Professor Tom Rybolt, Head
Our department is committed to engaging students in active learning in classroom, problem solving, laboratory, and research settings. Our department includes programs leading to degrees in Chemistry or in Physics and each separate area of study is discussed below.
The chemistry program is committed to a student-centered program of instruction, research, and service activities. It focuses on undergraduate education in the chemical sciences by providing excellent BS degree options, including a Concentration in Biochemistry. A high priority is placed upon the role of research with undergraduates, both in the generation of new knowledge for the science of chemistry and in enriching and supplementing the education of its students. Public service is directed to providing technical support and expertise for chemical industries and other colleges and universities in the Chattanooga area as well as improving pre-college chemistry instruction through activities designed to assist teachers and students. Chemistry provides a solid foundation in basic chemical concepts and theories as well as dynamic laboratory experiences for its majors and for students in related degree programs. A modern curriculum is offered through the use of state-of the-art scientific equipment, computer resources, and quality instruction. A continuing effort is made to ensure a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff engaged in laboratory work. An effective advisement program informs chemistry majors of career opportunities in industry and graduate school as well as professional schools in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry. The chemistry program maintains an active seminar program and uses a restricted fund, the Grote Chemistry Fund, to supplement state support in achieving our mission. The chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society. Strong values including cultural and intellectual diversity, collegiality, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct.
Consistent with the requirements of our accrediting agency, the American Chemical Society, students completing the chemistry program at UTC will demonstrate that they have received a sound education in the fundamental areas of modern chemistry.
Students completing the chemistry program at UTC will demonstrate attainment of essential critical thinking skills.
Recognizing that faculty-directed research develops outstanding critical thinking skills, we will work to enhance student participation in research activities.
Students completing the program in chemistry will have gained essential skills in: synthesizing and identifying compounds, analyzing data and interpreting results, keeping a laboratory notebook, operating modern instruments, searching the chemical literature, and handling hazardous chemicals safely.
Students completing the program in chemistry at UTC will be prepared to enter graduate school, programs in the health professions, or the work force.
The program in Chemistry at UTC is designed to prepare students for careers in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. The chemistry curriculum provides programs leading to the B.S. Chemistry degree. The B.S. program provides coursework in chemistry, physics and mathematics, and is recommended for students pursuing professional careers in chemistry or biochemistry. Within the B.S. Chemistry degree a student must select one of three concentrations: (1) Chemistry Concentration, (2) Biochemistry Concentration, or (3) STEM Education Concentration. The B.S. Chemistry program is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. We also offer a minor in chemistry.
Preprofessional programs in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine are described in the Pre-Professional Programs section of the catalog.
The Physics program contributes to degrees in other sciences, engineering, and professional areas. In addition, the program of study offers a minor in physics, and encourages physics students to pursue a minor in any discipline of interest.
The mission of Physics is to provide students with basic knowledge in the respective disciplines of physics and the intellectual skills necessary to become valuable members of society as they apply their knowledge successfully to graduate studies or professional endeavors. Our physics students graduate with a general knowledge of physics and specific knowledge of mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics, waves, optics, quantum and modern physics, appropriate to the undergraduate level.
The astronomy program is augmented by specialized equipment for astrophotography. The off-campus UTC Clarence T. Jones Observatory provides astronomy presentations to the community at large.
Physics offers a variety of introductory courses which fulfill the General Education Natural Science requirement with lectures and corresponding laboratories: PHYS 1030 /PHYS 1030L , PHYS 1040 /PHYS 1040L , PHYS 2300 /PHYS 2300L , PHYS 2310 /PHYS 2310L , GNSC 1110 /GNSC 1110L , and ASTR 1020 /ASTR 1020L all contain a strong laboratory emphasis, and are excellent choices to increase one’s appreciation of nature and the physical universe. GNSC 1150 and ASTR 1010 are approved general education, non-lab courses in Natural Science.
Within the B.S. Physics degree a student must select one of three concentrations: (1) a Physics concentration, (2) a Biophysics concentration, or (3) a physics: STEM Education. The physics concentration is more appropriate for students who want to pursue careers and further studies in a broad array of fields (including astronomy, geophysics, materials physics, or nuclear physics). The biophysics concentration is appropriate for students who want to pursue careers and post-baccalaureate studies in health-related fields and interdisciplinary graduate programs. The biophysics concentration fulfills all pre-professional requirements for pre-dentistry and pre-medicine, which are described in the pre-professional programs section of the catalog. Students with a physics major that are also seeking licensure to teach Physics in K-12 education should pursue their major through Physics: STEM Education, B.S.