A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.A smiling female student drips a chemical into a vial.

Chemistry and Physics

Purpose

The department, located in New Science Hall, houses both the chemistry and physics programs at the University. These programs provide students with a strong foundation in chemistry, physics and related disciplines, and prepare them for employment in the private and public sectors as well as for advanced professional or graduate study. The department also offers a nanofabrication manufacturing technology concentration for the B.S. in Chemistry and the B.A. in Physics.

Programs

The department offers the B.S. in Chemistry, the B.A. in Physics, and minors in both chemistry and physics. For the nanofabrication manufacturing technology concentration in the Chemistry and Physics programs, 24 credits of electives are replaced with an 18-credit capstone semester and 6 credits of upper-level nanofabrication-related electives or internship. The capstone semester is spent at the nanofabrication facility located in the Research Park of Pennsylvania State University.

In addition, students interested in secondary school teaching may select B.S.Ed. certification programs in chemistry, physics or general science.

Faculty

Woznack (chair), Dieterle, Gould, Li, Price, Sezer, Yasmin

Careers

Career opportunities in chemistry include positions such as analytical chemist, quality-control specialist, general laboratory technician, industrial management trainee, technical writer, chemical purchasing agent and salesperson with the chemical industry. Career opportunities in physics include government, academic and industrial positions ranging from the space program to the electronics industry to materials science and engineering, in addition to university teaching and research. Some department graduates have chosen to continue their education or to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, management, and college and university teaching and research.

Most graduates from the Chemistry and Physics Department have been successful in pursuing the career of their choice. Over the years students have obtained industrial jobs both locally and outside the region. Among the employers of our graduates are Bayer Corporation; Duracell; Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals; State Crime Labs in Erie, Greensburg and Charleston, SC; and the Allegheny County Coroner's Office in Pittsburgh. Other students have successfully completed doctorates at West Virginia University, Iowa State University, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of South Carolina. Our chemistry education and physics education majors have enjoyed great success finding positions within western Pennsylvania and outside the region.