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Physical Science

The physical science degree at Black Hills State University is designed to provide you with rigorous training in both physics and chemistry with introductory courses in the earth sciences.

The broad knowledge base obtained from this degree prepares you for graduate school and employment in a variety of occupations where an understanding of chemistry, physics, or mathematics is needed.

Why earn a physical science degree from BHSU?

  • State-of-the-Art Facilities:The Kathryn Johnson Life Sciences Laboratory is a new 24,896 sq. ft. building specifically designed for the natural sciences programs. BHSU also has a growth chamber, herbarium, scanning electron microscopy lab and many other labs/centers.
  • Experiential Learning:Students have the opportunity to work with faculty as paid research assistants on projects related to physical science
  • Premier Location:BHSU is located 20 miles from the Sanford Underground Research Facility where ground-breaking research on neutrinos and dark matter is being conducted. This close proximity to Sanford Lab combined with a high level of interest among faculty and staff creates opportunities for collaborative projects in the sciences.

Physical Science Requirements

Required Core - 26 semester hours

  • 4 CHEM 112/L General Chemistry I & Lab (gen ed)
  • 4 CHEM 114/L General Chemistry II & Lab (gen ed)
  • 4 MATH 123 Calculus I
  • 4 MATH 125 Calculus II 
  • 4-5 PHYS 211/L University Physics I & Lab
  • 4-5 PHYS 213/L University Physics II Lab  

Select one course from the following list:

  • CHEM 490 Seminar
  • ENGL 379 Technical Communication
  • GEOL 490 Seminar

Select 12 credit hours from the following list:

  • CHEM 492 Topics (3-6)
  • CHEM 498 Research (3-6)
  • GEOL 392 Topics (3-6)
  • PHYS 492 Topics (3-6)
  • PHYS 498 Research (3-6)
  • SCI 492 Topics (3-6)
  • SCI 494 Internship (3-6)

Take 1 MATH course from the following: 3-4 hours

  • MATH 225 Calculus III 
  • MATH 281 Introduction to Statistics
  • MATH 315 Linear Algebra
  • MATH 316 Discrete Mathematics
  • MATH 318 Advanced Discrete Mathematics
  • MATH 321 Differential Equations
  • MATH 373 Introduction to Numerical Analysis
  • MATH 413 Abstract Algebra
  • MATH 487 Design of Experiments

Select 6 courses (&Lab) from the following: 18-24 hrs: May not duplicate from above.

  • CHEM 326/L Organic Chemistry I & Lab
  • CHEM 328/L Organic Chemistry II  Lab
  • CHEM 332/L Analytical Chemestry & Lab
  • CHEM 342/L Physical Chemestry I & Lab
  • CHEM 344/L Physical Chemistry II & Lab
  • CHEM 434/L Instrumental Analysis & Lab
  • CHEM 452/L Inorganic Chemistry & Lab
  • CHEM 464/L Biochemistry I & Lab
  • CSC 150 Computer Science I
  • CSC 250 Computer Science II
  • CSC 260 Object Oriented Design
  • CSC 300 Data Structures
  • CSC 316 Discrete Mathematics (may not duplicate from above)
  • CSC 318 Advanced Discrete Mathematics
  • CSC 410 Parallel Computing
  • CSC 433 Computer Graphics
  • CSC 482 Algorithm Analysis
  • GEOL 201/L Physical Geology & Lab
  • GEOL 310 Volcanology
  • GEOL 340 Mineralogy and Petrology
  • GEOL 370 Hydrogeology
  • PHYS 331 Introduction to Modern Physics
  • PHYS 341 Thermodynamics
  • PHYS 343 Statistical Physics
  • PHYS 361 Optics
  • PHYS 451 Classical Mechanics
  • PHYS 471 Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 481 Mathematical Physics
  • SCI 388 GIS/GPS

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • ENGL 101 Composition I (3)
  • ENGL 201 Composition II (3)
  • SPCM Speech 101, 215, or 222 (3)
  • * Gen Ed - Social Science (9)
  • * Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities (12)
  • Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab (8)

* Global Requirement: depending on your selection, this requirement will satisfy 3 hours of either Social Science or Arts & Humanities requirements. Take 1 course from AIS/HIST 257, ANTH 210, ARTH 211/212/251, ENGL 211/212, GEOG 210, HIST 121/122/153, HUM 100, MCOM 151, POLS 141/250

A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Career Opportunities

Physical Science majors are able to find careers in a variety of fields:

  • Nuclear Research
  • Energy Industry
  • Chemical Lab Analysis
  • Environmental Research