Science

Science Department Information

Pearl River offers a wide variety of science courses in support of the college’s mission. The full range of science courses are available on the Poplarville campus. A slightly more limited selection of courses are offered at the Forrest County Campus, however, the number of courses offered there is increasing yearly. 

Students on the Poplarville campus can complete the first two years of a four-year degree in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics or Engineering. A limited selection of courses in Chemistry are available at the Forrest County Center. Physics and Engineering are available only at the Poplarville campus. 

Students planning to enter a professional program, such as Medical School or Pharmacy School, are required to complete an extensive selection of Mathematics and Science courses. All of these courses are available at the Poplarville campus. Courses required for both Allied Health and Nursing are offered on both campuses. 

Science Course Offerings at PRCC

Students can choose from a variety of science offerings on PRCC’s Poplarville and Forrest County campuses, and a limited number of course offerings from the Hancock campus. Below is information on each science discipline in our Science, Math, and Business Department. For a list of classes offered through our science department, please see our Student Catalog.

BIOLOGY

The study of biology presents a wealth of opportunities to explore life in its diverse forms. A biology major is designed to give a broad pre-professional background for students interested in careers in biology, molecular biology, biomedical science, genetics, forensics, medical sciences, zoology, environmental science, microbiology, and more.   

The biology curriculum helps to demonstrate basic knowledge in important areas of the life sciences from the cellular and molecular level through the ecosystem level. Biological sciences students conduct scientific experiments and field work to test appropriate hypotheses, collect and analyze data, and analyze the information obtained.  

The biology department offers a diverse array of courses that cover nonmajors biological sciences to major subdisciplines of biological sciences to give students a pathway to think like scientists and tackle future challenges in life sciences.  Biology graduates may find employment in research, health care, environmental conservation, education, forensics sciences, biomedical fields, biotechnology, government agencies, sport medicine, veterinary and zoological care, publishing, national parks, and recreation areas among other fields. 

CHEMISTRY

A chemistry course is your ticket to understanding the world around you! It can also lead to an exciting career. From agriculture to zoology, from production to sales, in a forest, on a highway, or in a hospital, chemistry is everywhere and touches our lives in countless ways! 

Chemistry can be interesting and fun, too. Understanding chemicals whether those in your own home or at a chemical plant will be important to you throughout your life. You will need to make decisions about what cars to buy, medications to take, and legislation that affects your environment. Having a good understanding of the chemistry involved will help you make the best choice for your lifestyle. 

A career in chemistry will provide you the opportunity to contribute in many specialized areas: environment, manufacturing, medicine, transportation, polymersteaching, safety, and law enforcement, for example. Work activities for the chemist can vary from collecting field samples to writing for a technical journal. 

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Computer Science professionals are in high demand throughout the country. Students who begin at PRCC, transfer and then graduate with university degrees in a computer science-related field realize rewarding careers in private and public sector positions with starting salaries that are above average for many other degree-seeking jobs. Actual starting salaries vary depending on the area of the country and the nature of the work. Many computer-related fields allow flexible hoursgreat working environmentscreativity, and advancement, with additional job prospects.

ENGINEERING

There are so many aspects to the field of engineering that it is difficult to address it in general terms. From electrical engineering to architectural engineering, there are seemingly infinite directions in which the professional can go. And though it may seem daunting in the beginning, it will quickly become apparent that all these options afford you the very real opportunity to customize your career in ways you may never have thought possible. Put simply, “Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. Engineers use imaginationjudgment, and reasoning to apply science, technology, mathematics, and practical experience. The result is the design, production, and operation of useful objects or processes.” Within this field of study and work, however, there are countless specialized fields, each one of which contributes greatly to the overall field itself. 

Students planning to pursue a degree in engineering should be interested in mathematics and science. The first two years of an engineering degree require a number of advanced mathematics and science courses. Pearl River offers courses to fulfill two years towards a four-year degree in engineering. Recent statistics show that engineering students transferring to Mississippi State University from Pearl River perform at least as well as non-transfer students. The first engineering course for students at Pearl River is not taken until the spring semester of the second year.

Engineering Technology

Engineering technicians use the principles and theories of science, engineering, and mathematics to solve technical problems in research and developmentmanufacturingsalesconstructioninspection, and maintenance. Their work is more limited in scope and application-oriented than that of scientists and engineers. Many engineering technicians assist engineers and scientists, especially in research and development. Others work in quality control, inspecting products and processes, conducting tests, or collecting data. In manufacturing, they may assist in product designdevelopment, or production. 

More information on careers in engineering technology can be found at the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics website. 

Southern Miss offers bachelor programs in engineering technology. Further information can be found at the USM website. 

PHYSICS

Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers and lasers, that change our lives. 

Physics encompasses the study of the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles. Moreover, it’s the basis of many other sciences, including chemistryoceanographyseismology, and astronomy. All are easily accessible with a bachelor’s degree in physics. 

The importance of physics isn’t limited to the “hard sciences.” Increasingly, physicists are turning their talents to molecular biologybiochemistry, and biology itself. Even medicine has a niche for physicists, and since medical physicists are hard to come by, they are much in demand. 

Physics also undergirds many new technologies. Cell phones, the Internet, and MRIs are only a few examples of the physics-based technological developments that have revolutionized our world. Many theoretical and experimental physicists work as engineers, and many electrical and mechanical engineers have physics degrees. 

A physics education equips a person to work in many different and interesting places–in industrial and government labs, on college campuses, and in the astronaut corps. In addition, many physics grads leave the lab behind and work at newspapers and magazines, in government, and even on Wall Street–places where their problem-solving abilities and analytical skills are great assets.

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