Why Study Physical Sciences?
Throughout industry there are many science based careers that involve aspects of multiple core disciplines but do not require a specific core scientific degree. Students seeking a Bachelor’s degree that offers career paths in a variety of disciplines rather than the specialization of an individual field should consider a Bachelor of Science in Physical Sciences. This degree provides a solid background in the sciences, often with a focus in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. In addition, PNW offers specialized concentrations in Environmental Science and Forensic Science to prepare students for these multi-disciplinary careers.
A bachelor’s degree in physical sciences is usually an excellent preparation for teaching, work as a lab technician, or graduate studies. For those who are interested in teaching, the secondary education concentration is most appropriate. The secondary education track will enable future educators to gain solid training and education in the areas of chemistry and physics. Graduates can also obtain jobs as lab technicians, conservationists, forestry technicians, wildlife management and other science-related work.
Why choose Purdue Northwest?
Our program in Physical Sciences offers the student a variety of options in the math and science classes allowing them to choose the best path to prepare for their desired career. As a student at PNW you will have the opportunity to study with faculty who are engaged in cutting edge research, including innovative problem solving. At PNW, smaller class sizes offer an opportunity for individual attention, undergraduate research opportunities, and hands-on access to modern instrumentation. Faculty in the Chemistry and Physics Department have a wide breadth of experience in a wide range of sub-disciplines within chemistry and physics, and many are actively engaged in research projects with students and collaborators at other universities. With ample classroom and laboratory experience and ability to perform research with experienced faculty, our Physical Sciences graduates have the knowledge and confidence to succeed in the workplace.
Professor Kathryn (Kay) Rowberg is an Associate Professor of chemistry at Purdue Northwest. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, a PhD in chemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago and a JD from Valparaiso University. She is a member of the Indiana Bar Association. At PNW she teaches General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Food Science. The students in her research group have worked on diverse environmental projects: monitoring residual herbicide in caves, identifying persistent organic pollutants in sediments, quantifying microplastics in regional waterways, modelling estrogenic activity in compounds, and predicting aquatic phototoxicity in emerging pollutants using computational methods. Recently students have worked in art conservation: authenticating an indenture parchment and using agarose gels to clean and preserve cultural artifacts.
Professor Rowberg was fortunate to have spent two years as a Fulbright Fellow in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, teaching and directing research for a master’s student and one semester as a Fulbright Fellow in Iceland teaching and working on environmental chemistry curriculum.
Professor Rowberg is the coordinator for the Environmental Science concentration for the Physical Sciences major. Her door is always open to talk about environmental careers.
You have many career options in the field of physical sciences. Regardless of your area of focus, you always have the option of working in industry and teaching in high school. If you choose to pursue a career in chemistry, you’ll also have the option of working in pharmaceutical industry, chemical, biotech, petroleum and other consumer products industries. If you choose the physics route, you could work as lab technician for companies that design and manufacture lasers, imaging equipment and other scientific instruments, as well as looking for opportunities with defense contractors and companies that sell data-analysis software.
Possible Career Choices:
- Research Lab Technician
- Climate Change Analyst
- Park Ranger
- Chemical technician
- Chemistry and Physics Teacher
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
- Forensic Science Technicial
- Environmental Science Technician
- Film and Video Editor
- Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Direct admission to the BS in Physical Sciences program requires consideration of standardized test scores and performance in mathematics additional to general University admissions requirements. Interested students who are not directly admissible to Physical Sciences may be admitted to a general admission program in which they can prepare for acceptance into the Physical Sciences program in the College of Engineering and Science.