Integrated Science and Technology
Director: Dr. Amanda Biesecker
Phone: (540) 568-2730
Coordinator for Students: Mr. Paul W. Henriksen
Phone: (540) 568-2755
Location: ISAT Building, Room 121
The Integrated Science and Technology Bachelors Program prepares graduates to excel in a complex, technological world by empowering them to become critical thinkers and lifelong learners able to provide multi-disciplinary solutions to scientific and technological challenges with sensitivity to social, ethical and global considerations.
The foundational concept of the ISAT Program, which distinguishes it from other science- and technology-based programs, is its integration of multiple disciplines within a student's four-year course of study. The unique integrative character of the program is carried by the curriculum content, pedagogy, and departmental culture.
We measure our success by achieving the following 11 goals.
ISAT graduates will be able to do the following:
- Apply and integrate mathematics, physical science, biological science, and technology.
- Apply sound experimental methodology.
- Understand the professional requirements for the acquisition and use of information and data.
- Work effectively in multidisciplinary teams.
- Solve technological problems and understand their societal implications.
- Understand and apply the principles of professional ethics.
- Communicate effectively on social, scientific and technical matters.
- Analyze science and technology within broader global, political, economic and social contexts.
- Become autonomous, self-directed learners who recognize the need for lifelong learning.
- Use the computer as an effective problem-solving tool.
- Examine a problem and assemble the tools and knowledge needed to solve it.
The ISAT major prepares graduates for a wide variety of careers because of the breadth of science, technology, economic, and societal studies coupled with the integrative, problem-solving focus of the program. The program prepares students for a professional career and the majority of students enter the workforce upon graduation. However, a significant number choose to continue their education through a variety of graduate programs.
ISAT graduates have successfully built careers over a wide range of professions. Examples include technical and operational consulting, biotech lab research, network reliability and security improvement, energy and environmental policy development, information management, renewable energy development, manufacturing process development, and environmental management.
Some graduates start their own businesses, some work in small start-ups involved with new technology applications while others work in Fortune 500 companies. Graduates have also chosen to start their careers in other directions including government agencies, Peace Corps and other forms of public service, education, and politics.
Students who choose graduate studies have a wide range of options. ISAT graduates have successfully completed graduate studies in areas such as engineering, business, microbiology, environment, computer science, law, and medicine. The flexibility of the ISAT program allows students to select appropriate elective courses as they prepare for the graduate program of their choice.
Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
- ISAT Honor Society
- Environmental Management, JMU Student Chapter of Air and Waste Management Association
- Association for Facilities Engineering, JMU Student Chapter
- Virginia Biotechnology Association, JMU Student Chapter
- Society of Automotive Engineers International, JMU Student Chapter
- IEEE Computer Society, JMU Student Chapter
- Armed Force Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), JMU Student Chapter
- American Wind Energy Association, JMU Student Chapter
- Collaboration for Environment, Health and Safety (CEHS)
The ISAT Bachelor's degree program is accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
While completing the ISAT courses, the student will also pursue the university's general education curriculum that is required of all students and is a cornerstone of the education received by every student. The required ISAT courses are listed below. A total of 120 credit hours are required for graduation.
In addition, a grade equal to or higher than "C-" is required for ISAT 151 , ISAT 152 , and ISAT 251 .
- Issues in Science and Technology I-V 17 Credit Hours
- Social Context of Technology and Science 6 Credit Hours
- Analytical Methods I-V 17 Credit Hours
- Strategic Sectors/Concentration 31-33 Credit Hours
- Senior Thesis/Project 6 Credit Hours
- General Education courses and electives 42-44 Credit Hours 1
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
The Bachelor of Science degree in integrated science and technology produces a graduate broadly acquainted with basic science, technology and social science. All students pursue a common program through their sophomore year that provides a foundation of science and an introduction to its technology applications. Studies are integrated and include mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, biology, knowledge-based systems, internet networking and security, environmental science, modern production, energy, and the role of science and technology in society. During their junior and senior years, all students pursue deeper study of strategically significant areas that include applied biotechnology, energy, environmental studies, production systems, information and knowledge management, and telecommunications, networking and security. Each student selects a concentration in any of these areas and pursues additional study in the concentration culminating in a senior project. Students rely heavily upon the computer as a problem-solving tool throughout the curriculum, work in teams extensively and engage in laboratory experiences in the requisite sciences.
This sequence of five courses provides students with basic methods and tools for understanding and analyzing problems in science and technology. Subjects are taught in an integrated manner with applications as the unifying factor. Topics include calculus, elements of the physical sciences, statistics, project management, the computer, knowledge-based systems, and instrumentation and measurement.
First Year Student and Sophomore Courses
Issues in Science and Technology
This sequence of five courses engages students in the practice of science, both to motivate and to provide understanding of science and technology in the context of important current social issues. Current areas from which issues are selected are living systems, the environment, modern production, internet networking and security, and energy.
Social Context of Technology and Science
This two-course sequence introduces the student to the broader issues encountered in science and technology problem-solving, particularly social, ethical, economic and legal issues.
Junior and Senior Courses
Strategic Sectors in Science and Technology
Students complete 19-21 credit hours of instruction in strategic sectors during their junior year. The strategic sectors, developed from national critical technologies lists, represent areas of current strategic importance in the world economy. The sectors are applied biotechnology, energy, environment, production systems, information/knowledge management and telecommunications, networking, and security.
Students are provided the opportunity to focus their program of study by taking four additional courses in a particular area of concentration. The current areas for a concentration are
- Applied Biotechnology
- Production Systems
- Information and Knowledge Management
- Telecommunications, Networking and Security
Students also have the option to tailor their area of concentration with the help of their adviser and the approval of the ISAT program director.
Senior Capstone Project
This is the capstone experience of the senior year. Working as part of a team of students and cross disciplinary faculty, seniors will propose, develop, manage, analyze and report on a project that addresses a real-world problem.
Recommended Schedule for Majors
Total: 11-12 Credit Hours
- ISAT Strategic Sector I 3 Credit Hours
- ISAT Strategic Sector II 3 Credit Hours
- ISAT Strategic Sector II Lab 1 Credit Hour
- ISAT Strategic Sector III 3 Credit Hours
- ISAT 491. Senior Capstone Project I 1.00
Integrated Science and Technology Major with Pre-health Preparation
Students majoring in ISAT desiring to prepare for higher education in health careers (dentistry, optometry, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, veterinary) may waive some required ISAT courses if they take equivalent courses required by the pre-health programs.
These equivalencies are not generally granted outside of a pre-health preparation program. Students who begin a preparation but do not finish it may be able to have some of the courses waived. Contact Paul Henriksen, Coordinator for Students, for more information.