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Physical Sciences Major

  • Available as major (B.S. degree)
    Take a closer look at the complexity of our world’s non-living systems. Explore the dynamics of the physical world. Learn about the interrelationships of science and the environment. Grow in your knowledge about how God created our world. Become a specialist in the physical sciences.

  • Majoring in physical sciences gives you the opportunity to benefit from an interdisciplinary science program. Working with our faculty, you can design a course of study that meets the needs of the career you want to follow.

    If you are still considering what science career you want to pursue, this degree program will help you narrow the field of choices.

    Design this program to fulfill your career goals. Some of our graduates have majored in astronomy, geophysics, geochemistry and biogeology.

    At Olivet, you can: 

    • Study chemistry, physics, biology, calculus, computer science, statistics, geology, astronomy.
    • Learn lab skills that will help you in graduate school or your future career.
    • Work as a lab assistant. Help other students with assignments and projects. 
    • Include astronomy as part of your degree program and use Strickler Planetarium and the Observatory in Reed Hall of Science for your research projects.
    • Design and conduct a research project. Then present your results at a professional meeting.
    • And so much more!

    Putting knowledge to work

    ACCA (Associated Colleges of the Chicago Areas) Student Symposium: Design and do an independent research project, prepare an abstract and then give an oral presentation of your results at this annual symposium.

    Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program with the National Science Foundation (NSF): Active research opportunities at major universities for undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by NSF. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. Recently, Olivet students participated in research experiences at Vanderbilt University and Baylor University.

    Two research options offered by Olivet for science and mathematics students:

    • Pence-Boyce Research Program Fellowships — Named to honor two Olivet professors, Elbert Pence (physics) and Fannie Boyce (mathematics), and funded by alumni and friends of Olivet
    • Olivet Research Associates Program – Set up to fund research in science and mathematics. Work with a faculty member on a forward-looking, 10-week research project during the summer. Projects may be theoretical, lab or field studies. Receive a stipend so you can work full time on your project.


    If you:

    • love math and science
    • like to solve problems
    • think logically
    • want a career in the physical sciences but haven’t settled on a specific field of interest

    then the physical sciences degree will launch your career adventures.

    Fewer students are studying the sciences while the need for scientists is growing. The demand for trained scientists means more satisfying jobs that pay well are waiting for you.

    Possible careers include: physical science technician, research associate, research technician, science technician, science laboratory assistant, science laboratory manager

    Possible employers include: government agencies, universities and colleges, industries of all types

    Physical Sciences is part of the Department of Chemistry and Geoscience within the College of Arts and Sciences. 

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  • As an Olivet student, you will be abundantly prepared for graduate school or whatever career path you choose to follow.