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Chemists study the building blocks of our existence – fundamental elements, the properties and composition of matter, and the laws by which our universe is governed. They develop drugs, invent new products, monitor nuclear reactions, analyze the effects of pollution, improve manufacturing processes, and decipher the composition of outer space. Their main stomping ground is the laboratory, though you’ll also find them in the courtroom, the classroom, and the field.
Chemistry is an exciting subject, but it’s a challenging degree to earn. To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a short guide to affordable chemistry programs. In each section, you’ll find info on degree choices, sample coursework, career options, and more. You’ll learn about the importance of regional accreditation and what folks mean by ACS certification. We’ve also included a section on online degrees for those interested in distance learning options.
UC Irvine offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree with emphasis in areas that include chemical physics, computational or theoretical chemistry, chemical synthesis and reactivity, and materials or polymer science. Students can also map out an individualized plan of study under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in chemistry are available. A Teaching Credential may be added to the MS degree through a program coordinated with the School of Education. The PhD in Chemistry program offers the following areas of specialization: analytical chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, chemical biology, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and theoretical chemistry. Interdisciplinary degree programs are offered in chemical and materials physics and in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth grants an American Chemical Society-certified B.S. in Chemistry or in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Students can opt for a B.A. in Chemistry or Biochemistry. An M.S. in Chemistry is also available, with or without a thesis. The university also offers a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. The Chemistry Department funds undergraduate research positions and a summer research program. Departmental scholarships include the Catherine E. Cox Scholarship for Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Warren F. Davis Scholarship for Excellence in Biochemistry and the James C. Nichol Scholarship. Chemical engineering students may apply for the Sam and Ardis Beard Scholarship or the Baria Memorial Scholarship; amounts of scholarships vary.
Texas A & M University offers degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering at all levels from undergraduate to Ph.D. The Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering is one of the largest fully accredited chemical engineering programs in the nation. Chemical engineering students can participate in co-op or intern programs to gain real-world experience. Chemistry and biochemistry majors have many research opportunities, including Texas A & M's mini-pharmaceutical company where undergraduates conduct research with an eye toward early stage drug lead development. Students involved in the project gain experience in synthetic organic chemistry, biological assays and computational studies. Scholarships for chemistry majors include the Dr. George C. Bauer Memorial Scholarship ($1,000) and the Hach Scientific Foundation Chemistry Teaching Scholarship ($6,000).
The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University is one of the largest recipients of federal funding for chemistry research among U.S. universities, receiving tens of millions of dollars annually. Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry have many options, including forensic chemistry, chemical biology, chemical physics, general chemistry, environmental, and business/law. Undergrads are encouraged to assist with faculty research and can receive academic credit for such work. The graduate program is designed to create researchers, and students may earn a Master of Science or Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Biological Chemistry or Physical Chemistry. Most pre-doctoral graduate students receive full tuition and a stipend and serve as a research or teaching assistant.
The University of North Carolina has one of the largest undergraduate chemistry programs in the nation, with more than 650 chemistry majors in the program at any time. The graduate program is ranked in the top 10 by the American Chemical Society. Undergrads may earn a B.A or a B.S., and B.S. students may choose a track in polymers or biochemistry instead of a general chemistry track. The graduate program offers degree programs in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical, and polymer/materials chemistry, and graduate students select the faculty adviser and research project they want to work on. The Ph.D. in Chemistry is a research degree. The university also offers M.S., M.A., and Master of Science Industrial Associate programs.
UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has four Bachelor of Science programs with majors in biochemistry, chemistry, chemistry-materials science, and general chemistry. Students can further choose from three areas of concentration: physical chemistry, organic materials science, and computing. Although the department does not offer a master's degree program, there are two Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs available in chemistry and in biochemistry, molecular and structural biology. The chemistry program offers the following areas of specialization: analytical chemistry, biophysics, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and theory and computation. Continuing students (sophomores to first-quarter seniors) can apply for the Gold Family Grant-in-aid for Chemistry and Biochemistry Majors ($1,500). Doctoral students receive funding that covers tuition, fees, health insurance, and a stipend.
