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Careers in the physical sciences include chemistry, physics, biochemistry and engineering. All are at the forefront of the STEM revolution. Graduates are engaged in the design and production of materials, development of new and more efficient production processes and techniques, quality assurance and control, upscaling for manufacturing, research and development. A strong foundation in chemical and physical sciences are fundamental to most STEM careers. In addition, the Benedictine history and reputation in the sciences ensures that students can choose additional courses that provide a deeper understanding in specific areas of study relevant to their goals. Listed below are several arenas in which careers in the physical sciences abound. Take some time to begin your exploration with us.

What can I do with a degree in a Physical Science?

  • Industrial Careers

Coating industry

Sixty to sixty-five percent of graduates with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or physics work in private sector, including industrial settings, creating products or processes for consumers or businesses (Source: American Chemical Society and the American Physics Society). A physics or engineering degree gives you important analytical, mathematical and computing skills that many employers find invaluable. Examples of industries that employ physical science graduates include the energy industry, medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry, petrochemicals, the coatings industry, and food sciences. At Benedictine, we have structured our programs so that our majors get as much laboratory experience as possible. Our students learn instrumentation, lab techniques, scientific calculations, problem solving and more in our labs, all of which are key skills for success in industrial careers. Our innovative first-year and second-year labs for majors are oriented around research themes, giving students further practical skills.

  • Healthcare

Much of the background required for post-graduate education in the healthcare field lies in the department of physical sciences. As a result physical science majors are very well suited to careers in healthcare, ranging from physicians, dentists and pharmacists to public health professionals and health clinical technicians. The physical science programs at Benedictine provide flexibility to create and explore interests that are relevant to a wide variety of health careers. The College of Science at Benedictine also enjoys partnerships that provide pathways to a wide variety of healthcare careers. To learn more about health professions and our pathways to success, visit our pre-medical and health professions website.

  • Environmental science careers
student studying environment

From the monitoring and analysis of factors affecting our air, water, and soil to the shaping of public policy around issues of the environment, there are a variety of careers available to physical science majors interested in many areas of environmental science, including new product development, analytical testing and hazardous waste management, safety & regulatory issues, and public policy. Stewardship is a hallmark of Benedictine education, and so our core mission is uniquely aligned with environmental themes. Employers in this area are searching for candidates with strong analytical skills and interdisciplinary expertise. Benedictine’s program sharpens those skills by exposing our students to wide spectrum of physical science disciplines and linking our research opportunities to real-world questions and concerns.

  • Research

Research chemists and physicists study the physical universe, using the latest scientific tools and techniques in both laboratory settings and the field. Chemists and Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena encompassing all scales: from sub-atomic particles to the behaviour of atomic and molecular interations, to mass material and energetic interactions of our world and the universe. In industry these scientists are exploring new ideas to expand the number and quality of products and materials that influence our lives. Novel polymer and alloy development, pharmaceutical breakthroughs, static and dynamic mechanics, aerospace delivery systems, and myriad aspects of the food industry are a few examples. In universities and colleges, professors in the lab or fields pursue scientific questions for the sake of knowledge alone and mentor students with projects and direct research programs.

  • and others....

There is a vast array of careers available to degree holders in the physical sciences, some resources to explore further are listed below.


The Benedictine Benefit

Birck Hall of Science

Benedictine University has a tradition of excellence in undergraduate science programs. The College of Science at Benedictine offers degrees that provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to enter rewarding careers. Our degree programs in the Physcal Sciences are proven platforms for career successes and exceptional placement into graduate and healthcare professional schools. Our faculty are nationally recognized for their research and teaching excellence.

     College of Science

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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119