BACHELOR’S DEGREE STUDIES → Structure and Scope of Studies in the Faculty
The totality of studies for the degree should assure the student’s familiarity with fields, skills and tools needed in the world of science and technology: these studies form a foundation for involvement in many practical areas based on the natural sciences, and for continuing academic studies toward Master’s and doctoral degrees and for a teaching certificate.
The Bachelor’s degree studies generally extend over three years. The overall scope of the studies varies between teaching programs. At least 134 credit points must be earned over the course of the studies (according to the requirements of the teaching programs). Every weekly semester hour entitles the student to one credit point. A student studying in a combination of two teaching programs must obtain the quota of credits required in both teaching programs. Courses included in the two teaching programs will count only once toward the number of credits for the Bachelor’s degree. The studies include required and elective courses including classes, exercises, seminars, laboratories and study tours.
The faculty’s students can take courses and teaching programs studies in other faculties of the university (if they have been registered and admitted to them). The differences in class starting times in the different campuses make it somewhat easier to study in other campuses in Jerusalem (Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem).
1. Expanded single teaching program track “Cornerstone Program” and supplementary studies –
This framework allows for the maximum study toward the Bachelor’s degree in courses in a particular teaching program, and provides thorough preparation for advanced studies in the field. In an expanded scope it is possible to combine studies in a teaching program with a study unit and/or courses chosen by the student to complete the credits for the degree – according to the requirements of the teaching program and the rules listed below regarding supplementary studies. From 2009/2010 students studying in a regular/expanded single teaching program track must, in the course of their degree studies, take courses in the Cornerstone Program amounting to at least 4 credits from among the courses offered in fields that are outside the faculty. From 2011/2012 students are required to take 8 credits from the Cornerstone Program in the course of their degree studies.
2. Single teaching program track, study unit, Cornerstone Program and supplementary studies –
This combination allows for a wide choice and gaining understanding of a variety of fields. Generally this combination is not a sufficient basis for studies toward advanced degrees without supplementary studies. Studies in this format require, within the totality of the degree studies, completion of at least 90 credits in the Natural Sciences. Studies in the teaching programs of Statistics, Economics, History, Philosophy of Science and Cognitive Sciences are recognized for this purpose as studies in the Natural Sciences. Students who began their Bachelor’s degree studies in 2009/2010 in a single teaching program track must, in the course of their degree studies, take courses in the Cornerstone Program amounting to at least 4 credits from among the courses offered in fields that are outside the faculty.
From 2011/2012 students are required to take 8 credits from the Cornerstone Program in the course of their degree studies.
3. Dual teaching program study track – a combination suitable for those interested in interdisciplinary studies. In this track the student will select two teaching programs. Students who select teaching programs in the Faculty of Natural Science may complete their credits for the degree in courses in other faculties as well. Students who select one teaching program in the Faculty of Natural Science and a second in a different faculty will complete the quota of credits for the degree by taking elective courses in the Faculty of Natural Science.
In general: Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science require, within the totality of the degree studies, completion of at least 90 credits in the Natural Sciences. Studies in the teaching programs of Statistics, Economics, History, Philosophy of Science and Cognitive Sciences are recognized for this purpose as studies in the Natural Sciences.
The faculty allows a combination of specific teaching programs, but it should be noted that a special effort is required for such a combination, and sometimes studies have to be spread over more than three years. In an expanded single teaching program study track the various courses supplement each other in terms of the material studied and their teaching hours are correlated. These supplements and correlations are sometimes not possible where two teaching programs are combined and there may be overlaps in the times of their courses and the dates of their exams.
In general, studies in a dual teaching program track require separate admissions to each of the teaching programs comprised in the track. For example: studies in a dual teaching program track in the teaching programs of Mathematics and Computer Science require separate admission to each of these two teaching programs. Exceptions are combined programs, in which admission takes place separately from the admission to the teaching programs with which they are combined. For example: Computer Science and Computational Biology – admission to the program is separate from admission to each of the teaching programs that comprise it, Computer Science and Life Sciences.
4. Study unit – represents a “package” of courses totaling 32 credits in a specific teaching program, which is designed to enable greater understanding in fields that are of interest to the student, but which are outside the teaching programs in which he is studying. A list of the recognized units is published in the faculty’s annual catalogue.
5. Cornerstone Program
The Cornerstone Program is an academic enrichment program that enables students at the Hebrew University to register in a wide range of courses in subjects that are different from their main fields of study. This is a long-standing tradition practiced in many American universities, a tradition that recognizes the importance of expanding horizons even at the Bachelor’s degree level. Since the introduction of the program, new courses have been set up in each field of knowledge specifically for students in the program and they are taught at the various campuses.
The program is based on the division into three of the fields of knowledge in a university: the field of science; the field of humanities; the social field. A Bachelor’s degree student who is studying in a teaching program/teaching programs in one of the three fields will take courses in the Cornerstone Program in the other two fields. A Bachelor’s degree student who is studying in teaching programs in two of the fields will take courses in the Cornerstone Program in the third field.
Students are who are studying in a single teaching program track and those in a dual teaching program track must, in the course of their degree studies, take courses in the Cornerstone Program. The scope of the Cornerstone Program studies in the various teaching programs and tracks is detailed in the “Cornerstone Program” link.
Continuing Bachelor’s degree students, Bachelor’s degree students in other tracks and those studying for advanced degree are also invited to attend and broaden their knowledge in Cornerstone Program courses.
For Bachelor’s degree students who began studying before 2009/2010, who are studying in a single teaching program track and have not yet fulfilled their elective quota outside the teaching program, at least 4 credits of Cornerstone Program courses will be recognized as elective courses for the degree. The rules for other students will be determined in the framework of the faculty/school.
Grades obtained in the Cornerstone Program will be counted in the average for the degree, but will not be included in the teaching program average. The minimum passing grade in a Cornerstone Program course will be set as the regular passing grade in the faculty in which the student is studying.
6. Supplementary studies
Supplementary studies are required is there is a gap between the total number of points required for the degree and the required quota in a particular study track. The framework of supplementary studies allows for selecting single courses from the study programs offered at the university. Supplementary study must be approved by the teaching program responsible for the course.
Within the framework of supplementary studies only one course in a second foreign language to a total of no more than 4 credits, and which is not Hebrew or English, is recognized. Language courses which carry 8 credits will be recognized as 4 credits for completing the degree.
Courses which are similar in content to those already taken will not be recognized.
7. Students in a special track
Students in a special track are those who are studying according to a personal study program and not toward a degree. Students who are accepted must meet all the requirements of the course, and if these are fulfilled successfully they can obtain formal approval indicating their participation and results.
Candidates who meet the admission requirements of the teaching program they wish to join, or those who do not meet the requirements but belong to one of the groups listed below, are entitled to admission. Admission is subject to availability, and according to the candidate’s previous qualifications.
The main groups of candidates are: