Prospective Students

Are you considering a career in science, engineering, STEM education or the health professions? Maybe you hope to conduct research in computational chemistry, quantum information or science education. Maybe you want to work in food science, or teach high school science or you want to explore high energy physics in Mexico ... maybe you simply love thinking about how the world works? Our undergraduate program is excellent preparation for whatever direction in the physical sciences you choose!

What to expect:  

  • High quality teaching, a family environment, faculty engagement, and support from peer mentoring programs.
  • Engagement in hands-on, minds-on, STEM Research.
  • Opportunities to attend, present, and communicate science at local and national conferences – CSU students have given presentations all over the world – from Chicago to Switzerland!
  • Local, national, and global internship opportunities.

CSU physics researchers in Mexico

CSU physics student Olesson Cesalien and professor Edmundo Garcia
collaborate with other institutions to map
archaeological pyramid
structures at the El Castillo pyramid in Mexico!



The Chemistry Program at CSU offers options that allow you to focus on any branch of chemistry: analytic, biochemical, organic, medicinal, physical, theoretical, computational, polymer or teaching. As a chemistry major you will engage in exciting coursework, conduct and design experiments, engage in original research with faculty and peers and defend a thesis on your own work! 

Options in our department include:

  • Pursuing graduate work in chemistry, biochemistry, and related fields … Chemistry
  • Working in an industrial lab in food chemistry, hair products, or product testing … Industrial Chemistry
  • Medical School, Pharmacy School or other health fields … Biochemistry
  • Teaching at the Secondary Level … Secondary Education in Chemistry

Top Ten Reasons to Major in Chemistry at CSU


To develop student interest in engineering we affiliate with several national student and professional-based organizations. Engineering Studies is committed to increasing the number of minority professionals in engineering via collegiate opportunities to study engineering at undergraduate and graduate levels.

We offer programs for:

  • CSU students pursuing Engineering Studies or the Engineering Degree
    Calculus ready students in Engineering Studies follow a course of full-time study for two years that includes the math, physics, chemistry, and engineering courses needed of all engineering majors. This course of study prepares you for continued study at CSU or at an accredited engineering institution (via consortial transfer agreements).  Many students chose to remain at CSU and complete the final two years which focuses on the core courses related to a B.S. in Physics with an Engineering Physics option. 
  • Chicago area students in 6th to 12th grade. Check out PREP!
    Pre-Freshman Engineering Program in Engineering and Science (PREP): The goal of the PREP's Summer and Saturday Academies is to increase student awareness, at an early age, of the professional opportunities in engineering and to encourage them to take more mathematics and science as part of their high school course load.  Please visit the PREP Program page for more information.


The Physics Program at CSU offers options that allow you to focus on general physics, engineering, biomedical physics, and teaching. As a physics major you will engage in exciting coursework, conduct and design experiments, engage in original research with faculty and peer mentors and defend a thesis on your own work! 

Options in our department include: 

  • Interested in pursuing graduate work in physics, biophysics, cosmology and related fields … Physics
  • Interested in engineering or applied physics … Engineering Physics
  • Interested in Medical School, Medical Physics or other health fields … Biomedical Physics
  • Interested in Teaching at the Secondary Level … Secondary Education in Physics

Are you thinking about medical school or law school?

Did you know physics majors do really well on the MCAT and LSAT.  


Student testimonials

“I’m highly appreciative of my experience studying physics as an undergrad at Chicago State University (CSU). The department offers different curriculum pathways for preparation for the next stage in your life … faculty members were eager to go above-and-beyond in providing opportunities to students which allowed their education to be comparable to and competitive with any other institution. The faculty exposed students to research practices and other valuable experiences early in their academic career to better prepare them. … I feel very fortunate to have attended CSU, … a Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), … I did not feel out of place studying in STEAM.”  (from an interview as part of Adler Planetarium’s Chicago’s Black Women in STEAM Blog Series

Felicia Davenport


PhD Candidate, Georgia Tech University



"Chicago State University is a symbol of reinvention and endless possibilities for many demographic groups. This university helped me to understand that there is more to chemistry than experiments and test tubes. CSU lets you explore the various subgroups and techniques that accompany the chemistry field. The class work and research gave me a incite on the various work environments that I would possibly encounter. In addition, CSU is responsible for the innovation that is needed for individuals to be successful. Although CSU is not a conventional school, they make up for it through small class size, comprehensive learning, and study sessions. Chicago states affordability makes it education a reality for all economic groups. While attending CSU I developed many close-knit relationships with not only peers but with CSU professors as well."

Keisha Armstrong


Quality Assurance, Schulze & Burch Biscuit co.



"I hope that my success encourages others to see that the wealth of knowledge and opportunities that can be founded at CSU are invaluable. My experience at Chicago State University was an adventure because I was not sure if I was capable of graduating.  I did not know what success was and importantly what that meant for me. Due to my persistent and willpower, I am proud to be the first graduate out of my family to receive a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As a result, I can be more independent and to care for myself and my family.  My professors helped me to find and define my passion by encouraging me, pushing and teaching me the skills and knowledge that I need after my time at CSU. The most important aspect is not about where you start and what should know, but about where you end and what you take from your experiences. My professors would not mind me coming to their office or ask for help no matter how many times I was confused. My experience at through the good and the bad was a period of growth, a test of my will to succeed and helped me to unlock hidden abilities I did not know I was capable of. I received more than a degree, but relationships that will carry me through a lifetime and experiences from my journey at Chicago state that will support me in my future endeavors. The day I graduated from CSU was the proudest moment in my life because it was a testament to the new person that I had become. The most potent message that left with me that day as I am not only a reflection of my adversity, but I am a new and better person because I was able to overcome the adversity I faced, and CSU helped me to realize this fact about myself." 

Shantaye Warner-Houston


Quality Assurance Product Support Specialist, ManpowerGroup



"CSU prepared me for graduate school [PhD program at Purdue University] by giving me opportunities to perform tasks that are required of graduate students such as research and teaching. These experiences allowed me easily adjust to graduate school and succeed." 

Anthony Pitts-McCoy


PhD in Chemistry, Purdue University

Senior Scientist, Merck



"Chicago State University provided a supportive environment for me to start my academic career. The faculty and staff supported me both professionally and personally … The faculty and staff at CSU truly understand how to support students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds … I continue to reference the stellar examples that were set for me at CSU. As a sixteen year old high school graduate, CSU was the only place that my parents would allow me to attend … Further, when I recently asked my father why he let me attend he responded, ‘I knew they would take care of you.’ … My father's instincts were right. The faculty and staff at CSU look out for their students and they meet them where they are. The faculty at CSU set high expectations for me and provided the support that was needed for me to be successful despite the many disadvantages I faced. I can honestly say that I would not have attended college-- and I certainly would not have earned a PhD, if attending CSU were not an option for me.”

Geraldine Cochran

Physics and Mathematics and MAT Secondary Physics Education

PhD in physics curriculum and instruction, Florida International University

Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Rutgers University