Welcome to the Department of Physical Sciences
The Department of Physical Sciences consists of faculty in chemistry, geology, and physics. Our alumni include chemists, geologists, environmental scientists, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, engineers, business professionals, college professors, and teachers.
What We Offer
Programs of Study:
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geosciences
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Education (Chemistry, General Science)
- Academic Minors in Physics, Chemistry, and Geology
Courses: We offer courses in astronomy, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, oceanography, physics, and physical science.
Research Opportunities: We work with Concord students in several exciting areas of research. Environmental Geoscience students travel for fieldwork with faculty to mountain belts throughout the world, including the Appalachians, the Rocky Mountains, the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, and the icy shores of Greenland above the Arctic Circle. Chemistry students work on research problems in biomedicine, drug discovery, solar energy, materials science, nanotechnology, and particle physics. Our recent research grants have brought in more than $1.4 million for student employment, travel to field sites, and new laboratory equipment for student use.
Laboratory Facilities: We maintain research-grade equipment to stimulate innovative teaching and learning at Concord. Facilities include an electron microprobe – an instrument similar to a scanning electron microscope that magnifies and chemically analyzes tiny areas a fraction of the width of a human hair in minerals and other solid materials. It is the only such instrument in West Virginia. We also maintain an astronomical observatory and additional labs for teaching and research in chemistry, physics, and geology. Students at large universities rarely even see advanced lab equipment, yet at Concord you will get to use it for class as a freshman.
Why Major in Chemistry or Environmental Geosciences?
Chemists and geoscientists are in strong demand and they pursue engaging careers that change the world. The technical and problem-solving skills learned in these majors are transferrable to a wide variety of careers in the sciences and the world of business, ranging from the development of new energy sources, to environmental protection, to human health and medicine, to invention of consumer products and technology, to business management. Salaries in chemistry and geology are high – the American Geosciences Institute reported that geoscientists had the highest average salary of all pure science fields.
Where Our Graduates Go
Graduate Programs: Our alumni have gone on to graduate schools for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry, geology, oceanography, engineering, and environmental science at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, University of California - Berkeley, University of Illinois, Virginia Tech, University of Wyoming, Ohio State, University of Kentucky, Indiana University, WVU, and many other institutions. Nearly all students pursuing graduate degrees in chemistry and geology do so for free - they gain research and teaching fellowships that cover the cost of tuition and pay a modest salary.
Professional Programs: Pre-professional chemistry majors have gone on to obtain doctorates in medicine (M.D., and D.O), pharmacy, and other health-related fields. Some alumni have earned law degrees.
Careers: Our geology and chemistry alumni work in West Virginia and throughout the United States at government science agencies, large and small corporations, high schools, universities, hospitals, and scientific consulting firms. Employers include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, WV Department of Environmental Protection, Georgia Pacific, American Electric Power, Environmental Resources Management, U.S. Army Research Lab, Schlumberger, Consol Energy, Chevron, NASA, U.S. Geological Survey, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many others.
For additional information:
Contact Dr. J.L. Allen, Chair, Department of Physical Sciences