Dec 13, 2018  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog (August 2018 - July 2019) 
    
2018-2019 Academic Catalog (August 2018 - July 2019)

Department of Physical Sciences


The Department offers degree programs in Chemistry and Environmental Geosciences, as well as coursework in astronomy, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, oceanography, physics, and physical science. Minor programs are available in chemistry, geology, and physics.  
 
The mission of the Department is to challenge students to become interdisciplinary, ethically responsible professionals and scientists. Our degree programs and courses engage students with fundamental scientific content with the aim to transform them into leaders in their discipline and equip them to succeed in future careers and postgraduate studies. Our faculty foster a dynamic learning environment that broadens students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes through active-learning curricula.  
 
The Department operates the Concord University observatory for optical astronomy, and maintains numerous laboratories for teaching and research including the only electron microprobe laboratory in West Virginia. These and other facilities for chemical, geological, and environmental research are used throughout the curriculum.  
 
Chemistry
 
A degree in chemistry can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including medicine and health-related sciences, industry, and teaching. Students majoring in chemistry at CU complete foundational coursework introducing each of the five major branches of chemistry: Analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and inorganic chemistry. Selection of flexible advanced coursework in chemistry or other sciences allows our graduates to become multi-disciplinary specialists by completing one or more elective concentrations:  
• Biochemistry (pre-Medicine), a block of electives integrating biology and chemistry designed for pre-Medical studies or a double major with biology; • Geochemistry, a block of electives integrating geology and chemistry for environmental careers or a double major with environmental geosciences; • Professional Chemistry, a block of courses in chemistry and physics for professional careers in chemistry, research, and graduate school admissions;  • 3+1 Health Sciences (pre-Pharmacy and pre-Clinical Lab Science), a program integrating a senior-year, off-campus residency at a School of Pharmacy or School of Medical Technology.  
 
The Educational Goals and Objectives of the Chemistry Program challenge students to gain content knowledge and problem-solving skills across the five major subfields of the chemical sciences. Graduates gain diverse communication skills and
demonstrate attitudes conducive to working in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner. Our Educational Goals and Objectives are summarized below.  
 
1. Knowledge and Problem-Solving Skills in the Chemical Sciences Goal – Synthesize and integrate knowledge and experiences to solve problems in the chemical sciences 1.1 Objective - Students will be able to apply fundamental principles underlying the five major subdivisions of chemistry 1.2 Objective – Students will develop analytical and quantitative reasoning skills in order to design experiments to answer questions   2. Communication Skills Goal - Be able to communicate complex scientific concepts for a variety of audiences 2.1 Objective – Students will prepare reports and presentations using relevant technology for a scientific audience 2.2 Objective – Students will design outreach activities that serve and benefit the public   3. Safety and Professionalism: Attitudinal Development  Goal - Conduct scientific work and report results in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner 3.1 Objective – Students will recognize unethical and unsafe research/experimental practices and data and plan an appropriate response 3.2 Objective – Students will work effectively and ethically in groups
 
Environmental Geosciences
 
Courses in geology focus on the scientific study of the Earth, its resources, and the analysis of environmental problems and natural hazards. Nearly all of our courses incorporate field trips and field research projects that uniquely enhance classroom learning. Students majoring in environmental geosciences complete coursework in geology supplemented by elective coursework from the physical sciences, geography, or biology. This allows students to arrange double majors with other disciplines.  
 
The Educational Goals and Objectives of the Environmental Geosciences Program challenge students to gain content knowledge and problem-solving skills across the major subfields of the geological sciences, including career-focused environmental and applied aspects of the geosciences. Graduates gain diverse communication skills and demonstrate attitudes conducive to working in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner. Our Educational Goals and Objectives are summarized below.  
 
1. Knowledge and Problem-solving Skills in the Geological Sciences Goal – Synthesize and integrate knowledge and experiences to solve problems in the geological sciences
1.1 Objective - Students will be able to apply fundamental principles underlying the major subfields of geology 1.2 Objective – Students will develop analytical and quantitative skills in order to design laboratory and field studies to answer questions   2. Communication Skills Goal - Be able to communicate complex scientific concepts for a variety of audiences 2.1 Objective – Students will prepare reports and presentations using relevant technology for a scientific audience 2.2 Objective – Students will design outreach activities that serve and benefit the public   3. Safety and Professionalism: Attitudinal Development Goal - Conduct scientific work and report results in an ethical, safe, responsible, and professional manner 3.1 Objective – Students will recognize unethical and unsafe research/experimental practices and data and plan an appropriate response 3.2 Objective – Students will work effectively and ethically in groups