Only Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are eligible for UIC's Herbert E. Paaren Scholarship, a $5,000 award for upperclassmen with 3.2 GPAs. (First-generation students are preferred.) The donor also earmarked money for the Paarent Summer Research Award, a $3,200 stipend that covers eight weeks of work alongside an advisor. Most first-year grad students in the MS or PhD in Chemistry programs receive a teaching assistantship. The corresponding tuition and fee waiver works out to $15,000 for Illinoisans and double that for nonresidents. The best students can earn a University Fellowship, which waives tuition and supplies a $25,000 annual stipend. The Wonhwa Cho Graduate Fellowship - and $10,000 - goes to four of the best incoming grad students.
Research is a staple of the BA in Chemistry program at Vassar (as well as the Biochemistry program). During the school year, the department funds (or secures private funding for) research positions for students alongside faculty. Such positions stand in addition to paid tutoring jobs and laboratory assistantships for upperclassmen. During their break, roughly 10 Chemistry majors per year participate in the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute, a 10-week paid internship that often leads to further research opportunities with faculty. The department hosts the school's only graduate degree program, an MA in Chemistry that can typically be finished by adding just one year onto the baccalaureate.
Home to the Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering and the Center for Catalysis, UC Riverside needs students who will engage in research. Starting as sophomores, BA/BS in Chemistry enrollees can. And Hispanic, low-income and first-generation students can receive summer funding to the tune of $5,000 via the Summer Bridge to Research Program. Good news for full-time PhD students: funding is guaranteed for five years. The funding source will differ, however, with some receiving fellowships and others serving in research and teaching assistantship positions. All receive waived tuition and fees, a stipend, health coverage, and subsidized childcare.
UC San Diego offers Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry, biochemistry/chemistry, environmental chemistry, pharmacological chemistry, and molecular synthesis. A Master of Science (MS) in Chemistry degree is also available. Students accepted to the MS program can choose to write a thesis or take a comprehensive exam in order to graduate. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Chemistry degree has four areas of specializations: bioinformatics, computational science, multiscale biology, and quantitative biology. There is also a PhD program offered with San Diego State University. First-year chemistry majors from Hawaii can apply for the Allene Huanani Wong Scholarship (up to $10,000/year for four years). Qualified graduate students typically receive fellowships or teaching/research assistantships that include a 12-month stipend and also cover tuition and fees.
The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities has a long tradition of excellence in chemistry and chemical engineering that has resulted in close ties to industry, including 3M, General Mills, Dow Chemical and Dupont. The Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments are involved in cutting-edge research in areas including pharmaceuticals, sustainable plastics, and alternative fuels with external funding by industry and federal agencies. The university offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. Ph.D. programs are available in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemistry, and there is a master's program in the Chemistry Department. Students are encouraged to get real-world experience through a co-op or intern positions, and undergraduates can help with faculty research.
The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in Rutgers University's School of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, as well as Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in chemistry. The B.A. in Chemistry is available in seven concentration options: a core option, a general American Chemical Society (ACS) option, a chemical biology option, an environmental option, a business/law option, a chemical physics option and a forensic chemistry option. The core chemistry option requires the least coursework and is designed for students who plan to attend medical school, professional school or work in industry immediately after graduation. Three of the concentration options are accredited by the American Chemical Society: the general American Chemical Society (ACS) option, the chemical biology option and the environmental option.
The Chemistry Department at Buffalo State specializes in forensic chemistry, offering both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in the field. Students who receive the B.S. in Forensic Chemistry are prepared for entry level jobs in forensic science labs. The 31-credit M.S. program allows students to select electives so that they can specialize in a sub-discipline of forensic science; all master's candidates must complete research and write a thesis. Undergraduate chemistry majors can also pursue a more general Bachelor of Science in Chemistry that allows them to concentrate in traditional chemistry or biochemistry. The department also grants a Master of Science in Education in Chemistry Education that is open to candidates who have initial teacher certification.
SUNY Oswego often graduates the most American Chemical Society-accredited majors in the SUNY system. The university offers several bachelor's and master's programs in chemistry. The ACS-accredited Bachelor of Science program offers tracks in chemistry, requiring at least 70 major credits; environmental chemistry (79-80 major credits); and biochemistry (77 major credits). The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, a liberal arts degree, requires 52 credits in the major. The master's program in chemistry has three tracks. The thesis tract is for students who want more research experience, and the non-thesis option is suitable for students who plan to earn a Ph.D. The professional option is for students interested in the business side of chemistry and includes business coursework and an internship.
The College of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley houses programs in chemistry and in chemical and biomolecular engineering. According to the 2018 rankings by U.S. News, Berkeley's chemistry program is the best in the nation. Undergrads can earn degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, or chemical biology. Undergrads can do research for credit while assisting a faculty member. The college has one graduate degree, Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, a program that emphasizes intensive research. All students accepted into the Ph.D. program are given a stipend for a research or teaching assistantship. UC Berkeley has some scholarships reserved for undergrads in the College of Chemistry, including both need-based and merit-based awards administered by the Financial Aid Office.
Chemistry majors at the University of California Davis can follow an ACS-certified degree plan or select an emphasis in environmental or forensic chemistry. There are also majors in pharmaceutical chemistry and chemical physics. Over the summer, the department hosts a Research Experience for Undergraduates supported by the National Science Foundation. Grad students can pursue a master's or Ph.D. and help fund their education by working as a teaching assistant. In addition to its work as a major research center, the Chemistry Department tries to make chemistry accessible through outreach such as SCInema, which pairs a popular movie with a TED-style talk. U.S. News ranks the graduate chemistry program at No. 35 in its 2018 list of Best Grad Schools.
With a 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio as of 2017, the Chemical and Physical Science Department specializes in individualized instruction. At the bachelor's level, students can pursue a straight Chemistry major or minor - or tack on a teacher licensure for either high school or middle school. The teaching licensure can also be pursued a la carte after attaining a bachelor's. Like most departments at Westfield, the department maintains a student club.
Students with an interest in chemistry have several options at SUNY Oneonta. The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society and prepares students for a research career. The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry is for students who want to work in a field related to chemistry but not perform research. The BS in Biochemistry is a good choice for students who want to perform research in the life sciences or attend medical school. Chemistry and biochemistry majors can work with faculty on research projects and may obtain paid research internships. Chemistry majors who want to teach may be eligible for the Noyce Scholar program, worth about $20,000 over their junior and senior years.
The Department of Chemistry at Appalachian State utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to Chemistry through its Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts curricula. Students may seek degree concentrations in certified chemist, environmental, forensic science, marketing and business, professional and paramedical, or secondary education. Students may also work with faculty advisors to create an individually designed program of study. The school is equipped with modern laboratory equipment that aids in faculty and student research, as well as select industrial partners. Students have opportunities to work with faculty on research projects and take part in community service-learning initiatives. The Forensic Science Club provides enrichment opportunities. The department awards the A.R. Smith Scholarships and the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Scholarships ($1,000).
The University of Massachusetts grants bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The university also grants a bachelor's and master's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; the master's program is only open to students who receive their B.S. from the department and is a fifth-year program that requires students to continue research started as an undergraduate under the same mentor. The university focuses on research and providing research experiences for students. Many grants and scholarships are available to support student research, such as the Bradspies Research Fellowship, which provides $3,000 for summer research work, and the Jack Ragle Summer Research Fellowship, which provides about $4,000 for undergraduate research.
St. Cloud University offers students interested in chemistry several options for earning their Bachelor of Science degree: a B.S. in Chemistry, a B.S. in Biochemistry, or a B.S. in Chemistry Teaching, with the option of Chemistry/General Science Education for grades 5-12 or Chemistry Education for grades 9-12. St. Cloud is also the only university in Minnesota to offer a Professional Science Master's program in Material Science and Instrumentation, an interdisciplinary program that involves material science and nano-technology as they relate to chemical structure, composition and characterization of materials. The university has a range of sophisticated lab equipment for chemical analysis and research. Departmental scholarships include the David Sorensen Chemistry Scholarship ($400) and the John Laakso Chemistry Scholarship ($500).
