Career Prospects

Biology | Chemistry | Criminal Justice and Criminology | Cyber Forensics and Security | Environmental Science | Geology | MathNatural Resources and Recreation Management | Physics


Majors in the life sciences provide preparation which can lead directly to a variety of careers in industry, government agencies, and basic and applied health fields. These majors prepare students for a variety of jobs requiring a broad background in the biological sciences. As a well-rounded program, Biological Sciences also provides excellent preparation for graduate studies leading to professions in the biological and health sciences. Areas of Emphasis available within Biological Sciences include Cell, Molecular, and Medical Biology and Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology.


Majors in chemistry receive professional training that may lead to careers in a variety of science related areas. Our graduates have worked in the chemistry industry locally and nationally. Many have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in chemistry and allied fields. Some have obtained second degrees in fields such as engineering and business. A large number of our graduates have used their degree as a vehicle for entry into health-related fields, including medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy. The major is also excellent for beginning a teaching career in the sciences.

Chemical Sciences

This degree is designed to give students a solid background in the study of chemistry that may be applied to a variety of careers. While students receive all the training required to pursue opportunities in the chemical industry, this is only a small part of what the degree has to offer. Students often choose this major to begin a career in health-related fields. The degree is a springboard to many different and varied careers in science-related fields. It is also popular as part of a double major in conjunction with a degree in Biological Sciences.

BS in Chemistry, ACS certified

This major provides a more intense study of chemistry. In addition to all the career alternatives provided by the Chemistry bachelor’s degree, this degree is the choice of students who wish to do graduate work in the sciences, or simply desire a deeper understanding and more experience in the subject. Recently students have used this degree to attain doctorates from distinguished universities including Virginia Tech and Penn State. Graduates also receive a certificate recognizing their accomplishments from the American Chemical Society.


Biochemistry is the fastest growing field in chemistry, offering many opportunities for graduates. The degree in Biochemistry provides all the opportunities of the BS in chemistry degree with specialized training in the biological aspects of chemistry. We have several expertly qualified faculty who specialize in all the important areas of biochemistry, such as proteins, DNA, and genetics. This degree is an excellent choice for students wishing to pursue careers in any chemistry-related or health-related area.

Environmental Chemistry

Students completing the environmental chemistry degree will be prepared for career opportunities in environmental chemistry, toxicology, environmental policy, and consulting. Additionally, Environmental Chemistry is an excellent choice for students desiring professional training in law, safety, or industrial hygiene.

Forensic Chemistry

The program is the result of a cooperative effort of many different departments on- and off-campus. The result provides students with training in all the various aspects of forensic science. Students not only attain a thorough understanding of the science behind common procedures used in a forensic laboratory, but they also receive training in the legal and medicinal aspects as well. There are many careers for which this degree may be used. Students are qualified to work as a forensic scientist or to begin a career in law or law enforcement. We also work closely with the School of Medicine in providing students access to both medical and forensic research.

Criminal Justice and Criminology

With both an undergraduate and graduate program, students are provided a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system and its interrelation with society.  Graduate program prepares pre-service students for criminal justice careers.

Cyber Forensics & Security

The Marshall University Cyber Forensics and Security undergraduate program produces well-rounded graduates capable of using their knowledge of science and technology to solve investigative and cybersecurity problems. The CFS program is practitioner-focused, intent on providing students with the education and skills they need to help fill the cybersecurity skills gap. This program emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication through a challenging, hands-on environment. Students in the CFS program will learn to use many of the same professional tools, techniques, and procedures utilized in the workforce.

Graduates of the program are successfully employed in a variety of fields:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation- Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation- Computer Analysis Response Team (CART)
  • United States Army- Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
  • United States Department of Homeland Security- Cyber Crimes Center (C3)
  • West Virginia Fusion Center
  • West Virginia State Police Digital Forensics Unit
  • Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences- Digital Evidence Laboratory
  • Marshall University- Information Technology Services
  • Expel Managed Security Services
  • Kroger Corporation- Cyber Threat Operations Team
  • Crowdstrike

Environmental Science

Graduates of the Environmental Science program will take advantage of the widespread opportunities provided by our society’s preservation and regulatory interests. Environmental Science students learn to use the most current technology and procedures to assess the environmental quality of a wide range of ecosystems. Field experiences range from assessing water quality of local streams and wetlands to producing videos of coral reef fishes. Recent graduates have been accepted into prestigious graduate programs or found employment in the environmental divisions of state, federal, or private environmental agencies.

