Arizona State University
Senate Motion #2015-41
Motion Introduced by: Curriculum and Academic Programs Committee, Kathleen Puckett, Chair
Date of First Reading: December 1, 2014
Date of Second Reading: January 26, 2015
Title of Motion: Request from the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences – School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences – for the name change of an undergraduate degree – From: BS in Life Sciences – To: BS in Biology
Action Requested: The Curriculum and Academic Programs Committee recommends University Senate approval of a proposal submitted by the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences – School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences – for the name change of an undergraduate degree – From: BS in Life Sciences – To: BS in Biology
Rationale: The School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences requests that their Life Sciences degrees (BS and BA, with and without concentrations) be renamed to Biology. Despite the usage of the term Life Sciences in academia, we find that this term is not clearly understood by prospective students, just coming from high school for example. Our faculty, advisers, and recruiters are often asked, “What is Life Sciences?” or “How is Life Sciences different from Biology?” In fact, our Life Sciences degrees are standard, rigorous Biology degrees with appropriate coursework in cognate fields such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Statistics. Biology is the term familiar to prospective students. This name change will make the degrees more appealing and recognizable to prospective students, parents, and employers. A second source of confusion is that students sometimes assume that the degrees with the name “Life Sciences” are offered by the School of Life Sciences at the Tempe campus. These students sometimes go to Tempe to get advising about our Life Sciences degrees. This source of confusion should be eliminated by the proposed name change.