Physical and Life Sciences

BAAS Concentration in Physical and Life Sciences
Concentration in Physical and Life Sciences

About the concentration in Physical and Life Sciences

The physical and life sciences share fundamental principles that lie at the heart of scientific discovery and innovation. In this concentration, you develop a solid foundation in both branches of science by completing interdisciplinary foundation requirements covering biology, chemistry, and physics.

The Physical and Life Sciences concentration can be completed entirely online.

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.

The concentration in Physical and Life Sciences prepares you to:

  • Understand the broad principles of science and the ways scientists in a particular discipline conduct research
  • Learn the steps in the scientific method and identify them in published scientific research
  • Interpret quantitative and qualitative evidence, including graphical representations
  • Analyze and evaluate alternative scientific points of view
  • Read scientific research critically to understand its role in public debates and discourse
  • Apply scientific research to explain phenomena and events
  • Communicate scientific findings and debates to diverse audiences through oral, visual, and written media
  • Explore the ethical considerations related to scientific research and clinical care of patients


Students in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree will choose a concentration to tailor their undergraduate education to specific personal and professional goals. Courses within each concentration may be taken in any order unless prerequisites are specified.

Students must complete foundational courses for the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree. In addition, students in this concentration focus their studies by completing a total of 12 courses (12 c.u.*):

A minimum of 3 of these 12 courses must be at the 3000 level or above.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Certificates related to Physical and Life Sciences

See your advisor to explore earning the following certificates along with your degree. Note that these certificates are not earned automatically upon completing your degree; your advisor will help ensure that your academic plan meets the requirements of your preferred certificate.

Careers related to Physical and Life Sciences

The skills and knowledge acquired in the Physical and Life Sciences concentration are applicable to many health, research, and clinical settings and are a foundation for pursuing further graduate study. Career options include:

  • Research coordinator
  • Lab manager
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative