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STEM Disciplines at VWU


The Department of Biology is committed to providing a strong foundation in basic life sciences that will give multiple options upon graduation.  Both a B.A. and a B.S. degree are offered.  In addition to concepts and principles, students learn to see science as a process of discovery and problem solving through scientific methodology. The diverse curriculum in the natural sciences prepares competent learners of the future. As part of our Experiential Learning component students engage in independent research using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), aboard our research vessel, The Ocean Explorer or in our newly renovated research laboratories.  Students can also participate in our field courses to tropical destinations such as Costa Rica, Trinidad or Belize.  Many of our students elect to participate in internships at the Virginia Aquarium, Norfolk Zoo, Sentara Hospitals, EVMS, and veterinary clinics.  Upon successful completion of the program, students may seek careers or graduate work in biology, microbiology, botany, zoology and related areas such as the health professions, environmental studies, marine biology, and education.


The Chemistry Department offers a B.S. degree program utilizing innovative teaching methods and emphasizing a strong foundation in all the subdisciplines of chemistry.  The strength of the Chemistry Program lies not only in the quality of our faculty, all of whom have earned a Ph.D. within a chemical field, but also in its focus on building the practical skills and theoretical knowledge of each individual student.  Our department has made significant improvements to the program over the last few years from the quality of facilities to the way we teach our courses, as well as the acquisition of new analytical instrumentation and technology to support both student instruction and research.  As a student in our program, you will acquire a strong foundation in the chemical sciences and develop the laboratory, research, and critical thinking skills you will need in your future career.  Graduates from our program are equipped with the skills and qualifications for entry-level positions in industrial, academic, and government settings; for secondary school teaching; and for graduate and professional schools. 

Computer Science

The Computer Science Program offers majors for both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees.  Each program provides a broad education in the fundamentals of computer science.  The B.S. option is designed for students with an additional strong interest in pursuing further education in computer science or engineering.  Independent research projects are pursued by most students. Career options in Computer Science include software developer, programmer, system analyst, computer administrator, and systems consultant.

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Earth and environmental sciences is a multi-disciplinary field that addresses the interactions between humans and the environment. Study in this field includes both an understanding of the basic principles that govern geological, biological, and chemical interactions as well as the applied context of developing solutions to current environmental problems.  Hands-on class-projects, internships, and research allow our students to develop skills in field methods, laboratory techniques, and computer analysis such as Geographic Information Systems.  As a student you will conduct experiments from aboard our research vessel, analyze samples for pollution in our mercury lab, and have class in our newly renovated laboratories.  Our graduates have gone on to graduate school and jobs in fields such as wastewater treatment, environmental monitoring and remediation, green building, and education.

Engineering Dual-Degree Program

The Engineering Dual-Degree Program offers students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a Master of Engineering (M.E.) from Old Dominion University in five years.  Participants in the program choose a major in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth & Environmental Sciences or Mathematics at VWU.  While undergraduates, students take undergraduate engineering courses at ODU to prepare for the graduate portion of the program.  For their graduate work, students can choose from Civil, Environmental, Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, or Aerospace Engineering.


The Mathematics Department offers majors for both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees, as well as a program for secondary mathematics teaching certification.  All three programs provide a broad education in the fundamentals of mathematics. All options are appropriate for students who plan to pursue graduate degrees in mathematics or related fields, such as statistics and engineering. The B.S. option is designed for students with an additional strong interest in science or engineering.   Independent or guided research projects are encouraged.  Career options in mathematics include actuary, operations research, cryptanalyst, cost estimator, national security analyst, statistician, and education.