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2014-2015 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Chemistry - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section in this catalog.


Chemistry is a fascinating and diverse field that affects almost every area of our lives. The clothes we wear, the medicines we take, the food we eat, the fuel we consume, and the materials we use to build our houses are all affected by discoveries made through the study of chemistry.

Students who select a chemistry major must choose one of four emphases: the professional emphasis, the technical emphasis, the education emphasis, or the environmental emphasis. The professional emphasis offers a well-rounded education in chemistry and provides a strong background for employment at the bachelor level or entry into chemistry graduate school. Completion of the professional emphasis leads to a degree certified by the American Chemical Society. The technical emphasis is designed for students who wish to work in industry and do not intend to enter graduate or professional school. Students interested in teaching high school chemistry may choose the education emphasis. This emphasis includes courses in chemistry teaching methods and also requires a certified minor and completion of the secondary education professional program. Students may select the environmental emphasis if they wish to seek employment in a position related to environmental chemistry or an advanced degree that may be related to environmental issues. We recommend that students start in the professional emphasis, because it is easier to transfer from there to one of the other emphases than vice versa.

The Department of Chemistry also offers a B.S. in biochemistry. Students interested in attending biochemistry graduate school or in obtaining employment in biochemical or biomedical laboratories may choose the biochemistry major. This major is also appropriate for students interested in attending professional health schools, such as medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary schools.

For any degree program in chemistry or biochemistry, it is important to start the proper sequence of chemistry courses as soon as possible. Students who wish to major in chemistry should meet with their Chemistry Department faculty advisor as soon as possible to plan programs that match their academic interests and career goals.

The Chemistry Department also offers a green chemistry certificate. This certificate is an option that can be added to any major or minor. It shows that students have taken a series of classes where they learn the principles of green chemistry, the production of chemicals and design of chemical processes in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.


The Bachelor of Science in chemistry with the professional emphasis is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society and offers ACS certified degrees in chemistry to qualified graduates.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in chemistry; minor in chemistry. Teaching certification (secondary) in chemistry major and minor. Masters of Education (general education, middle and high school emphasis, with a concentration in science) offered in cooperation with the College of Education.

Participating Programs

The College of Education offers a M.Ed. in general education with a concentration in science. This program is called Target Inquiry. Contact the chemistry office for more information. The dual geology-chemistry major is offered by the Geology Department in cooperation with the Chemistry Department. For details, see the Program Description.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Chemistry Minor

Certificate in Green Chemistry

Master of Education in Instruction and Curriculum in Science

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