Chemistry

What Is It?:

Chemistry studies the nature and characteristics of substances and the changes they undergo.  It is concerned with the building blocks of all materials - atoms and molecules.

Two programs of study are offered: 

  • Specialized Curriculum is a professional program endorsed by the American Chemical Society (ACS). It is aimed at students who wish to become professional chemists after the bachelor's degree or who wish to go on to graduate school in chemistry.  A student electing this option should begin in the freshman year to take a strong technical program; otherwise it may be difficult to complete this specialized program in four years. Students interested in an environmental chemistry career may opt to pursue the Environmental Chemistry Option of the Specialized Curriculum.
     
  • Sciences and Letters Curriculum is less specific and may be more suitable for those students who do not plan graduate study in chemistry. It is designed for students who need a background in chemistry for work in related fields, who may be planning business or administrative careers in the chemical industry, or who wish to use chemistry as a basis for further education in fields such as medicine or law. However, some students who plan professional careers in chemistry find that this major best suits their needs. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Chemistry

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • CHEM 102/103—General Chemistry I / General Chemistry Lab I
  • CHEM 104/105—General Chemistry II / General Chemistry Lab II
  • MATH 220—Calculus

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period. 

Possible Career Opportunities:

Business

  • Business Analyst
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Pharmaceutical firm
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Release Coordinator
  • Sales Manager
  • Securities Broker
  • Technical Sales Representative

Education

  • College professor
  • Elementary/Secondary teacher
  • Lab instructor

Goverment Agencies and Military

  • Analyst
  • Chemical Corps Officer, US
  • Patent Examiner, US Patent Office

Health and Medical Fields

  • Dentist
  • Health Administrator
  • Health Statistician 
  • Physician
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Radiologist

Research

  • Associate Engineer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Biochemical Toxicologist
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Lab Technician
  • Manager of Research & Testing
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Project Chemist for corporation
  • Research Engineer
  • Research Supervisor
  • Thermochemical Scientist

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Biochemist 
  • Chemist
  • Cooperative Extension Agent
  • Crime Lab Analyst
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Food Scientist/Technologist
  • Forensic Chemist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Occupational Safety Specialist
  • Patent Agent
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Rep.
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician
  • Quality Control Manager
  • Science Laboratory Technician
  • Soil Scientist
  • Specification Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Water Purification Chemist

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSOrelated to this major, such as:
    • Alpha Chi Sigmabrings together students in chemistry or other related fields in a social setting
    • Undergraduate Neuroscience Society (UNS): serve as a liaison between undergraduates and experts in the field, such as professors and researchers

Related Skills:

  • Attending to data
  • Conduct research
  • Curiosity
  • Developing theories
  • Process data
  • Science and math ability
  • Utilizing formulas

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Chemistry, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Chemistry.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Chemistry.  These organizations include American Chemical Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Chemistry, visit Undergraduate Programs.