Physical Science

Physical Science

physical science

Why Study Physical Science at SMC?

The physical sciences include physics and chemistry. Both of the physical sciences prepare students with the foundations necessary for transfer to a senior college as well as succeed in a science or engineering career path. Class sizes are small to provide students with one on one attention with faculty.

Physical Science Faculty

adamsiegfriedAdam Siegfried, Chair, Division of Science, Math, Health and Computer Science
Professor of Chemistry

Office: Montgomery Building, Office 210
Phone: 864-587-4214

Professor Siegfried earned his Ph.D. at Clemson University in chemistry with an interest in solid state organic materials under the direction of Bill Pennington before joining the faculty at Spartanburg Methodist College. He earned a BA in chemistry from Coker College and a M.S. in inorganic chemistry from Clemson University.

Dr. Siegfried’s nonacademic interest include reading and table-top gaming.

Research Interests:

My research group typically consists of one to two students currently enrolled at SMC. These students become intimately involved in the generation of new knowledge in the field of chemistry. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a scientist.

We are interested in the design and structure of useful solid state materials including cathode materials for lithium batteries, triiodide systems for the electrolyte of dye-sensitized solar cells, and cocrystals involving amino acids.

Judy Mirick

Judy Mirick, Professor of Physics and Physical Science

Office: Montgomery Building, Office 207A
Phone: 864-587-4287


Physical Science Course Descriptions

AS in Science Degree Requirements

CHEM-101: GENERAL CHEMISTRY I. (4 hours) A study of the facts and principles of chemistry as related to an understanding of matter about us. Atomic structure is presented as a basis for the periodic nature of the elements and the resulting properties of compounds. Phenomena related to solids, liquids and gases are presented with an emphasis on problem solving. Laboratory with exercises that parallel text material.

CHEM-102: GENERAL CHEMISTRY II. (4 hours) A continuation of Chemistry 101. Redox reactions, solution chemistry, including acid-base equilibrium and solubility, thermodynamics, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry are some of the major topics. Laboratory exercises include qualitative analysis. Laboratory.

CHEM-105: INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY I. (4 hours) An introductory level course covering the fundamental concepts of chemistry. It is designed to provide a sound theoretical background and an understanding of the relationships of chemistry to society in general and the health-related professions in particular. Students will be exposed to the practical aspects of chemistry that relate to the health sciences and the environment. (Not recommended for majors in chemistry, engineering, pre-med, pharmacy, physical therapy, or bio-chemistry.)

CHEM-106: INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY II. (4 hours) A systematic study of organic compounds including their properties and reactions and their role in biochemistry, the chemistry of living systems. This course will include a review of inorganic chemistry concepts including structure of the atom, chemical bonding, physical and chemical properties and the periodic table, the states of matter, equilibrium, and energy changes.

PHYS-101: INTRODUCTORY GENERAL PHYSICS I. (4 hours) An introductory course designed to accommodate students not majoring in pure science or engineering. Topics covered are mechanics, sound, and heat. Laboratory.

PHYS-102: INTRODUCTORY GENERAL PHYSICS II. (4 hours) Continuation of PHYS-101. Topics covered are electricity, magnetism, light, and modern physics. Laboratory.

PHYS-222: MECHANICS AND WAVE PHENOMENA. (4 hours) Calculus-based physics designed to accommodate science majors and engineering students. Topics covered: Vectors, laws of motion, rotation, vibratory and wave motion. Laboratory.

PHYS-223: ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM, OPTICS, AND MODERN PHYSICS. (4 hours) Continuation of PHYS-222. A second semester calculus-based physics course to accommodate science majors and engineering students. Physics principles are emphasized as is their application in problem solving. Topics covered: electricity, magnetism, electromagnetism, optics, and modern physics. Laboratory.

Physical Science Tutoring

The Student Support Services program at SMC makes tutoring services available at no cost for any student. Peer tutors (students themselves) are trained by the Tutor Coordinator to provide the best available assistance in subject areas across the curriculum. For further information regarding Tutoring Services at Spartanburg Methodist College, stop by the office in Walker 105 or contact the Student Support Services Tutor Coordinator at 587-4273.

Student Organizations

Got Green? Club

Physical Science Career Opportunities

A degree in physics and/or chemistry can lead to a variety of career opportunities. The three main career paths for the physical sciences include


Academics involves training to be a teacher in a specific area of interest. This can be in the elementary, secondary or higher education tracts. Academics is typically the lowest paying career path.


Careers in industry involve working for corporations in either research and development or management. Industrial careers are the highest paying of the three career paths.


Government careers typically involve working for a government agency. A government career path pays in between industry and academics.

Career choice depends on your personal goals and preferences with each career area having its own pros and cons. The following is a list of careers that a physics or chemistry degree might lead to:

  • Nurse
  • Physician
  • Pharmacist
  • Industrial chemist/physicist
  • Professor
  • Teacher
  • Health inspector
  • Forensic scientist
  • Engineer

Note: Requirements for Pre-majors in Nursing vary depending on the senior institution pursued.