Biology at W&L The biological sciences play a key role in human society from the conservation of biodiversity to medicine. The Department of Biology cultivates an exciting academic environment to study, research, and contemplate the broad spectrum of the life sciences. Our teaching philosophy is founded on a belief in the value of a personal educational experience achieved through small classes and laboratories, and abundant opportunities for independent study and research.
Chemistry at W&L We in the Department of Chemistry at W&L provide education in the chemical sciences, conduct scientific research in chemistry, biochemistry, and related areas, and share expertise and service to other members of the Washington and Lee community and a wide range of professional and private communities outside of W&L.
Computer Science at W&L Computer science is the study of evolving representations that convey information and the methods or algorithms that control their evolution. Our students learn the fundamental principles that underlie these processes and that are responsible for many of the advances in science and technology, such as the Internet, the Web, genetic engineering, and digital media, of the last 50 years.
Geology at W&L Geology offers an integrative, scientific avenue of study for issues relating to managing our interactions with the environment, providing adequate resources, ensuring the safety of the built environment in the face of natural hazards, and solving the complex history of earth and its continuing evolution. The Geology Department makes extensive use of the extraordinary geology the Appalachians and other locales around the globe (American Southwest, New Zealand, Greece, & Hawaii most recently) and we offer many opportunities for research here and around the globe using scientific computing, field programs, laboratory analyses, and GIS mapping.
Mathematics at W&L Mathematics is the science of patterns: pattern recognition, pattern description, and pattern explanation--proof. Because pattern analysis plays an important role in most analytical work, mathematical skills are widely applicable. The Department of Mathematics maintains a rigorous major program, helping to prepare graduates for careers as analysts with consulting firms, as actuaries, as financial analysts in the banking and finance arenas, as teachers, and as software developers. Other majors have pursued advanced degrees in mathematics, computer science, economics, engineering, law, and medicine. Each year several of our majors participate in summer research, often resulting in work published in prestigious professional journals.
Physics/Engineering at W&L While we literally live in physics, the mysteries of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and cosmology remain fascinating yet elusive. Engineering, an applied science that builds on the foundations of physics, is more easily appreciated because of its usefulness in creating technology such as the new smart power grid, computers, hybrid cars, and biomedical devices. Our students are exposed to both the significant concepts that are vital to informing 21st century citizens, and to the techniques and exciting possibilities of research.
Psychology at W&L The psychology major at W&L emphasizes the scientific aspect of psychology. This means that in addition to the various content courses, students are encouraged to understand and "do" psychology by becoming involved in research. Many courses require students to design and run their own experiments, and students are encouraged to work with faculty members on their research, both during the school year and in the summer. This makes the program at W&L different from many larger schools, where research is only done by graduate students.