Centre’s major program in chemical physics serves students who have strong interests in overlapping subfields of chemistry and physics. Usually these interests focus on the spectra and structure of atoms and molecules.
A person interested in chemical physics can choose from a variety of occupations, including spectroscopist, physical chemist, metallurgist, or physicist.
The Chemical Physics Program often has prepared students for graduate study and subsequent careers in research and/or academe. In this program, students receive a strong theoretical background in the physical sciences. Majors also study a variety of experimental techniques and become proficient in the communication of scientific information.
Your Major Took You Where?*
|United States Marine Corps||University of Oregon (Ph.D., chemistry)|
|University of Kentucky (Ph.D., chemical engineering)|
|California Institute of Technology|
|University of Louisville (M.D., medicine)|
*A Sampling of Recent Centre Graduates
“Studying both chemistry and physics is a journey facilitated by the passionate and knowledgeable professors in both disciplines. The professors encourage students to develop the love of learning, to imaginatively think and analyze molecules, quantum mechanics, and the universe, and to mature intellectual curiosity.”
Centre Class of 2020 • Chemical Physics Major
Students take core chemistry and physics courses (first-year and sophomore level), as well as courses in advanced physics and physical chemistry. Students have some choice in their advanced courses to pursue areas more closely aligned with their interests (e.g., optics, quantum mechanics, inorganic chemistry). Students also achieve a strong foundation in mathematics.
Valuable skills within the field of chemical physics are gained through on- and off-campus research experiences such as internships, summer programs at national laboratories, and university summer institutes.
A person interested in chemical physics can choose a career that deals with branches of the physical sciences involving the physical and theoretical nature of matter. Generally, students interested in these branches of physical science continue their studies in a graduate program. Centre students have an outstanding record of gaining admission to graduate programs and excelling in their graduate studies.