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Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science, and Geosciences - Jackson State University

This profile is one of a set of profiles of Geoscience programs. Information for this profile comes from an interview with Quinton Williams, Professor of Physics and former Department Chair.

Jump down to Overview and Context | Degree Programs | Supporting Minority Students | Participation in Interdisciplinary Programs | Serving the Campus Community | Additional Information

Overview and Context

Jackson State University is a Historically Black University with an enrollment of around 9000 students. Of that number approximately 95% are African-American. The school is open enrollment and most students receive financial assistance to attend.

The institution is listed as Research Intensive in the Carnegie Classification. The Department of Physics, Atmospheric Science, and Geosciences is a part of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology which is one of the largest parts in the school. The department offers 3 BS degrees and, between them, has roughly 70 majors.

Degree Programs

Support for Diverse Students

Preparing Future Teachers

Participation in Interdisciplinary Programs

Serving the Campus Community

Additional Info

From the 2011-13 JSU Undergraduate Catalog

The general philosophy of the Department is that each student should be able to reason, to collect facts and opinions, to think critically and to make informed decisions concerning his or her physical, social, economic, and political environment. The Department's philosophy is that thinking is a skill that can be taught, and that a good scientist is also a good citizen. The purpose of the Department is to guide students in the acquisition of knowledge and the development of the skills, understanding, and appreciation necessary for a professional education in physics, atmospheric sciences, and geoscience.

Goals of the Department are as follows:

  1. To prepare students for careers in physical research, medicine, engineering, meteorological research, professional meteorology, and other professional areas including the teaching of physics and physical sciences.
  2. To prepare students for graduate programs in physics, atmospheric sciences, Earth Sciences, engineering, other applied sciences, graduate programs in management, materials science, and for medical and dental schools.
  3. To develop an understanding of basic scientific principles, concepts, and the application of science in all students taking courses in the Department; to provide courses for students with other career interests which will increase their awareness of the environment and universe.
  4. To excel in research and development in the areas of meteorological observation, forecasting and modeling, atomic and molecular physics, optics, materials science, nanotechnology, computational science, renewable energy,and Earth and space science.
  5. To develop more collaborative research and development projects with other departments in Jackson State University, other institutions, state agencies, and non-profit and for profit organizations.
  6. To provide services to the community, the state, the nation, and the world in matters concerning science, particularly, physics, atmospheric science and the geosciences.