your field of study by taking additional classes within your concentration, develop a new skill by completing all of the courses within a course block outside of your degree concentration, or discover new interests and abilities by taking individual courses that appeal to your interests. Students choose 10 electives from any of Penn LPS Online's areas of study. Transfer students can apply a maximum of 8 course units from a regionally accredited institution toward this requirement.

E-portfolio and capstone requirements

Throughout the BAAS degree, students draw on their coursework to build a digital collection of materials, or e-portfolio. The e-portfolio is a powerful tool to ensure that academic studies are aligned with professional, personal and academic goals. Developing the e-portfolio provides students with the opportunity to reflect on selected assignments and how they can be applied to the broader context of their current and future careers. Students can share their e-portfolios with prospective and current employers to provide evidence of the skills and knowledge they have developed through coursework.

One advanced course in each concentration will require students to complete a final project, or capstone, in which they integrate learning and skills from across the full concentration. Capstone projects will be graded as a requirement of the course and also will serve as the final culminating artifact for students’ e-portfolios. Students will have the option to come to campus to present their final projects and receive face-to-face feedback from fellow students as well as the course instructor. Students who choose this option can use it to fulfill their elective on-campus learning experience requirement.

On-campus learning experience requirements

BAAS students are only required to visit campus for two on-campus learning experiences, which may be as short as an extended weekend. These face-to-face instructional experiences have been developed to provide students with opportunities for engagement with the Penn campus, while also providing students with choices for the experiences that best fit into their own schedules. 


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.