Central’s natural science major prepares you for a variety of career options and graduate or professional schools. The program includes courses in biology, chemistry and physics. Students can also minor in global sustainability, which provides heightened knowledge and awareness of significant intergenerational issues, problems and solutions on a global scale.
Central became a leader in environmental design when the Vermeer Science Center, which houses biology, chemistry, physics, natural science, mathematics and computer science departments, was awarded a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) medal rating from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The science center was the first LEED-rated building in the state and the first LEED rated science building in the nation. The building contains 13 high-tech classrooms and a fully equipped GIS laboratory, as well as open computer labs and science labs where students can conduct their own research.
Central’s 62-acre Carlson-Kuyper Field Station serves as an “outdoor laboratory,” allowing students to utilize the nature preserve for labs as well as hands-on management experience in restoring prairie. Located about 12 miles from campus, the field station is adjacent to the extensive wildlife areas managed by the Corps of Engineers around Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake. It is also the site of Central’s Biomass Prairie project, engaging students in research and demonstration to promote prairies while working to address the larger global issue of global warming.
Natural science majors actively engage in research projects — some during the summer, some as independent senior honors projects and some assisting with faculty research. Students are encouraged take responsibility for a research project and often present results of their research at regional and national conferences, such as the Iowa Academy of Science.
Faculty are involved in many ongoing projects and are always willing to help nurture new ideas for research. Recent student projects include:
Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.
Paulina Mena, associate professor of biology, will give an interactive demonstration at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden on Saturday, Jan. 22.
Central’s powerful alumni network and the connections of our faculty ensure our students have access to numerous internships. In addition, Central helps students prepare for the internship/job search.
Central’s natural science major is designed for science enthusiasts who want to chart their own path. The program prepares you for a variety of career options and graduate schools. You'll have a strong science background, with courses in biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences and research. Students can also minor in global sustainability, which provides heightened knowledge and awareness of significant intergenerational issues, problems and solutions on a global scale.
Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.