Undergraduate Major & Minor College of Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science - Applied Physics

Video Transcription

Day in the Life of Natural Sciences Student Transcription

[video: Kyle stands in the lab wearing a white lab coat.]

Kyle: hey Lutes my name is Kyle and I’m the chemistry student here at PLU I brought you to the Rieke open lab take you through what it’s like to study Natural Sciences at PLU so that’s biology chemistry physics geosciences computer science math and three to engineering through a day in the life of a natural science student

[video: Kyle sits down in a classroom. The bottom of the screen reads “9:00AM”]

Kyle: so I normally start off my days with class PLU’s average class size is around 20 students and Natural Science is no exception even our introductory courses are no more than 40 students that means take enough class and rooms like this so I can hang out and get to know my peers I get to know my faculty members and there’s lots of whiteboard space which I find really helpful for my classes like HTML analysis where we learn about circuits –

[video: Kyle stands in front of the faculty directory in the Rieke building. The bottom of the screen reads “10:30AM”]

Kyle: diagramming body systems and mammalian physiology between classes I love to go swing by my professors offices this way they can help me with course content that I might be struggling with but also our faculty is really great at helping students succeed outside the classroom let’s go

[video: Kyle walks upstairs to faculty offices in fast motion. The speed slows to normal as she walks through the hallway of offices, pointing at each office as she references different professors. As she passes each office, she waves at the professors, who wave back.]

Kyle: So over here is Dr. Sakowskis office she’s the one who helps me pick out my classes when I need to register every semester and down that way is dr. yeah classes office he helped or he wrote me a letter of recommendation for when I was applying to medical school and he’s also part of the pre-health advising team that helps our students apply to medical school in dental school and better nurse and then over here who’s dr. Lyle’s office he helped me build a course where I could study chemistry while I was studying away in the UK talking with your faculty members and the long Center for global education and planning ahead made it possible for me to study

[video: Kyle sits in front of two computer monitors, scientific equipment next to her. She wears a white lab coat. The bottom of the screen reads “1:00PM”]

Kyle: okay as a natural science student so in a lot of your natural science courses you’ll have a lab component to practice the concepts that you learn in lectures in chemistry we use this instrument the NMR as well as IR UV vis icp-ms a bunch of other instruments with acronyms for names to practice the skills to be an amazing scientist

[video: Kyle’s voice continues over clips of students in the lab. A close up shot of a student taking notes in a grid-lined notebook. A video of a student and professor working on an experiment in the lab. A clip of students and a professor looking at topography on a computer monitor. A student codes on a computer. A student writes in blue marker on a glass surface.]

Kyle: so one way that PLU prepares its scientists to do its best is through research the Natural Science summer undergraduate research program at PLU gives students of all the natural science disciplines so biology chemistry physics Geoscience math computer science and engineering the opportunity to do paid research with PLU faculty members

[video: Return to Kyle in front of scientific equipment.]

Kyle: this gives our students opportunities and the skills to pursue with further research like I did this summer at Northwestern University I got to work

[video: Kyle’s voice continues over photos of her time at Northwestern. A photo of Kyle with three other people, all wearing white coats. Another photo of all four in front of a sign that reads “Feinberg School of Medicine.” A photo of Kyle and two other students in front of a door over which the sign reads “Experiment Hall.” A shot of the same three in the lab. ]

Kyle: with a PLU alum who’s now a lead researcher at Northwestern School of Medicine in downtown Chicago I’ll take my project they’re working with flesh-eating bacteria and immune responses back to PLU so I can finish my Capstone’s major to graduate in the spring research is also super helpful

[video: Return to Kyle in front of scientific equipment.]

Kyle: when you’re going to apply to graduate school or a job in your field this is just another way that PLU prepares the students for success beyond the classroom but speaking of class we’d better get studying

[video: Cut to Kyle in the open air study area of the Rieke building. The wall reads “So what is it that is better than science? Better than science is science with heart; science with ethics; science with equity; science with justice. William Foege, B.A. ‘57 (PLU), M.D., M.P.H.” The camera pans to Kyle taking notes on a whiteboard. The text at the bottom of the screen reads “4:00PM”]

Kyle: So after lab and grabbing some snacks next door at Kelly cafe my classmates and I love to use the common spaces in Rieke and Morken to work together and study for our classes but don’t be surprised with the occasional study break to go look for our natural science mascot Enrieke the slug or

[video: a close up of a giant model slug in a display. The sign in front of him reads: “Hi! My name is Enrieke. Then, a shot of students in a lab, glowing substances in test tubes lighting the room. A photo of students looking at dry ice outside at night.]

Kyle: participate in any of our Rieke weekend events my favorite event that we do is called mole day eve where the chemistry club does really spooky and cool science demos for the community and build a periodic table of brownies

[video: Kyle stands in the Rieke building.]

Kyle: so there you have it a day in the life of the Natural Science student if you have any other questions about Natural Science at PLU or if there are any other topics that you want to see leave a comment down below also you can check out the Department of Natural Science on Instagram and Facebook with links in the description thanks for watching


Are you intrigued by the inner workings of atoms and nuclei? Do you marvel at the vast expanse of our universe? If so, a physics degree might be the program for you. Physics is the scientific study of the material universe at its most fundamental level, and encompasses some of the most exciting ideas ever considered. As a PLU physics student, you’ll work one-on- one with your professors, who are experts in their field and passionate teachers.

You’ll have the opportunity to study classical mechanics, wave motion, thermodynamics, electromagnetic theory and even quantum mechanics, and regularly apply what you’re learning in hands- on laboratories taught by professors (never teaching assistants!). When you graduate, you’ll be well- prepared for graduate study in many areas of the physical sciences and engineering, or to pursue professional careers in the industry.

Graduates from the last 5 years: Their jobs

  • Engineer Officer, United States Army Reserve
  • Systems Design Engineer, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Test Engineer, Bungie
  • Process Engineer, Boeing
  • Project Engineer, Landmark Properties, Inc
  • Electromagnetics Effect Engineer, Boeing
  • Plasma Etch Process Engineer, Hitachi High-Tech America, Inc.
  • Opto-Mechanical Engineer, ESI an MKS Brand
  • Systems Engineer, Raytheon Intelligence and Space

Graduates from the last last 5 years: Their graduate programs

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Idaho State University
  • Master of Science in Physics, Iowa State University
  • Master’s in Engineering Physics/Applied Physics, University of Oregon Graduate School
  • Master’s in Applied Physics: Optical Materials and Devices, University of Oregon Graduate School
  • Masters and PhD in Biostatistics, University of Iowa College of Public Health
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, University of Oregon
  • MS in Physics and PhD in Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California
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