Concepts of Science





Concepts in Italy






















































Objectives and Expectations

You should refer to your lecture instructor’s syllabus for more information, but here are the Concepts of Science program objectives and expectations. Also, the program attendance policy and other general policies are given below. Objectives: In accord with university student learning objectives, the student in this course will understand and appreciate the methods and issues of science and technology. To this end, the student in this course will: learn the philosophical and historical foundations of modern science; better understand the scientific method in a variety of situations and demonstrate an ability to interpret the results of experiments as a way of better understanding natural phenomena in several disciplines of science, including chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, ecology, and biology; understand major scientific issues facing modern society, including the impact of human activity on our planet; and acquire detailed knowledge of basic principles, laws, and theories of modern science.


The purpose of the lecture class is to present course material to you, convey information to you, and help prepare you for your exams. Therefore, students are expected to attend all classes and take notes for later study. Students are also expected to read ahead in the book so that they have a background for lectures over the assigned topics. Additional reading and study of the book is expected after lectures have covered the topics in each chapter. Students are encouraged to review end-of-chapter material in preparation for exams. Each student is expected to put in an average of three hours studying outside of class for each hour spent in class. This is a general guideline, and some students may need more study time than this in order to perform well on exams and tests.


Attendance is required at all lecture class meetings and at all laboratory sessions. Attendance may be monitored by UNANNOUNCED TESTS and/or RANDOM ROLL CHECKS. Unannounced tests CANNOT BE MADE UP. Written EXCUSES for absences must be presented at the next class session or at least within 5 class days of the absence whether you missed a test or roll check or not. ATTENDANCE IS DEFINED AS … coming to class on time, staying the whole time until dismissed (not leaving and coming back in), sitting in class not talking to others, and NOT TALKING OR TEXT-MESSAGING ON YOUR CELL PHONE, and paying attention to what is going on. Please see the University Bulletin or Tiger Cub for guidance about what is and what is not an approved university excuse for an absence. Please talk to your instructor if you have any questions or doubts.

Laboratory sessions have an attendance policy of their own, which will be given in the separate laboratory syllabus or verbally in laboratory classes.

Absences and Make-ups: You are not automatically entitled to a make-up exam, therefore you should not miss an exam except under extraordinary circumstances. In order to be eligible to take a make-up exam, you must: contact your instructor as soon as you know you will miss the exam; present a valid, written excuse to your instructor as soon as possible before or after the absence (do not wait for the next class period); and agree on a mutually acceptable time for the make-up. Once a make-up time and day are set, you MUST appear at that time, or another official excuse is required.

Laboratory sessions:

Your laboratory sessions are conducted by graduate teaching assistants (GTAs), who will give you appropriate assignments according to a separate syllabus. You are expected to attend all laboratory classes, follow the syllabus and all instructions given you during the laboratory, turn in work on time, and attend all sessions of recitation. Attendance in recitation is defined the same way as in lecture class. At the end of the term, your graduate teaching assistant will give your instructor a single grade (as a percent), which represents 25% of the final course grade for the SCMH 1010 class. Any questions about your recitation grade should be directed to your graduate teaching assistant as soon as they come up (not to your lecture teacher). Your graduate teaching assistant is responsible for all grading in the recitation session. Please discuss any concerns that you may have about instruction in the recitation sessions first with your graduate teaching assistant, and later with your lecture instructor, if necessary. Do NOT turn in recitation papers or exercises to your lecture instructor or his substitute.

Academic honesty and student conduct policy: Students are referred to the University Bulletin and Tiger Cub for the university-wide academic honesty policy and its enforcement. Students should consult a new version of the Tiger Cub or look on-line at the main AU web page for the classroom conduct policy adopted in 2003, as amended. Students in this class are expected to follow these rules exactly. Further, your instructor reserves the right to enforce any reasonable additional honesty and conduct rules that may not be specifically covered in official documents or in this syllabus. Students should be guided by their conscience and a sense of what is fair to others in classroom activities. If a warning is given to a student about honesty or conduct, he or she should expect no other second chance to correct his/her behavior. Copying of lecture or laboratory assignments is strictly forbidden, and is punishable by any academic penalty that the recitation instructor sees fit. The instructor reserves the right to expel any student who continues to cause a disturbance after being warned of his behavior. Students are expected to be particularly respectful of the fact that we are meeting in an auditorium and therefore their behavior is especially important to maintaining a reasonable learning and testing environment. Using cell phones for calls, texts, or games during class is strictly forbidden – TURN YOUR CELL PHONES OFF DURING CLASS AND EXAMS.

Exam day procedures:

Exams are on a closed-book basis. Further, talking to others, answering cell phones, or using calculators is strictly forbidden during exams. Please turn OFF all cell phones upon entering the room. YOU MUST COME TO THE EXAM WITH YOUR AU ID CARD or some similar form of identification and you may be asked to prove your identity while in the exam room.


Unfortunately, many students take a class like this and never say a word to the instructor. Concepts instructors encourage each of you to see them at some point during the term (but, please, not all of you during the last week of classes!). Please note that instructors (lecture and laboratory) frequently send E-MAIL TO THE ENTIRE CLASS using the official AU email system (which goes automatically to your AU email account). It is university policy that such e-mail is an “official medium” of communication with classes and anything that your instructor sends to you this way has as much meaning and effect as if your instructor said it in class. Therefore, you are expected to activate your university e-mail account, check it regularly (recommended three times weekly at least), adjust any “spam filter” so that emails titled “SCMH 1010 CLASS EMAIL” are received, and to make any necessary provisions for having class e-mails forwarded to any other accounts or devices you prefer to use.

Changing a final exam:

Any student who urgently needs to change a final exam time must first obtain written permission from his/her Dean’s office to reschedule a final examination. After the Dean’s permission form is signed, please bring the form with you when you see your instructor to discuss this matter.


Concepts of Science is an option in the core curriculum of Auburn University that fulfills one of the two science courses required for most majors. It is as rigorous as the other science core course and is not a substitute for any other science course. Students are advised at the outset that it is expected they will spend as much time and effort preparing for this course as they would for a core-science class in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics at this university. If a student elects to take Concepts of Science, he or she should be enrolled in Concepts of Science before taking any other core science classes. Please consult with your advisor if you have questions. Concepts of Science should precede your taking Biology 1010, Chemistry 1010, Geology 1100, Physics 1000 or Physics 1150. A student may elect to take Concepts of Science, for example, if he or she is undecided about what subsequent core science class to take and wishes to learn more about all the sciences as a gateway to taking additional science coursework.

Conflicts disclaimer:

Any conflicts between the Concepts of Science program policy given above and statements contained in the syllabi of individual lecture instructors may be resolved by contacting the lecture instructor and the program Director.