About Science, Discovery and the Universe

Science, Discovery and the Universe challenges students to question the  origin and development of the universe, exploring the processes behind science, particularly astronomy, through interactive investigations, thoughtful discussions and reflections on their perceptions and comprehension.

Students integrate  the powerful tools of scientific inquiry with history, psychology, statistics,, politics and religion to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of science and its uses and abuses in society. Students examine   recent discoveries and are introduced to research techniques used by astronomers, computer scientists, physicists, engineers and others involved in the study of the cosmos on large and small scales. Students are also exposed to the limitations of how science is portrayed in museums, journalism and education.

SDU welcomes students from all majors who want to think critically about the intersection of science, exploration, and communication in the process of discovery.

Active Learning

Experiential learning excursions  inspire students to observe and analyze scientific developments. Students visit the University of Maryland Observatory, the Baltimore Aquarium, the Howard B. Owens Science Center Planetarium, and can take an annual overnight trip to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, West Virginia, where students use  a 40-foot telescope to analyze the Milky Way.

Students are encouraged to research their queries and curiosities with professors, program associates and consultants. In the past, students have worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, experimented with ferroelectric memory research on campus, worked on primary research in laboratories with senior researchers, and studied the feasibility of commercial space development.

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • Parapsychology
  • The “Global Warming is a Myth” Myth
  • The U.S. National Space Policy
  • Astronomy and Religion, the Science of Easter
  • Astrobiology and Viking Science
  • The Limitations of Science
  •  Astronomy in Architecture
  • Astronomy in Art

Curriculum Overview

The following table represents a typical four-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the Science, Discovery and the Universe Citation Checklist.

View, print or download Science, Discovery and the Universe Citation Checklist

Freshman Fall Freshman Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Scholars Colloquium 1 Scholars Colloquium 1
4-5 Courses toward degree and major requirements (must include natural science with lab by the end of sophomore year) 12-15 4-5 Courses toward degree and major requirements 12-15
Sophomore Fall Sophomore Spring
Course Credits Course Credits
Scholars Colloquium 1 Scholars Practicum 1-3
4–5 Courses toward degree and major requirements 12-15 4–5 Courses toward degree and major requirements 12-15
Program Preference Form

Invited Students: Complete the Program Preference Form by February 12

Residence Hall

Centreville Hall