Chairperson: Dr. Eric D. Glendening
Department Office: Science Building, rooms 035 and 165
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/chem_phys/
The mission of the Department of Chemistry and Physics is to provide students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and experimental principles of chemistry and physics. The program features the hands-on use of instrumentation as well as the rigorous application of computer-based data acquisition and analysis methods. The department involves students directly in their educational experience, and, accordingly, has a well-established tradition of undergraduate research. A major in chemistry or physics thoroughly prepares students to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities, including: graduate study; medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or other health-related programs; research in chemistry or physics; process or quality control in chemical industry; and teaching.
Students majoring in chemistry or physics may earn either the bachelor of arts or the bachelor of science degree. Candidates for either degree must successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 124 credit hours, including the course requirements for the major and the General Education Program. Candidates for a bachelor of arts degree must also complete two years, or the equivalent, of a foreign language.
The department offers four tracks for the chemistry major: an American Chemical Society Certified Chemistry concentration, an American Chemical Society Certified Biochemistry concentration, a Preprofessional concentration, and a Business concentration. Three tracks are offered for the physics major: a Professional Physics concentration, a Chemical Physics concentration, and a Engineering Physics concentration. The curricula of these tracks are specifically designed to prepare students for a range of professional objectives. Students majoring in chemistry or physics are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor in the department as early as possible to learn about these different concentrations and to ensure that the structured sequence of courses and their prerequisites are being followed. A close working relationship between student and advisor is an important characteristic of the program.
The highlight of the Chemistry and Physics Programs is the opportunity to work closely with faculty in modern laboratory facilities. This practical research experience is essential preparation for professional and advanced academic work. The faculty currently pursue research in a number of fields, including biochemistry, bioinformatics, environmental chemistry, cosmochemistry, medicinal chemistry, inorganic chemistry, computational chemistry, laser optics, nonlinear dynamics, condensed matter phsyics, and nanotechnology. Students are offered the “best of both worlds,” hands-on experience with instrumentation that is found at major research universities and the close interactions with faculty that characterizes smaller liberal arts colleges. The department supports an undergraduate research program that typically engages about 15 students each summer. As part of their research experience, students have the opportunity to present their results at local, regional, and national meetings.
The department has a Student Affiliates chapter of the American Chemical Society. The Student Affiliates conduct both professional and social activities for students having an interest in chemistry. Students interested in physics can become members of the Society of Physics Students, and those who meet the requirements may be inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society.
The department offers advising as well as a recommended course of study for students interested in transferring to an engineering program at another university. The curriculum typically consists of three years of course work that provide the science and mathematics foundation along with a liberal studies component. After completing three years at Indiana State University students may transfer to an engineering college to complete their professional training. The program also provides a strong foundation for students who choose to move into one of several science majors at the University. Students are encouraged to contact the pre-engineering advisor and to write to prospective schools for course requirements and credit transfer policies.