Apr 05, 2020  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Chemistry and Physics

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Robert Magruder (chair), W. David Driskill (professor emeritus), Kimberlee Entsminger, Davon Ferrara, Danielle Garrett, Duane Hatch, Scott Hawley, Krista McBride, Julia Miller*, Alison Moore-Parker, Rachel Rigsby, Stephen Robinson, Justin Stace.



The vision of the Chemistry and Physics Department is to provide our students with the skills and knowledge to engage in a life-long inquiry into physical phenomena. Such an experience includes preparation for additional formal study, for career opportunities, and for a reflective and meaningful life.


The purpose of the Chemistry and Physics Department is to provide students with a variety of academically challenging educational experiences that enhance their understanding of the physical world and their relation to it.


The curriculum of the Chemistry and Physics Department has the following objectives:

  1. To prepare students for graduate study and/or professional studies.
  2. To prepare students for employment in positions related to their major fields of study.
  3. To prepare students for teaching positions at the middle school and secondary school levels.
  4. To enhance the understanding and appreciation that students have of the impact that science has on their daily lives.

The Department of Chemistry and Physics offers programs of study leading to the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Bachelor of Science in Physics, Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, Bachelor of Science in Physics Pre-Health, and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies.

The Department offers three programs in Physics. Each program offers a balanced presentation of theory and application. A Physics Major is designed for students whose career plans include attending graduate school, seek employment in industry or teach physics at the secondary level. An Engineering Physics Major is for students interested in the area of applied physics and/or who plan to attend graduate school in engineering.  The Physics Pre-Health program is designed for pre-health related areas such as medical physics, medical school, dental school, biophysics, and graduate work in biomedical science areas. The program includes the biology and chemistry courses that would prepare students for admission to medical or other pre-health programs while allowing students who wish to pursue other options the fexibility to take courses aimed at their specific career interests. This program requires no minor.

Belmont University offers a major in Chemistry with various emphases, allowing students to tailor a program of study in chemistry to fit their needs.  Depending on your personal interests and career ambitions, you will find that one of our emphases can help you attain your goals.  Areas of emphasis include:

  • Advanced Chemistry is designed for students considering careers in chemical research. Providing a rigorous foundation in organic, analytical, and physical chemistry as well as undergraduate research opportunities, it is ideal for students interested in pursuing graduate study in chemistry.
  • Pre-health Chemistry includes chemistry courses required for admission to medical, dental, pharmacy, and other health-related professional schools, emphasizing organic, biochemistry and biophysical chemistry. Other chemistry courses provide a strong core for later success in health-related fields. Successful completion of this program of study provides students with an excellent background for satisfying medical school admission requirements as well as preparation for standardized tests.
  • Applied Chemistry concentrates on more technical aspects of chemistry. Courses in analysis & instrumentation as well as internship opportunities position students for success in quality assurance or control labs, environmental monitoring, forensics, or scientific equipment sales.
  • Chemistry Education is designed for students wanting to pursue teaching in chemistry or a related area at the secondary-education level. Students in this emphasis may minor in education and apply for admission to Belmont’s accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching program. This specialized ‘4+1’ program allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, then earn a master’s degree in education and be eligible for teaching licensure in the fifth (+1) year.

Physics Majors and Minors

All students who major in Physics, Engineering Physics, or Physics Pre-Health will need to complete an introductory physics sequence, calculus I and II, the physics core and research sequences, and additional requirements based on the major. Some of these requirements will count towards the general education curriculum. Detailed descriptions are below. Although they are not required, students are strongly urged to take MTH 2210 Calculus III , and MTH 2240 Differential Equations , during the year following the introductory sequence.

Students are strongly encouraged to take the calculus-based introductory physics sequence (Option 1 below). However, with advisor approval, Options 2 and 3 may be chosen based on an individual student’s academic needs:

Option 1: PHY 2110 , PHY 2120  (preferred, MTH 1210 Calculus I , and MTH 1220 Calculus II , are co-requisites); Option 2: PHY 1110 , PHY 1120  (pre-calculus is a prerequisite); Option 3: PHY 1140 , PHY 2010 , and PHY 2250  (pre-calculus is a prerequisite). If students take Option 3, then PHY 2250  replaces an elective.

The physics core consists of the following courses for a total of 14 credit hours and designed to provide a solid foundation in physics for all students in the major:

PHY 2230 Introduction to Modern Physics  (4 hours) PHY 3110 Analytical Mechanics  (3) PHY 3120 Electricity and Magnetism  (4) PHY 4210 Quantum Mechanics I  (3)

The physics research sequence consists of the following courses for a total of 6 hours: PHY 4010 Advanced Laboratory  (2) PHY 3700 Research in Physics I  (1) PHY 4700 Research in Physics II  (2) PHY 4050 Physics Senior Capstone  (1)

Physics 4700 may be replaced by two semesters of research in the form of an independent study. Alternatively, independent study courses may be counted towards elective credit as described below.


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