The Department of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University offers Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, cheminformatics and pharmaceutical chemistry. A Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry is also available, as is an accelerated B.S. to M.S. program in chemistry. The B.S. in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society and offers concentrations in environmental chemistry, secondary education teacher certification, biochemistry, polymer chemistry and chemical physics. The M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry are both research-intensive programs. The M.S. requires 30 credits of coursework, including a thesis. The Ph.D. requires 60 credits of coursework, including 24 research credits, an original research proposal and a Ph.D. dissertation. Chemistry graduate students are eligible for teaching assistantships that provide tuition, fees and a stipend.
Chemistry classes at Wayne State College are laboratory oriented and designed to promote intellectual curiosity. The chemistry program aims to prepare undergraduates for a career or for continued study in graduate school. Students gain experiential learning in state-of-the-art labs where they are invited to collaborate on faculty research. Chemistry degrees available through Wayne State College include a B.A. and B.S. along with a B.S. in Chemistry Education. The college also has a B.S. program in Chemistry Health Sciences, which is designed to prepare students to attend medical school. Scholarships available for chemistry majors include the Gary and Janice Small Endowed Scholarship, the Hass Foundation Scholarship, and the LDL/Russ Rasmussen Physical Science Scholarship.
CSU Long Beach offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry program accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS). There is also a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry degree available. The university's BS in Biochemistry program is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), making it one of only three programs in the state with this accreditation. Research-intensive graduate level programs (Master of Science in Chemistry and in Biochemistry) are also available. Academically outstanding seniors may be allowed to transfer up to 12 units of coursework toward the graduate program they plan to pursue after graduation. Continuing full-time chemistry students engaged in research with a faculty member can apply for the Glenn M. Nagel Undergraduate Research Fellowship ($1,000).
The Chemistry Department at SUNY University at Albany, or UAlbany, follows American Chemical Society guidelines for the content of its undergraduate programs: general chemistry and forensic chemistry. Graduate programs include Master of Science in Chemistry, MS in Applied Chemistry, and a Ph.D. Students at all levels have the chance to take part in research, with the faculty specializing in areas such as forensic chemistry and inorganic and materials chemistry. This research is incorporated into advanced courses and a research seminar series. The department has millions of dollars worth of specialized research equipment and a staff of specialists to assist researchers. Most graduate students receive an assistantship for research or teaching, and the department has scholarship funding through an endowment.
The Chemistry Department at Stony Brook University is the birthplace of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and the department is one of the top chemistry research institutions. The faculty has specialists in a dozen areas of chemistry, including computational chemistry and polymer chemistry. Undergrads choose from five program options, including environmental chemistry or marine and atmospheric chemistry. The master's program has concentrations in chemical research or professional science. Stony Brook also has a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Students at all levels can take part in cutting-edge research, including research in interdisciplinary fields such as bioorganic chemistry. Chemistry majors can apply for scholarships such as the S-STEM Assets Scholarships, for students who transfer from a community college ($4,800 over two years).
Ferris University's Department of Physical Sciences offers an Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Chemistry Technology, a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Chemistry Fermentation Science and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry Education. The A.A.S. in Industrial Chemistry Technology teaches students about general, organic, analytical and instrumental chemistry and can act as a gateway into bachelor's degree programs in biology, chemistry, optometry and pharmacy. The B.A. in Chemistry includes seven core chemistry courses, a two-course sequence in physics and six credits of chemistry electives. The B.A. in Biochemistry requires 13 core courses, a two-course physics sequence and electives, with students learning about organic, inorganic, physical chemistry and biochemistry.
University of Florida students interested in chemistry have the opportunity to conduct research in a variety of interdisciplinary topics while pursuing a degree in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. The Chemical Engineering Department and the Chemistry Department both offer bachelor's, master's and Ph.D programs. Undergrads can earn a B.S. in Chemistry and take a few extra classes to earn an American Chemical Society Certification. The university also offers a B.S. in Biochemistry. Even undergrads are encouraged to become involved in research, and some of the topics being investigated at the university include bio/nano-science, particle science, green chemistry, polymer chemistry, chemical physics, health-related biochemistry and genomics. Chemistry scholarshlps include the Howard and Brenda Sheridan Fund in Chemistry.
