History of the faculty

The Faculty of Sciences of the UAB first began its academic activity in the 1969/70 academic year at the Casa de la Convalescència building, located within the Hospital de Sant Pau complex in Barcelona. It then moved to its permanent location at the Bellaterra campus in the 1971/72 academic year. Initially, and in accordance with the laws of the time, five classic (from the five "sections" of Science) undergraduate degrees were offered: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Geology (the first three began in the 1969/70 academic year and the other two were first offered in 1970/71).

During the 1972/73 academic year, the faculty began to offer an unofficial degree in Computer Science, which then was converted into a four-year degree and later into an engineering degree. Thus, our faculty was the first Faculty of Sciences in Spain to offer six "sections", the five classic ones and computer science.

During the 1991-1994 period, the faculty and other universities began to work on new official degrees (Statistics, Electronic Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry). Starting in the 1992/93 academic year, the faculty began to adjust its degrees to make them into four-year degrees. That same year, the Faculty of Sciences was aware of the environmental sciences as a new, emerging field and looked to American universities as an inspiration for the creation of a new undergraduate degree, taught nowhere else in the country, a degree in Environmental Science. Thus, the Faculty of Sciences became a trailblazer in this area, offering what was first a UAB-specific diploma which was them made into an official four-year bachelor's degree diploma in Environmental Science in 1995. Therefore, it is safe to say that the first environmentalists of all of Spain were trained in our faculty.

Six years later (in 1998/99) history repeated itself. The Faculty of Sciences was again the first in Spain to offer academic programmes in the field of biotechnology. Thus, the degree in Biotechnology was created, and made equivalent to a four-year degree in Biotechnology in the year 2003.

As a result of this expansion process to include more academic programmes, and with the aim of facilitating the administration of them all, the Faculty of Sciences has given life to two centres. One of them became the School of Engineering, founded in 1998 and dedicated to all engineering-related fields. The other became the Faculty of Biosciences, created in 2005 to offer degrees in the field of life sciences. These two Faculty of Sciences' “offsprings” today continue to be two independent entities, although there is a constant interaction among all three centres.

In accordance with Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October in which university studies are incorporated into the European Higher Educatio Area (EHEA), the faculty began a process of converting its former four-year degrees into EHEA-standard four-year bachelor's degrees: bachelor's degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and the double degree in Physics and Mathematics (2008/09); bachelor's degree in Geology (2009/10) and the bachelor's degrees in Environmental Science, Chemistry, and Applied Statistics (2010/11).

Already under the EHEA context, in the 2010/11 academic year the Faculty of Sciences began to offer undergraduate studies in nanoscience and created the Bachelor's Degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, a degree which continues to be offered only at the UAB and which is therefore unique within the Spanish university system.

As a result of the success of the double degree in Physics and Mathematics, new similar proposals were presented: a double degree in Physics and Chemistry (2011/12); a double degree in Environmental Science and Geology (2013/14) and a double degree in Applied Statistics and Sociology, coordinated by the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology (2014/15).

The inegration into the EHEA system also originated the creation of master's degrees, which until that moment had been inexistent in the Spanish university system. The faculty currently offers fifteen official master's degrees and five UAB-specific master's degrees. Some of these graduate programmes are offered in collaboration with research centres located on the UAB campus, or jointly with other universities.

Continuing in ths line of innovative academic proposals, in the 2018/19 academic year, the Faculty of Sciences began to offer a new bachelor's degree in Computational Mathematics and Data Analytics.