General Information
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Course Descriptions

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College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. David F. Brakke, Dean
Dr. Judith A. Dilts, Associate Dean
Dr. J. Robert Hanson, Assistant Dean

Science and Mathematics Programs
Resource and Service Centers
Annual Events



The College of Science and Mathematics is dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education and research. Our outstanding programs are student-centered and designed to prepare students for responsible positions at all levels in research, industry, education, medicine and government. We emphasize learning by doing science and provide active learning experiences in a range of settings. We also encourage collaborative research with faculty, internships and other experiences that facilitate transitions to work or graduate/professional education.

We provide the following:

  • foundational understanding of science and mathematics for the educated citizen.
  • an exemplary program in mathematics and science for prospective teachers.
  • the educational basis and technical skills to prepare science and mathematics students for the workforce.
  • the theoretical and practical foundations for success in professional and graduate programs.


Science and Mathematics Programs

The college offers a variety of academic programs, majors, minors, concentrations, interdisciplinary programs and tracks. Most of these are listed below. For an explanation and contact point of each, visit the departmental Web site at http://csm.jmu.edu/.

  • Actuarial/Financial Mathematics
  • American Chemical Society Accredited Degree
  • Applied Physics
  • Biochemistry Minor in Biology or Chemistry
  • Biology Major
  • Biology Minor
  • Biotechnology Major
  • Chemical Education Concentration
  • Chemistry Major
  • Chemistry Minor
  • Chemistry/Business Concentration
  • Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Sciences
  • Pre-dentistry
  • Earth Resources
  • Earth Science Major
  • Ecology
  • Environmental and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Studies Minor
  • Forestry
  • Geology Major
  • Geology Minor
  • Materials Chemistry Major
  • Materials Science Minor
  • Mathematics Major
  • Mathematics Minor
  • Medical Technology
  • Pre-medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology and Physiology
  • Pre-optometry
  • Pre-pharmacy
  • Physics Major
  • Physics Minor
  • Physics/Engineering Combined Program
  • Plant Sciences
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Statistics Major
  • Statistics Minor
  • Teaching Licensure for Secondary Teaching Available:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine
  • Zoology

Some of these interdisciplinary programs are listed under the Interdisciplinary Programs section. These include: the biochemistry and molecular biology minor, the environmental studies minor, the materials science program, and pre-health areas such as pre-medical and pre-dental. The college also supports the following resource and service centers, collections, events and outreach programs that enhance teaching, scholarly activity and community relations.


Resource and Service Centers

The Center for Computational Mathematics and Modeling

This interdisciplinary institute for scientific computing, houses state-of-the-art graphics workstations and a 16 PII node beowulf computer system. The beowulf computer system is a parallel computing environment that can be used on large-scale problems. Faculty and students will have access to this “super computer” from the center and from their offices. The center also operates an Immersive 360o Visualization System. The center uses mathematics both to simulate real-world phenomena and to generate visual data. Faculty members from the sciences, economics, and business disciplines interact with mathematicians to model problems that they are researching with undergraduate students. For further information, contact Dr. James Sochacki in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at (540) 568-6614.


Electron Microscopy Center

The Electron Microscopy Center serves faculty, staff and students who wish to use the scanning electron microscopy in scientific investigations. The center also provides demonstrations for public school groups and specialized educational programs. For further information, contact Lance Kearns in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at (540) 568-6421.


Mineral Museum

Housed with the Department of Geology, the JMU Mineral Museum contains more than 700 exceptionally beautiful display specimens that provide mineralogy students with outstanding visual examples of some of the finest crystals from around the world. Each year, numerous educational groups, mineralogical societies and individual collectors visit the collection. For further information contact Dr. Lance E. Kearns in the Department of Geology and Environmental Studies at (540) 568-6421/6130.



Located at the Stokesville, Virginia Campground, a 14-inch telescope is permanently mounted under a 16-foot dome. A set of 10 piers surround the observatory building and provide easy set-up for the observatory’s eight, eight-inch telescopes. This site provides dark-sky observing for introductory astronomy students. A photometer, solar filters and a CCD imaging system provide more advanced students with experience in astrophotography and data collection techniques. During the summer months, public access is regularly available on Friday and Saturday nights. For further information, contact Dr. Jon Staib in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at (540) 568-6153.


Office of Statistical Services

Through this office, statistics faculty members and students provide JMU and the local community with assistance in the design and analysis of statistical surveys and experiments. Students obtain practical experience and an appreciation for the impact of statistical methods on today’s society. For further information contact Dr. Rickie Domangue in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at (540) 568-6968.


Shenandoah Valley Regional NMR Facility

This nuclear magnetic resonance facility has been established with grants from The National Science Foundation (9650132), The Merck Foundation, and matching funds provided by James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University, and Bridgewater College.

NMR spectrometers at the facility include a Bruker Avance DPX-300 NMR, equipped with a variable temperature 5mm QNP (capable of observing 1 H, 13 C, 19 F or 31 P) or a broad band tunable probe and a Dell host computer.

The facility also has a Bruker Avance DRX-400 NMR, equipped with a six position autosampler, a variable temperature 10mm broad band tunable probe, variable temperature 5mm broad band tunable probe with a Z gradient and a Dell host computer. Recently a Bruker Avance Ultra High Shield Plus 600 NMR was installed, equipped with a variable temperature 5mm broad band tunable probe, BST upper shim stack, Bruker Orthogonal Shim System (BOSS-2), and Bruker Smart Magnet System (BSMS) shim and Digital Lock control unit and a Dell host computer. These instruments are housed at JMU and accessed remotely by the participating regional colleges and universities. Currently the systems are running TOPSPIN 1.3 software.

A Web site, http://www.jmu.edu/chemistry/svrnmr/, has been established as a means of communicating the efforts of the Regional NMR Consortium to the local scientific community and other interested parties. This group is composed of chemists from Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, James Madison University and Mary Baldwin College.


Science and Mathematics Learning Center

The College of Science and Mathematics has established a Learning Center for Science and Mathematics located on the second floor of Roop Hall. The center, which is a part of the JMU Student Success Center, provides extra help with math and science for students in general education and beginning science courses. The center is staffed by two full-time directors and carefully selected upper level science and math majors.


Annual Events

Mathematics Contests

Each fall the mathematics and statistics department sponsors a valley-wide mathematics contest. The purposes of the contest are to create and to sustain interest in mathematics and to promote good relations and cooperation between high schools and the university. For further information, contact Charles Ziegenfus or Dr. Robert Hanson in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at (540) 568-6408.


Science Fair

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Science Fair has been administered by the JMU science faculty for the past 36 years. The science fair is a competition open to all students in grades six through 12 who live in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. For further information, contact Dr. Thomas DeVore in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at (540) 568-7938.