Berea College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with three concentrations: a general concentration, a professional concentration and a biochemistry concentration. The general concentration is designed for students looking to continue their education in medical, dental, pharmacy or other areas of the allied health field. The professional concentration is designed for students who plan to work as laboratory technicians or researchers, most likely after completing a graduate program. Students enrolled in the general concentration are required to complete five core courses, while students in the professional and biochemistry concentrations are required to complete eight core courses. All three concentrations require four advanced laboratory courses and a capstone course or experience, which could be a research course or research project.
Alfred University's Department of Chemistry offers an undergraduate major and minor in chemistry. Students majoring in chemistry can complete either a core chemistry major or an American Chemical Society-approved major. The core chemistry major requires 38 credits of chemistry courses, eight credits of math courses and eight credits of physics courses. Students enrolled in the American Chemical Society-approved major are required to complete six additional credits beyond the core requirements. The chemistry minor consists of 20 credit of coursework. Students in the Chemistry Department also have the opportunity to participate in the Chemistry Club, a special chemistry lectureship known as the Scholes Lecture and can complete for the Outstanding Student Award.
The Chemistry Department at Binghamton University participates in several interdepartmental programs and cross-disciplinary areas, giving chemistry students a wide range of areas to specialize in. This is most important at the graduate level, where students select a faculty research adviser who is working in an area they are interested in, which could include traditional chemistry or interdisciplinary areas such as bioanalytical, bioinorganic, bioorganic, environmental, or materials chemistry, or electrochemistry. The department offers M.S., M.A. and Ph.D programs in Chemistry. Undergrads can earn a Bachelor of Arts or of Science in Chemistry or an interdisciplinary Biochemistry degree. The department also offers a five-year B.A./M.A.T. program for students who want to teach chemistry in secondary schools.
Undergraduates in the Department of Chemistry at Michigan State University have the opportunity to take part in a collaborative summer research program in green chemistry. In addition to developing research skills, it also offers financial support to students. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, BS in Chemical Physics, Master of Science and Ph.D. in Chemistry. The school also offers BS degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with an option to study Biotechnology, with MS and Ph.D. programs, as well. The Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department offers BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees. Research facilities are modern and foster cross-discipline collaboration.
Queens College offers programs leading to a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or chemistry education. The college also has a master's program in chemistry or biochemistry and an accelerated B.A./M.A. program. Chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to earn 51 credits within the major. Chemistry education majors have to complete 41 to 48 chemistry credits and take a variety of education classes. The 30-credit master's program takes about two years to complete as a full-time student. Master's candidates are required to take part in faculty research, which is concentrated in the areas of nanotechnology and material science, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry. Departmental awards and scholarships include the Maxwell L. Eidinoff Award ($250).
Cal State Fullerton offers both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in chemistry. The BS program is designed for students who wish to become practicing chemists after graduation. The BA degree better serves students who are considering careers as high school chemistry teachers or managerial positions in a chemistry-related industry. Fullerton also offers a BS in Biochemistry degree for students who wish to pursue careers in the pharmaceutical industry or enter the health profession. Additionally, Master of Science in Chemistry (research-based) and Master of Arts in Chemistry (coursework-based) degrees are also available. Chemistry majors with demonstrable financial need and who plan to teach middle or high school science can apply for the Eric and Alyse Streitberger Science Education Endowed Scholarship.
Students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Chemistry at Brigham-Young University-Idaho are required to complete a hands-on, off-campus laboratory internship as part of a capstone experience. These internships can include placement at academic research centers, with industrial partners, or in government agencies, and the university offers scholarships for students completing a required internship program. The school offers degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Chemistry Education. The faculty often take part in small-scale research projects in these areas, and students may work with a faculty mentor on research for academic credit. In addition, the school offers a number of student work opportunities, such as teaching assistant, grader, and stockroom assistant.
