Physical Sciences

Bachelor of Science

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Program Intro

This degree provides a broad foundation in astronomy, chemistry, earth science and physics. This interdisciplinary program can be tailored to match your interests. A major in physical sciences is ideal if you want to teach chemistry, physics, or physical science at the high school level.

Department of Chemistry & Physics

In today’s dynamic world, we face numerous problems that require broad knowledge and skills in the physical sciences. Our program allows you to tailor your education to address these problems head on. You will gain hands-on expertise that can be applied to solve complex, interdisciplinary challenges.

Curriculum Overview

As a physical sciences student, you’ll work with your advisor and the department chair to create a specific curriculum during your first semester. We’ll determine specific core classes based on the focus of the approved coursework.

You can currently complete this degree at PNW’s Hammond campus.

Foundational and general education courses are the focus of your first year, when all physical science majors take the same courses.

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Sample Courses

  • MA 16300 – Integrated Calculus Analysis Geometry I
  • CHM 11500 – General Chemistry

You’ll complete the majority of your required courses this year and branch out into your defined interests.

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Sample Courses

  • PHYS 25100 – Heat, Electricity And Optics
  • BIOL 10100 – Introductory Biology

In year three, you’ll focus on classes associated with your interdisciplinary field.

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Sample Courses

  • Departmental Elective
  • Departmental Elective
  • CES Elective

As you complete your individualized course of study, you’ll undertake a yearlong capstone research experience.

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Sample Courses

  • PHYS 49400 – Junior-Senior Physics Seminar
  • 46900 – Research In Physics


As a PNW physical science major, you’ll have the skills employers seek and the background to continue your studies at a graduate or professional school. Our graduates flourish in careers throughout the country and around the world.

PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building


In the physical sciences program, you can blend a broad mixture of courses together to create a unique plan of study. This empowers you to focus on your specific interests and pursue a career of your own design.


There are multiple scholarships available to students in this program, including:

See Engineering and Sciences Scholarships

Beyond the Classroom

You’ll have many opportunities to get involved in on- and off-campus activities, including:

  • Chemistry and Physics Club
  • Environmental Club

Career Paths

With your tailored expertise, you can pursue a wide range of career paths, including:

  • High school science teacher
  • Science writer
  • Planetarium director


Many of our graduates work in school districts or as consultants who run their own businesses.

Meet the Faculty

Aaron Warren

Aaron R. Warren, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

Aaron R. Warren is an associate professor of physics in the department of chemistry and physics. His research focus is in physics education, with additional interests in computational astrophysics.

James Dolen

James W. Dolen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

James (Jim) Dolen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at PNW. His research and teaching focus on improving our understanding of the universe.

Neeti Parashar, Ph.D.

Neeti Parashar, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics; Director, Center for High Energy Physics

Neeti Parashar founded and is leading the Center for High Energy Physics program at PNW. She is also the principal investigator on National Science Foundation funding and the faculty mentor for the PNW QuarkNet Center on education and outreach.


Three students stand together wearing white lab coats and blue, plastic gloves. The student in the middle is holding a petri dish in the air.

Take the Next Step

See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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