Programs of Study

Why study physical sciences at Lander?

What is Physical Science? Physical sciences include the branches of natural science and science that study non-living systems. At Lander, we will open your eyes and minds to the physical world that surrounds you, including the matter, energy, processes and objects (atoms to mountains) of which it is made. We’ll help you prepare for an exciting and respected professional career as a chemist, environmental scientist, pharmacist, medical doctor or engineer.

Lander offers a comprehensive, balanced curriculum that covers a full range of interests in chemistry, environmental science, biology and physics. With a low student-faculty ratio, about 10:1 in upper level courses, you will receive plenty of individual attention from your professors, reaping the benefits of their years of teaching, research and industrial experience.

The physical science curriculum

Within the Department of Physical Sciences, you’ll find three distinct programs. Each builds a solid foundation in the sciences complemented by a variety of liberal arts courses, providing a well-rounded education.


As a chemistry major, you’ll have the flexibility to pursue your professional interests by studying the fundamental principles of analytical, inorganic, organic, biochemistry and physical chemistry, as well as mathematics and physics. You’ll take these skills into laboratories, where you’ll research and analyze the many properties and behavior of matter. An honors program is also available.

Upon completion of the chemistry degree program, you’ll be ready to advance your studies in graduate school, a health-related professional school or go straight into the job market, equipped with the experience, tools and techniques to be successful.

Chemistry-Engineering Dual Degree

In this unique, five-year program offered in cooperation with Clemson University, you’ll reap the benefits of attending both a small, liberal arts university and a larger, technically oriented university. You’ll spend the first three years of your college career at Lander majoring in chemistry. The remaining two years are spent at Clemson, where you’ll explore the field of chemical engineering.

While at Lander, you will train in the areas of chemistry, math, physics and engineering, ensuring that you enter Clemson at a level competitive with students already studying at that university. At the end of the program, you’ll have two very marketable Bachelor of Science degrees – one in chemistry from Lander and one in chemical engineering from Clemson.

Environmental StudiesEnvironmental Science

Among the greatest challenges humans face many are local, regional and global environmental problems, including pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, habitat destruction, species extinction, resource depletion, waste treatment and disposal, or climate change. Our environmental science majors are educated and trained to help address problems such as these, and many others.

In the environmental science program, you will build a strong foundation in the basic sciences essential for understanding and resolving environmental challenges, including biology, chemistry, geology, physics and mathematics. You will enhance and apply this knowledge with experience in the field – from the highlands to the coast. You will work on a major research problem or gain professional experience by interning with a government agency, industry or consulting firm.

Upon completion of the environmental science program, you will be ready to start a meaningful and rewarding career as an environmental scientist, or begin graduate study, contributing to the rapidly growing body of knowledge in this multidisciplinary field.

Internships and Research in Environmental Science

Pre-allied health programs

The department offers pre-allied health programs in: pre-medicine; pre-dentistry; pre-pharmacy; and pre-physician’s assistant. These programs are designed to prepare you to go on to health-related professional schools.

Most pre-allied health students major in one of the science fields offered at Lander, such as chemistry or biology. The key to this program’s success is early, individual advising. In addition to having an academic adviser in your major, you’ll also work closely with a pre-allied health adviser, who will help you tailor your studies to meet the requirements of the graduate school of your choice.

For more information on the department’s pre-health options, visit the pre-allied health page

Did you know …

  • Lander students applying to medical schools have an acceptance rate as high as 90 percent.
  • Lander’s environmental science program was the first offered at a state university in South Carolina.

Learn More

For more information, checkout the University Catalog, or follow one of the links below:


  • BS in Chemistry
  • BS in Chemistry/Engineering Dual Degree (offered in cooperation with Clemson University)
  • BS in Environmental Science
  • Pre-allied health programs available in pre-medicine and pre-pharmacy
  • Minors available in chemistry and environmental science

For full degree requirements, program goals and more, visit the department's section of the university catalog.