Employment Opportunities:

  • Work for a federal, state, or municipal agency with responsibility for environmental monitoring and regulation
  • Work for a commercial environmental consulting company
  • Start your own business as an environmental consultant
  • Work for a public interest organization with a mission in environmental protection
  • Work in the legal system assessing environmental damage and potential threats to the environment


The greatest number of geologists are employed by the natural resources industries including the petroleum, natural gas, coal, non-metallic and metallic companies. The majority of Marshal University geology graduates have found employment in environmental and engineering /geotechnical companies. Geologists provide fundamental data and knowledge for policies that affect the environment, public safety, and the health and welfare of societies. Geologists work in the field, laboratory, and the office. Duties commonly take the geologist to the field to gather data and samples that are returned to the laboratory for analysis. Data are compiled and tabulated, plots and maps are drawn, and the results are evaluated–all leading to the writing of reports. The tools used by geologists vary from the simple rock hammer and hand lens in the field to the most sophisticated and high tech electron microscope, chemical/elemental analysis instruments, and computer software used in the laboratory.

The largest number of geologists are employed in the fossil fuels industry. State and Federal governments hire many geologists to perform duties in research, regulatory functions, and teaching. After gaining experience and a good reputation, many geologists go into private practice as consultants. Dwindling energy, mineral and water resources, and increased environmental concerns present challenging careers for geologists. At the present, employment opportunities are the best in the environmental and geotechnical areas.

Geology is a discipline with many areas of specialization. Some of these include:

  • Geophysicists – use physics to study the interior structure and dynamics of the Earth.
  • Geochemists – investigate the chemical aspects of rocks, minerals, soils and water.
  • Petroleum Geologists – explore for oil and natural gas.
  • Hydrologists – study the movement of surface waters.
  • Hydrogeologists – investigate the occurrence, movement and quality of ground water.
  • Engineering Geologists – study the factors relevant to construction of buildings, dams, bridges and other structures.
  • Environmental Geologists – work on solving and preventing problems that degrade our environment such as pollution, waste disposal, urban development, and geologic hazards.
  • Sedimentologists – investigates the processes of transport, deposition and formation of sedimentary rock.


Mathematics and Applied Mathematics majors prepare students for a vast variety of careers in the mathematical sciences and in numerous related disciplines. Graduating students will have a solid foundation that enables them to perform successfully in industry, business, government, and further studies. Graduates may pursue advanced degrees in mathematics, applied mathematics, and related areas such as engineering and economics. They may also prepare for secondary mathematics certification or for professional degree programs such as law and medicine.

Major Employers of Mathematicians and Statisticians:

Natural Resource & Recreation Management

Professional degree for those interested in natural resources management, natural resources recreation and/or education, Eco-tourism, sustainable tourism, or park administration.


Physics will give you a powerful and beautiful way to observe and understand the world around you. If you like science and mathematics, physics also offers challenging, exciting, and productive careers. As a career, physics covers many specialized fields – from acoustics, astronomy, and astrophysics to medical physics, geophysics, microelectronics, and vacuum sciences. Physics also offers a variety of work activities – lab supervisor, researcher, technician, teacher, manager. Physics opens doors to employment opportunities throughout the world in government, industry, schools, and private organizations.

A major in physics also provides an excellent foundation for pursuing a graduate degree. The master’s program usually takes two years and may require a research topic. An additional two to four years may be needed to earn a Ph.D. One of the most important parts of the Ph.D. program is a piece of original research (either theoretical or experimental) conducted with the guidance of a faculty advisor. You will write up the results of your thesis and perhaps publish it in a scientific journal.”

Other fields of science are heavily indebted to physics. For instance, the quantum theory is used by chemists to understand molecular bonding at a quantitative level. Civil and mechanical engineering use classical mechanics at their core. Physicians routinely make use of x-ray, ultrasound, and nuclear magnetic resonance for imaging, as well as the radiation from isotopes or linear accelerators for treating cancers. More recently, Wall Street has even hired physicists to perform quantitative modeling of stock and bond trends. An undergraduate degree in physics may be the best training for pursuing advanced degrees in many of the sciences.