Chemistry and Physics MajorsBoth the physics and the chemistry programs are supported by a funded Scholars program. The Chemistry & Physics Scholars program will expose students to careers in chemistry & physics and science education as each scholar would be mentored by a faculty member. As such, students enrolled in the chemistry or physics program will be well prepared to matriculate to MAT programs as well as to enter and succeed in graduate programs in chemistry or physics.
Each program prepares students for advanced study in chemistry or physics and provides a foundation for students interested in careers in professions other than chemistry and physics (Medicine, Engineering, and Material Science). Students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research with University faculty as well as to pursue work experiences in other academic laboratories, national research laboratories, and industrial research and development laboratories.
BS in Chemistry
The department offers an undergraduate chemistry program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science.
The curriculum is designed to meet the guidelines of the ACS certifiable baccalaureate degrees, including instruction in inorganic chemistry, chemical analysis and instrumental methods of analysis, organic chemistry and physical chemistry.
Courses have been designed not only to meet accreditation requirements, but also to allow students to develop a strong background in science. Therefore, appropriate courses are also required in the capstone area such as Advanced Analytical Chemistry, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, Advanced Organic Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Advanced Physical Chemistry, and Mathematical Physics.
BS in Physics
The department also offers an undergraduate physics program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science.
The curriculum is designed to start from the very beginning of a student's understanding of physics. We do not assume that every student has the necessary math and science background to start immediately taking physics classes. We only require that students have a desire to understand and learn about the physical universe.
We have a novel physics program with a mission to demonstrate that physics is not for a select few but can be enjoyed and understood by all that truly have an interest. We have a program that covers all the typical undergraduate courses generally found in physics programs such as mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and quantum theory. Traditional physics programs would have freshmen registering for Calculus-based Principles of Physics I during their first semester, along with calculus I or II. Attempting to reverse the high attrition rate found in most such traditional programs, our program will operate under the assumption that most incoming students are not prepared with proper math and science skills to succeed in this manner. Instead, we start students in an innovative integrated calculus sequence that combines pre-calculus and calculus I in a two semester sequence.
We will also have the physics majors in the same classes together to form a cohort of classes with only physics majors that will focus on collaborative techniques in learning. During the freshman year we will have students register for a two semester sequence of techniques in physics I and II to focus entirely on problem-solving skills associated with physics that employs the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL ) concept. POGIL is a classroom and laboratory technique that seeks to simultaneously teach content and key process skills such as the ability to think analytically and work effectively as part of a collaborative team. This approach will ensure that students continuously revisit principles fundamental to physics, thereby, deepening their understanding as they transfer this knowledge to new contexts.