Department of Earth and Physical Sciences

Department of Earth and Physical Sciences

The Department of Earth and Physical Sciences houses programs in Astronomy (minor), Environmental Health Science, Environmental Science (minor), Earth Science Education, Geology, and Physics.

Our mission

To help develop a scientifically literate and proficient student body, and to encourage the greater community to be informed and engaged in areas of national and global importance such as: the success of the country’s technological industries, responsibly supporting our society’s energy needs, and maintaining the environmental well-being of our planet for posterity.

In support of this mission, our goals as a department are:

  • To prepare our majors for careers in their respective scientific professions including, when appropriate, success in employment, graduate school and/or engineering programs.
  • To support all students regardless of major, taking required courses in our department or who may benefit from the content of these courses. In particular, to help strengthen students’ skills at critical thinking and problem solving including practical and experimental methods both in the laboratory and in the field.
  • To help the population at large to better appreciate our natural environment and how it relates to the human condition.


Geology is a dynamic discipline, intimately related to the proper management of earth resources and the human environment. The program prepares the student to function upon graduation as a professional geologist or to continue studies at the graduate level. In addition, geology majors may prepare for careers as high-school science teachers or as specialists in the field of environmental protection. Knowledge of the earth has assumed critical importance because of the imminent depletion of many natural resources and the rapid deterioration of the physical environment. Demand for fossil fuels, metals, and industrial minerals, and the development of alternative sources of energy; have opened excellent job opportunities for graduates with a Geology degree. In addition, Federal and State environmental regulations are requiring more geological information than ever before. Oil and mining companies, consulting firms, federal, state and city agencies employ our graduates at present. The objectives of the geology curriculum are to provide the student with a scientific understanding of earth materials, their properties, arrangement, and distribution, as well as the dynamic processes that affect them; the historical dimension of the earth and its inhabitants, the evolutionary processes that shaped them; the geologists role in the proper planning for use of earth resources and the maintenance of the quality of the environment.

The Department offers a major in Geology with Biology and Physics options.

Dr. Nazrul Khandaker, Geology Coordinator


The physics discipline, in its desire to serve both the general academic community and the community of science and engineering majors, has the following interrelated and complementary objectives:

  1. Liberal Education of the Students;
  2. Professional Career Education;
  3. Research and Independent Inquiry; and
  4. Public and Community Service.

Through a choice of courses and major, physics students can prepare for graduate study in astronomy, physics, professional schools of medicine, dentistry, and engineering, or for career placement upon attainment of the baccalaureate degree. The physics program prepares students in allied fields of science with the background to grasp the underlying physical principles of their disciplines and to fulfill professional requirements. The physics discipline prepares pre-engineering students for transfer into the professional levels of baccalaureate engineering schools. In public and community service, some of the discipline's specific aims are:

  1. To upgrade the physics curriculum in the high schools.
  2. To improve the high school physics instruction of disadvantaged students.
  3. To make quality education in the sciences accessible to high-ability female, minority, and disadvantaged students, and
  4. To improve the quality of life through the monitoring and investigation of our physical environment.

The Department offers a major in Physics, a minor in Astronomy, a minor in Physics, and also advises for the Pre-Engineering Special Program.

Dr. Timothy Paglione, Astronomy Coordinator

Dr. James Popp, Physics and Pre-Engineering Coordinator

Our faculty also hold appointments in the Physics Ph.D. program of the CUNY Graduate Center.

Environmental Health Science

The Environmental Health Science Program is designed for students with a special interest in improving the quality of man's physical environment.

Students will be prepared for careers in industrial, governmental, health care, urban affairs, and educational agencies concerned with environmental health, occupational health, public health, and community interaction.

As professional technologists students will be prepared to assist in the conduct of comprehensive environmental control programs. They will have acquired skills in laboratory and field procedures from the analysis of water, food and air pollutants.

The Department offers a major in Environmental Health Science and a minor in Environmental Science.

Dr. Ratan Dhar, EHS Coordinator

Our faculty also hold appointments in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program of the CUNY Graduate Center.

Earth and Physical Sciences
Academic Core Bldg
Room 2F09