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College of Science and Mathematics - Dean's Letter

 


 
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Dr. David F. Brakke

Welcome to the College of Science and Mathematics at James Madison University, a very special, student-oriented teaching and learning environment dedicated to excellence in undergraduate education.

We believe we offer the best undergraduate programs in the state of Virginia and are among the national leaders in science and mathematics education.  Our outstanding undergraduate departments include Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Geology & Environmental Science, Mathematics & Statistics, and Physics & Astronomy.  Secondary education programs are offered in biology, chemistry, earth science, mathematics, and physics, and we offer pre-professional programs with outstanding records of student placement.

Our programs in undergraduate research are widely recognized.  In addition to research opportunities within the scientific disciplines, we have research in applied and interdisciplinary areas such as materials science, biotechnology, and environmental science.  Our committed faculty members work with smaller groups of students in research programs throughout the year on a wide range of topics and enjoy very well equipped laboratories.  Many of these programs are collaborative with other colleges at James Madison University, drawing on a wide range of faculty expertise.  These programs are receiving substantial recognition for their organization and students' accomplishments.

At James Madison University, we stress learning science by doing science.  We deliver high quality instruction with outstanding faculty committed to excellence in undergraduate education. We provide an environment for one-on-one interaction between students and faculty in both classrooms and laboratories. Introductory laboratories typically are limited to 20 or 24 students.  Experienced faculty teach virtually all of our laboratory courses, as opposed to the situation at most large universities where teaching assistants and large class sizes are characteristic for first- and second-year students.  Excellent advising programs are available to all our majors and for pre-professional programs.  James Madison University provides a challenging, yet supportive, environment for its students.

We can summarize our work with undergraduates in the College of Science and Mathematics at James Madison University in four main areas: 
1. General education designed to increase science and mathematical literacy, including consideration of ethical issues in science and technology; 
2. Preparation of students for pre-professional training in the biomedical and health sciences, graduate programs and employment in a range of fields through classroom and laboratory work and research experiences; 
3. Advanced technology training in computational science, biotechnology, materials science, and core disciplines, along with a fusion of information technology in the basic sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, and physics) and mathematics; and, 
4. Exposure to the very best science and mathematics teacher preparation programs.

Come and join us in what we have designed to be a stimulating learning environment in a student-centered university!  Meet other students and the faculty to hear more about the carefully designed, high quality academic programs we offer and to see the attractive and welcoming campus environment.  James Madison University is truly a national model for excellence in undergraduate education and innovation. 

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