A minor concentration requires a minimum of six courses, representing at least eighteen credits, in the minor field of study. In addition, a department may add prerequisites or requirements in related fields, but the total will not exceed 60% of the department's major program requirements. Minor requirements are listed under departmental entries. In order to complete requirements for a minor, the student must take the majority of credits in the minor field at King's.
Minor areas of concentration (minors) are permitted, but not required. The following minor concentrations are available:
- Chemistry of Materials
- Forensic Studies
- Latin American Studies
- Molecular Biology
- Political Economy
- Women's Studies
- International Studies
Chemistry of Materials
Humanity's progress throughout history has been marked by the desire for superior material good such as sharper tools, warmer clothing, and more comfortable houses; in short, for a higher standard of living. Often the best way to improve something was to make it from better material. The search for improved materials began with natural materials such as wood, stone or wool. Over the centuries better materials such as pottery, bronze and iron were found accidentally and improved by trial and error. Beginning in the last century, the scientific method has led to enormous advances in such materials as ceramics and steels.
The need for better materials has not lessened: indeed, with modern computers, spacecraft and even automobiles, improved performance waits for improvements in the materials used. Totally new combinations of properties such as strength, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, etc., are required. What has changed is how these materials are obtained.
The Chemistry of Materials is the modern way to new materials. We no longer find them; we design them. We use our chemical knowledge to predict which structures will have the desired combination of properties. Our chemical ingenuity allows us to produce these structures. This approach has led to all the advances in plastics; to the entire semiconductor industry (the basis of computers and electronics); to ceramic cutting tools for industry; stronger steels; and a host of others. More than half the chemists in the United States work in this area; yet there are few programs that specifically train in materials.
King's College faculty has special expertise in the area so the Department has initiated a concentration in the Chemistry of Materials. Materials are studied at levels from the theoretical to the applied. Students learn about polymers, alloys, ceramics, composites and other types of materials - what their properties are and why. Their research projects involve the search for new materials or for better ways to produce present ones. Graduates of this program will be eligible for certification by the American Chemical Society (ACA), and recognized as having a special competence in this area.
The establishment of this minor is in response to the need to provide our students with increased opportunities to address ethical issues in public and professional life. All students are welcome to the program but those who intend careers in business, government, journalism, law, and medicine should be especially interested. Courses in the program are designed to give students a solid background in the moral literature of philosophy and theology as well as opportunities to address and study contemporary moral issues, especially as they occur in the context of professional life.
Forensic science is the application of technical knowledge to the resolution of legal questions. Nearly all disciplines have forensic applications. The minor is designed to provide an overview of the forensic science disciplines and how they aid the investigation of criminal activity. The principles, methods, and skills used in analyzing evidence and applying the results to criminal investigation are examined. More advanced courses within the major provide the technical knowledge required.
Latin American Studies
Latin American Studies is an interdisciplinary area studies minor developed to allow a combination of many different disciplines to examine a common theme. The interdisciplinary focus provides an opportunity to study Economics, History, Sociology, Political Science, Languages and Cultures of Latin America, thus gaining a broader understanding of this complex region of the world. Requirements are intended to ensure that each student acquires the necessary foundation of understanding and relevant language skills. A working proficiency of Spanish is required.
The interdisciplinary context of the program also allows students to pursue individual interests that will best complement their major field of study and long-term career goals. Students will be required to complete 18 hours of approved courses including an internship or study abroad component; and, they will have achieved language proficiency in Spanish.
The King's College Molecular Biology minor is an interdisciplinary approach to meeting the demands and challenges of a new era in biology. In the past decade the biological sciences have been revolutionized by new procedures used to manipulate and study genetic material. These techniques have drastically increased our knowledge of the structure, organization, and function of DNA, and have offered numerous practical applications in virtually every area of biological science. At the heart of the biological revolution are procedures known as recombinant DNA technology; the ability to splice foreign pieces of DNA in the laboratory and to transfer these recombinant DNA molecules into a living organism. This technology has allowed scientists to analyze the flow and regulation of genetic information between DNA, RNA, and protein. The study of these structural and functional relationships between DNA, RNA, and protein defines the field of molecular biology.
The Importance of Molecular Biology
Although molecular biology had its origins in the fields of genetics and biochemistry, it is now multidisciplinary involving biology, chemistry, physics, neuroscience, computer science, and mathematics. The ultimate goal of molecular biology is to understand how living systems function, that is, how living organisms grow, develop, interact, become abnormal, express inborn genetic defects, and respond to infectious diseases. This goal can only be achieved by an integrated effort of scientists from many disciplines using the tools of molecular biology.
The future of biology and medicine points toward an increasing role for molecular biology. It is expected that within the next ten years medicine will continue to change from a reactive science to a predictive and preventive science. One reason for this change in medicine is the human genome project, a project to sequence the entire human genome and map the location of individual genes on chromosomes.
Choosing the Molecular Biology Minor at King's
The Molecular Biology minor at King's enables biology majors to become active practitioners in the field of molecular biology. The Molecular Biology minor does not narrow a student's understanding of biology, but rather enables students to study the biological, chemical, and physical aspects of life at the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels. There are job opportunities available in molecular biology at the B.S., M.S., Ph.D., and M.D. levels in all areas of biology, including medicine, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, veterinary science, agriculture, forensics, and environmental science.
Molecular Biology also provides important preparation for graduate and/or professional school education.
An interdisciplinary program, the minor in Women's Studies offers courses in several fields. In addition, with the support of Student Affairs staff, students have the opportunity to apply classroom learning through participation in co-curricular activities and programs. Women's Studies prepare students-both women and men-to make valuable contributions to society throughout their lives. Part of this preparation involves heightening awareness of and respect for the contributions and perspectives of diverse sectors of society.
The International Studies minor was instituted in 2010 to address the need for students to respond to the challenges of rapid globalization in economic, social, political, and cultural realms. This minor adds value to any major program of study by demonstrating a student’s capacity to apply the skills and knowledge developed within the major program of study to issues of global importance. In this program, students critically engage the world beyond their local borders through an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on international issues, foreign language study, and study abroad experience.
For more information about King's International Studies program, click here.