Physical Sciences


We in the Department of Chemistry at W&L provide education in the chemical sciences, conduct scientific research in chemistry, biochemistry, and related areas, and share expertise and service to other members of the Washington and Lee community and a wide range of professional and private communities outside of W&L.

Earth and Environmental Geoscience

Earth and Environmental Geoscience offers an integrative, scientific avenue of study for issues relating to managing our interactions with the environment, providing adequate resources, ensuring the safety of the built environment in the face of natural hazards, and solving the complex history of earth and its continuing evolution. The Geology Department makes extensive use of the extraordinary geology the Appalachians and other locales around the globe (American Southwest, New Zealand, Greece, & Hawaii most recently) and we offer many opportunities for research here and around the globe using scientific computing, field programs, laboratory analyses, and GIS mapping.

Physics and Engineering

Physics and Engineering at W&L combines a liberal arts education with the rigors of traditional studies in these disciplines. Students who Major in Physics will explore the physical world around us as they strengthen and apply mathematical skills, investigate and make observations and leverage analytical and problem-solving skills. Engineering is an applied science that builds on the foundations of physics to develop smart power grids, biomedical devices, innovative and renewable materials for construction and so much more. Our Majors will work on projects and have opportunities to conduct research, attend conferences and publish alongside faculty as undergraduates. Students will gain an education that has the breadth and depth of a practical, hands-on education to stand apart. A degree in either Physics or another discipline combined with Engineering opens the door to a wide variety of careers from entertainment to a profession in medicine.