Science Broad Field

Goals and Objectives

The Broad Field Science majors provide a comprehensive study of the fundamentals of biology, chemistry, geology and physics. Two of the majors are designed to prepare well-qualified science teachers at the middle school and high school level. As a broad field program, these degrees do not require a minor in another area, as the number of credits is equivalent to the combination of an ordinary major and minor.


There are three different options offered within the Broad Field Science Program:

The liberal arts and broad field science certification options require 10 semester credits in all four science areas: biology, chemistry, geology and physics. In addition, the student chooses two of the areas for additional study, usually an additional 5 to 8 credits. The physical science certification degree focuses on chemistry and physics, with some calculus. It contains the equivalent of a minor in physics and a minor in chemistry, and students graduating with this degree can declare those minors if they so desire.


The entire faculty of biology, chemistry, geology and physics are involved in teaching courses relevant to the broad field science programs. A limited number of the faculty are actively involved in advising students in these programs, and a four-person committee representing each of the departments has the responsibility for watching over these programs.

Career Opportunities

The broad field science liberal arts option provides a very diverse background in science, which is attractive for technical positions. Graduate study in business, management or science policy would nicely complement the solid scientific background provided by the liberal arts option. Business and government are always hunting for people with a good understanding of science to fill management and administrative jobs.

There is a steady demand for well-qualified science teachers at both the middle school and high school levels. There is a growing desire to have science teachers who can teach multiple subjects, which makes broad field degrees very attractive.

The broad field science certification option is an excellent preparation for someone planning on teaching science at a middle school level. This option nicely matches the expectations places on middle school science teachers. In addition, one can take a few additional courses in an area of interest and be licensed to teach that subject at the high school level. For example, someone who already had emphasized biology and geology for their broad field science degree would only need a few more biology courses to be able to teach high school biology.

The physical science certification option is designed to prepare high school teachers of chemistry, physics and combined physical science courses. This option also allows teaching of middle school science; however, the preparation in biology and geology is minimal.

Broad Field Science . . .

offers the attraction of studying four areas of science: biology, chemistry, geology and physics. This inter-disciplinary mixture provides an opportunity for someone who really likes all areas of science. Studying the fundamental concepts of four sciences gives a strong foundation for teaching science at the middle school or high school level, and can provide an attractive background for entering industry.

Physics Department 
125 Centennial Science Hall

An interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences


University of Wisconsin-River Falls
410 S. 3rd Street, River Falls WI 54022 USA
Campus Information 715-425-3911