Chemistry & Physics Home
Welcome to Department of Chemistry & Physics
The Department of Chemistry and Physics prepares biochemistry majors, chemistry majors, and physics majors for graduate study in chemistry, physics, and related professional programs; educates science majors in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general physics; provides comprehensive coverage of earth science and physical science for elementary and middle education majors; and provides courses in natural science and astronomy to satisfy the laboratory-science requirement in the educational core common to all High Point University degrees.
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Both of the degrees offered in Chemistry as well as the degree in Biochemistry have a wealth of internship and experiential learning opportunities in the form of laboratory research. In the last decade, the introduction of undergraduate research in the sophomore year has been especially encouraging. Under faculty direction, students have begun original research projects that have been continued for two more years and have generated data resulting in presentations at professional meetings at the regional and national level.
All Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are expected and encouraged to apply for undergraduate research programs or internships. High Point University students have most recently presented research at the National ACS Meeting, SERMACS, and the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium. They have participated in the National Science Foundation sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduate Summer internships at NASA Ames Research Center, University of Bristol, UK, and James Madison University, among others.
The Bachelor of Arts Major in Chemistry serves the educational needs of those students who are not interested in attending graduate school in chemistry but who may seek a career in the chemical industry, entry into professional school or secondary school teaching. Also, the major requirements should be more modest, not requiring as much mathematical rigor as the Bachelor of Science and should be flexible enough to allow students to pursue their interests in the special disciplines of chemistry or other fields.
The design of the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry has been formed by two cornerstone beliefs. First, we believe that the purpose of a University is to generate new knowledge. Second, we believe that new knowledge in the chemical sciences is only generated in the laboratory through research. Furthermore, exemplars of undergraduate education in chemistry utilize undergraduate research as the vehicle for the preparation of chemistry majors who not only attend highly competitive graduate and professional programs but also are sought by these programs. The expectation is that the majority of graduates with this degree will attend graduate school in the chemical sciences or closely allied fields.
At High Point University, we are excited to now offer the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with the goal of preparing graduates for competitive careers in this burgeoning interdisciplinary domain. The study of biochemistry requires a student to be well-versed in a variety of disciplines, including math, physics, biology, and chemistry. While the curriculum prescribes a demanding level of rigor and breadth, it also affords students the opportunity to tailor their choice of upper-level courses in biology according to their specific interests.
The Physics program at High Point University offers a curriculum that is distinctive and innovative, dually focused on computational physics and undergraduate research.
The program teaches computational modeling in all courses within the curriculum and the majority of students completing undergraduate research will do projects in computational physics. There is a two-semester sequence of programming courses in computer science and the larger number of required courses in mathematics. With the thread of computational physics woven into all physics courses and with the foundational courses in math and computer science, physics majors are broadly prepared for graduate studies in physics, applied mathematics and related sciences such as electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and atmospheric science which all rely heavily on computational modeling. Furthermore, graduates have essential, practical skills in computing and problem solving that make them quite competitive for jobs in industry. Physics is a contemporary major that combines understanding of traditional core subjects with modern tools and techniques for investigation.
The Bachelor of Arts in Physics provides students with a solid foundation in physics and computer modeling. It is primarily intended for those students who plan to pursue a career in a science-related field in which a physics background would be an asset, or for those who plan to pursue a career in teaching science at the high school level. For example, students in chemistry or biology who wish to pursue graduate work in the interdisciplinary areas of physical chemistry or biophysics would find additional preparation in physics beneficial. The B.A. requires fewer programming and upper level physics courses than does the B.S. and does not require students to perform undergraduate research. However, the required coursework still provides students with essential, practical skills in computing and problem-solving that make them quite competitive for graduate school or jobs in industry.
In the last two academic years, the High Point University Chemistry and Physics majors have presented over forty research papers and posters at national and regional scientific conferences. Students have held a plethora of summer research internships in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, materials science, robotics and medicine.