Chairperson: Dr. Jennifer Inlow
Department Office: Science Building, rooms 035 and 165
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/chem_phys/
The Department of Chemistry and Physics provides students with a solid foundation in the theoretical and experimental principles of chemistry and physics. The program features 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 the chemical industry; and teaching.
Students majoring in chemistry or physics may earn a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree. Candidates must successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credits, including the course requirements for the major and the Foundational Studies Program.
The department offers concentrations for the chemistry major: an American Chemical Society Certified Chemistry concentration, an American Chemical Society Certified Biochemistry concentration, and a Preprofessional concentration. Three concentrations are offered for the physics major: a Professional Physics concentration, a Chemical Physics concentration, and an Engineering Physics concentration. The student must select a concentration within the major. The curricula of these concentrations 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 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.
A 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 physics, 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.