College of Science

Michael P. Pollastri, PhD, Interim Dean
Brent D. Nelson, PhD, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Affairs
Mark Patterson, PhD, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Affairs
Frederick C. Davis, PhD, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion
Christopher Kelly, Associate Dean, Administration and Finance
James Poulos, Associate Dean, Development

Lauren Machunis, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Advising and Enrollment Management
Kellie Melchin, Assistant Dean for Graduate Administration

Dean’s Office
115 Richards Hall
617.373.8583 (fax)

Student Services Office
206 Mugar Life Sciences Building

The College of Science (COS) offers instructional programs that are at the forefront of discovery, invention, and innovation in the physical sciences, life sciences, linguistics, and mathematics. Our programs are designed to give students a deep understanding and hands-on experience in traditional and emerging interdisciplinary fields such as chemical biology, cognition and neuroscience, marine science, biochemistry, nanoscience, and network science.

The college places a strong emphasis on the experiential learning model and seeks to provide students with a wide array of opportunities to explore innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations through cooperative educational work assignments, service-learning, undergraduate research, internships, study-abroad programs, and active participation in our award-winning student chapters of professional associations. The college seeks to provide students with the best possible foundation for achieving their goals, whether they seek to attend graduate school, professional school, or immediately pursue a career upon graduation.

The college offers Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Bachelor of Science/Master of Science (BS/MS) (PlusOne programs) degrees in a number of majors, as well as a Bachelor of Science/ Doctor of Philosophy (BS/PhD) in physics and many interdisciplinary programs, and emphasizes the value of a solid general education through the NU Core. Students may choose a four- or five-year experiential learning plan in most programs. Either plan offers co-op opportunities, often in an area related to the student’s chosen academic area. Students are normally eligible to participate in co-op in the second semester of their sophomore year.

Many programs are flexible enough to allow students to pursue a double major, a major and a minor, or one of the college’s specific combined majors. The college also offers students the opportunity to create an independent major in cases where their interests and goals are not met by a specific major program.

PlusOne Programs

Many programs and departments such as biochemistry, biology, chemistry and chemical biology, mathematics, and physics offer academically strong students the option of obtaining their BS and MS degree in five years.

College Requirements

All students in the College of Science must successfully complete the university requirements of NUpath. In addition, students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must fulfill the BA requirements. Students pursuing a combined major involving a program in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities must, in addition, fulfill the Experiential Liberal Arts (ELA) requirement. The Experiential Liberal Arts Course Designation is part of a CSSH framework that emphasizes integration of experiential learning along with diversity and inclusion at key points in the curriculum.  Students will ordinarily fulfill this requirement through an ELA-designated course within the major; any CSSH course on a Dialogue of Civilizations; or any CSSH service-learning course.   Please consult your academic advisor and your degree audit for the ELA options for your major.

Academic Advising

The College of Science has an academic advising system that consists of professional advisors located in the College of Science Student Services Office in 206 Mugar Hall and faculty advisors located in the college’s department and program offices. Detailed advising information is available on the college website. Prelaw advising and prehealth advising are also available.

Graduation Clearance Process

Students in the College of Science are required to meet with an academic advisor in the College of Science Student Services Office in 206 Mugar Hall to determine their remaining graduation requirements. Some departments also require a meeting with a faculty advisor in their major/program. This should be completed in the junior year to ensure ample time to complete any outstanding requirements.

Academic Progression Standards

In addition to meeting university progression standards, it is expected that full-time science students enroll in four courses with appropriate labs and recitations and successfully complete at least 12 semester hours each academic semester with an acceptable GPA as noted below. Any exceptions to the course load requirement must be approved in writing by the student’s academic advisor prior to the start of each semester.   Pass/fail courses are restricted to electives outside of the major, minor, and NUPath requirements. 

Graduation Requirements

A minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.000 in major courses and a minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.000 overall are required for graduation.  Note: The university requires a minimum grade of C for First-Year Writing and Advanced Writing requirements. 

Criteria for Academic Probation

Full-time students in the College of Science will be placed on academic probation effective for the following academic semester for any of the reasons noted below. A notation of the academic probation action will appear on the internal record but not on the permanent transcript.

First-year Students:

  • Not maintaining a semester GPA of at least a 1.800 at the end of each full-term semester (fall, spring) of the first-year curriculum
  • Not earning at least 12 semester hours at the end of each semester of the first-year curriculum
  • Not earning at least 24 semester hours at the end of the two full-term semesters (fall, spring) of the first-year curriculum
  • Accumulating three outstanding course deficiencies (grades of F, I, W, NE, U, or missing grades) 

Upper-class and Transfer Students:

  • Not earning at least 12 semester hours in the academic full-term semester (fall, spring) just completed
  • Not maintaining an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 at the end of each full-term academic semester (fall, spring)
  • Accumulating three outstanding course deficiencies (grades of F, I, W, NE, U, or missing grades) 
  • Not following a program of study approved by the student’s academic advisor

Academic Dismissal from Major

Not maintaining a GPA of at least a 2.000 in the major at the end of the second academic full-term semester of the curriculum and at the end of each full-term academic semester (fall, spring) thereafter. Students dismissed from their major but otherwise are eligible to remain an active student within the university, are allowed to continue within the College of Science as a transitional student for up to two semesters. 

Academic Dismissal from University

Students who remain on probation after two full-term academic semesters may be dismissed from the university. This action may appear on the transcript at the end of the second probationary semester. In addition, students who have below a 1.000 GPA or fewer than 4 earned semester hours in any semester or cumulatively may be dismissed at the discretion of their college. Students may appeal this decision to the Academic Standing Committee of their college (see following section). International students should consult with an advisor in the Office of Global Services (OGS) to discuss the impact of an academic dismissal as it relates to nonimmigrant visa status.