The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
The mission of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is to elevate academic achievement and quality of life through higher education, research, and outreach.
One of the things that you’ll hear about UWA quite often is, “There’s something about this place.” Come visit us at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and you’ll get a sense of what that means. NSM contains the Departments of Biological and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Physical Sciences, and the Department of Mathematics. In 2017, the College was also pleased to add under its umbrella the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, which contains the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training. The more than fifty faculty in the College oversee almost twenty majors covering the full spectrum of basic sciences, applied health training, and mathematics. These STEM fields, of course, are critical to the future. A strong preparation in these areas goes a long way toward ensuring a productive career.
The opportunities in NSM are rich and varied. Our program in Cell and Molecular Biology prepares students for entry into medical, veterinary, and other professional schools, as well as providing an outstanding preparation for entry into graduate study at UWA or another institution. Similarly, the Conservation and Field Biology program provides a firm foundation for those biologists who wish to work with the natural resources so abundant in the Southeast. This program also serves as a solid foundation through which students can move into UWA’s new Master of Science program in Conservation Biology, one of the few of its kind anywhere.
Other students may opt for our program in Environmental Science and its associated internships, which provide an excellent gateway into employment. NSM’s program in Marine Biology and its association with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab has a long, rich history, and many of the graduates of that program currently work with their feet wet around the world.
In the Physical Sciences, our programs in Chemistry allow students to choose a variety of pathways. Perhaps the most popular, and successful, in the Pre-Pharmacy Chemistry track. Students successfully completing this program have had great success moving on into schools of pharmacy and joining this highly rewarding occupation. Our programs in Exercise Science and Athletic Training feature the opportunity to work with some of the finest professors and athletic trainers in the nation. The College provides opportunities for teacher certification in biology, general science, mathematics, and physical education, and UWA’s long history of teacher preparation has established a tremendous reputation with educational institutions in the region.
In NSM, we believe strongly in learning by doing. Our classes are inquiry-based, with a hands-on approach. Undergraduate research is a major focus, and our Undergraduate Research Symposium has developed into one of the best in the region. We try to provide opportunities that go beyond the classroom. Our students have interned at Yale University, done research on Siberia’s Lake Baikal, and studied at the University of Western Australia. Outreach and involvement also play a major role in NSM, and the College has long sponsored events such as Science Saturdays, Elementary Science Olympiads, and Regional Sciences Fairs. Our students typically play a major role in these events.
All in all, we believe that the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is the perfect place to put UWA’s other motto into action — Do something that matters!
Jeffery Merida, Ph.D.