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, medical lab technologists, engineers, business professionals, college professors, and teachers. 

Concord University Science Building

What We Offer

Programs of Study

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, and particle physics. Our recent research grants have brought in more than $1.5 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 West Virginia's only electron microprobe – an instrument similar to a scanning electron microscope that magnifies and chemically analyzes tiny areas in minerals and other solid materials. 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, University of Vermont, Wright State University, 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.  

Medical and Pharmacy Schools: 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. Environmental geosciences alumni have been employed by the WV Department of Environmental Protection, American Electric Power, Environmental Resources Management, Northwestern University, Schlumberger, Consol Energy, Chevron, Alpha Natural Resources, NASA, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many others. Employers of chemistry alumni include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO), Georgia Pacific, U.S. Army Research Lab, Princeton Community Hospital, REIC Labs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and many local pharmacies and medical offices. 

Department Mission 

The Department of Physical Sciences challenges 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 post-graduate studies. Our faculty foster a dynamic learning environment that broadens students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes through active-learning curricula. Our mission drives the Educational Goals and Objectives of our programs. 

For additional information: 

Contact Dr. J.L. Allen, Chair, Department of Physical Sciences