A Message from the Chair, Professor Pamela Mills
Welcome to the Chemistry Department!
Chemistry has been called the Central Science because the behaviors of atoms and molecules, whether they are biomolecules or materials, govern our natural world. As a student in our introductory courses you will study in classes using the latest methods that support your learning. In the teaching laboratories you will learn modern techniques and how chemists actually construct scientific knowledge. In the advanced courses you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the various sub-disciplines of chemistry – organic, inorganic, analytical, biochemistry or physical chemistry.
And Chemistry is a laboratory science. You will conduct experiments using modern equipment and will learn how to design your own experiments. All majors are encouraged to work with faculty in their research laboratories and have an in-depth experience conducting research at the forefront of science. Our faculty have laboratories in biochemistry and in drug design, in radiochemistry and material science. Look at the faculty interests and see if there is something you might want to pursue.
You might be wondering what you can do with the degree in Chemistry? We offer four tracks in Chemistry – two that are certified by the American Chemical Society (the BS in Biochemistry and the BS in Chemistry) and two are that liberal arts degrees (the BA in Biochemistry and the BA in Chemistry). The BS degrees are intensive science degrees requiring more than 75 credits of study. These degrees build a strong foundation for work in the chemical industry or for advanced study in Chemistry. The BA degrees provide you with opportunities to pursue related or even unrelated areas of study. You can pursue a career in chemistry or head to medical or graduate school. As a graduate with a BA in Chemistry you have had a rigorous exposure to quantitative thinking and are ready for a career in government, or as an entrepreneur, or perhaps as a journalist. While a degree in Chemistry can lead you to a career in chemistry, it can also lead to many related and even unrelated careers.
And of course, we know that many of you are thinking of medical school. The BA in Biochemistry is perfectly suited for students interested in medical school. All the pre-medical courses required are part of the BA in Biochemistry as well as the biochemistry necessary for the new MCAT. Remember, though, that medical schools don’t require you to major in a science. If you prefer another major, consider a minor in Chemistry instead and pursue your passion as you prepare for medical school.
Lastly, let’s not forget all of the teachers who helped shape us and direct us to college. A career in teaching is incredibly worthwhile and rewarding. The BA in Chemistry and Biochemistry are well-suited for a teaching career. There are many opportunities in the department to learn to teach. You can become a peer tutor, you can work in the classroom with the teachers and you can help teach in the laboratories. Teaching is fun and we all learn the most when we teach.
Welcome again, we are all here to help you on this magnificent journey!!