Our faculty is the second oldest faculty at Stellenbosch University.
Its foundations were laid in 1866, when courses in Mathematics and Physics were already part of the education offered at the former Stellenbossche Gymnasium. However, it really gained momentum with the establishment of the "Arts Department of the Stellenbossche Gymnasium" in 1874.
During the formative years of Stellenbosch University – from the establishment of the Arts Department, its elevated status as Stellenbosch College in 1881, its renaming as Victoria College in 1887 to the independence of the University in 1918 – the staff, the subject areas and the number of students in natural sciences gradually extended. In 1918 the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Science came into being as a separate faculty. It was renamed to the Faculty of Science in 1957.
With the independence of Stellenbosch University in 1918, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Zoology and Botany were already established fields of study. In the subsequent years, the Faculty was extended with a number of additional fields of study: Physiology in 1922, Home Economics in 1925 (Home Economics changed to Consumer Science in 2000), Computer Science in 1969 and Biochemistry in 1974.
Initially students obtained a BA degree in Science, but since the establishment of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Science in 1918, a BSc degree has been offered.
Since 2000 our programmes of study have been compiled in line with the Higher Education Criteria and Guidelines. It is structured in terms of education qualifications, whereby a student obtains a BSc degree, an honours degree, a masters' degree (MSc) or a doctors' degree (PhD).