About the College

Preparing You for Further Study or Gainful Employment

The College of Life and Physical Sciences provides a basic undergraduate education for those students planning to (1) continue in graduate study, (2) enter the professions, or (3) engage in other gainful occupations and vocations. The programs within the College include Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Mathematical Sciences. The curricula and programs of the College aid students to develop essential skills in solving problems, communicating, and working cooperatively and in teams. Encouraging students to be lifelong learners and self-motivated individuals are important aims of the College. 


The College of Life and Physical Sciences seeks to promote excellence through scholarly inquiry and research, lifelong learning, and a commitment to service. The College is committed to preparing students to thrive in their chosen professions and be prepared to compete in a global environment.


The College of Life and Physical Sciences will be recognized as a premier unit for educating science and mathematics students at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.


Individual academic programs in the College of Life and Physical Sciences are accredited by the national, regional, and state agencies which accredit programs. The Chemistry program is accredited by the America Chemistry Society. All teacher certification programs in the College are approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has extended national accreditation to the entire teacher certification program of the University.

Teacher Education

The College of Life and Physical Sciences offers Teacher Certification curricula in the following areas: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Mathematical Sciences. All students who seek certification in any of these programs must be formally admitted through the College of Education, usually in the sophomore year. Admission requires a 2.75 cumulative grade point average and a passing score on the Praxis Exams. For a complete list of admission and retention requirements in the Teacher Certification Program, see College of Education in the Catalog. Admission is a prerequisite for upper-level certification courses. Students interested in certification should consult the teacher certification advisor in the program of their choice.

Evening Program

The College offers a significant number of general education classes in the evening. In addition, the College offers a growing number of courses through alternative means of delivery, such as on-line courses.

Core Requirements

General Education Core Requirements: Students in Life and Physical Sciences must satisfy all of the general education requirements. Individual departments may insist that their students fulfill these requirements in particular ways, such as by specifying which courses may be used to satisfy the literature, social science, natural science, or humanities requirements. Students should consult the departments' requirements in their program descriptions in this section of the Catalog.

Graduation Requirements: As well as satisfying the University requirements for graduation, all graduates of the College must earn at least a C in all courses which are used to satisfy the program requirements in the major (as opposed to the general education requirements and electives). Required courses in the major program in which less than a C is earned must be repeated until the minimum grade is earned. As part of University requirements, all students must earn at least a C in Freshman English (ENGL 1010 and 1020).

To minimize the likelihood that last-minute problems will delay students' graduation, they should thoroughly familiarize themselves with all departmental, College, and University degree requirements, and stay in frequent contact with their advisors. The College requires that students fill out an application for graduation with the Records Office and complete a Senior Standing Form with their advisors at least one semester before the semester of anticipated graduation to determine what remains of their requirements. The deadline for filing this application is posted in departmental areas. Students should look for notice of this deadline and must meet the deadline. They must also take the initiative for informing their department of their intent to graduate. At the time of applying for graduation, students must either have expunged all Incomplete grades from their record or submit a copy fo a signed agreement with the instructor of any class in which an Incomplete is outstanding; this agreement must specify the date by which the Incomplete will be removed. If students do not graduate in the semester for which they apply, they must subsequently re-file for graduation.

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College of Life and Physical Sciences

Nolan B. McMurray, Jr., PhD
College of Life and Physical Sciences
(615) 963-5811

Administrative Assistant 
(615) 963-5811

Department Phone Numbers

Biological Sciences
(615) 963-5681

(615) 963-5321

Mathematical Sciences
(615) 963-5811