The chemistry major provides the framework and practical experience to prepare a student for a professional career in chemistry. At first glance, the curriculum appears fairly traditional, including courses in general, organic, analytical, inorganic and physical chemistry, as well as biochemistry. However, the innovative teaching approach emphasizes extensive use of technology and hands-on investigations to help students develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. To accommodate the broad array of career and advanced educational opportunities available in chemistry, the chemistry major provides two programs: a chemistry track and biochemistry track. The choice depends upon the student’s career goals and interests.
The chemistry track is designed for the individual who plans to continue his or her chemistry education in graduate school, pursuing one of the traditional areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry). The program meets the entrance requirements for graduate programs in the United States.
The biochemistry track is designed more for the individual who plans to go directly into a career in the biomedical field upon graduation or who plans to attend graduate or professional school in biochemistry or a related discipline. This track provides greater flexibility to a student who might want to earn a double major.
The program is characterized by personal attention. No chemistry class has more than 35 students, and after the first two years, none has more than 16. The laboratory sections are even smaller, and each is conducted by a faculty member, rather than a graduate assistant.
In addition to formal courses, a number of individual study courses are available which provide students opportunities to participate in undergraduate research in partnership with faculty members.