Northwest Missouri State University offers Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in chemistry. Additionally, Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Science in Education degrees are available in chemistry education. The undergraduate chemistry major is certified by the American Chemical Society. Students who choose the chemistry B.S. program also have the opportunity to pursue concentrations in biochemistry (pre-medicine), medicinal chemistry (pre-medicine) and medicinal chemistry (pre-pharmacy). B.S. students do not have to select a minor, while B.A. students do. In addition, students in the B.A. program only complete 30 credits of major courses, while students in the B.S. programs complete 54 to 65 major credits. Additionally, chemistry students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led research, internships and study abroad experiences.
Undergraduates seeking a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the City College of New York can concentrate in standard chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, or chemistry for secondary education. Graduate students can earn a Master of Science or a Ph.D. in Chemistry or in Biochemistry. CCNY also offers a combined B.S./M.S. program that allows students to complete both degrees in five years; research is a mandatory component of the accelerated master's program. Even undergraduate chemistry majors are eligible to work on high-level research under the direction of faculty researchers. Subspecialties faculty members are investigating include nanotechnology, environmental chemistry, and computational biophysics. Through the Grove School of Engineering, CCNY also offers bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs in chemical engineering.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Hunter College offers four academic tracks for undergraduate chemistry majors. One is an ACS-certified bachelor's degree in chemistry for students who plan to study chemistry in graduate school. The other tracks focus on pure chemistry, bioinformatics, or biochemistry for pre-med students. Graduate degrees available through the program include a master's in biochemistry or in chemistry education, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry or Biochemistry. Hunter is part of the National Science Foundation's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program, and a grant from that program helps support the radiochemistry concentration in the Ph.D. program. Departmental scholarships include the Gertrude Elion Scholarship for women scientists who want to pursue a graduate degree at Hunter.
Texas Woman's University offers a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Chemistry with an ACS Certification, Chemistry, Chemistry with emphasis for Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, or Pre-Pharmacy, and Chemistry with Teacher Certification as well as a Master of Science in Chemistry. Students can do a number of things with a chemistry degree, and their career goals will determine how they focus their studies. Graduates from the chemistry program have become teachers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, scholars, and many more professions. The department offers scholarships specifically to many undergraduate and graduate chemistry majors in awards that range from $100 to $1,500.
Brooklyn College grants a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry as well as a B.A. in Adolescence Education: Chemistry Teacher. The graduate chemistry program offers master's degrees for working scientists and high school teachers and doctoral degrees in chemistry and biochemistry. The B.A. in Chemistry requires students to earn 49 to 54 departmental credits, including chemistry, physics and math classes. The B.S. requires 69 to 73 departmental credits. The department also allows undergrads to minor in biochemistry. Undergrads interested in pursuing a graduate degree to enter research can apply for the Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program, which offers annual stipends totaling $14,800 and the chance to work with Brooklyn College chemistry faculty on research.
SUNY Plattsburgh offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with an American Chemical Society certification that requires students to take extra courses in biochemistry, inorganic chemistry and advanced analytical chemistry to prepare for a career in chemistry or to satisfy pre-professional requirements for medical or dental school. Other options for chemistry majors are a B.S. in Biochemistry, a B.A. in Chemistry, or a five-year program in Chemical Engineering that requires the student to attend an engineering college for the last two years. Plattsburgh also has a five-year program for those who wish to teach chemistry in high school, earning chemistry and adolescent education degrees. Undergrads are encouraged to conduct research, and Plattsburgh students have presented papers at national conferences.
The University of North Texas offers several degrees in chemistry: a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Forensics Science certificate, a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with Teaching Certificate. They also offer a Master's degree and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree is accredited by the American Chemical Society. Scholarships available for chemistry majors include the Virginia H. and Norman E. West Scholarship, the Outstanding Freshman Award, the Addie Mae Lloyd Curbo Award, the Heran and Clota Vaughan Award, and the W.N. Masters Award.
The Department of Chemistry at Stanislaus State University offers Bachelor of Arts as well as Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry. Students have the option of completing a concentration in environmental sciences or including a teaching credential to their program. Coursework includes classes in organic chemistry, advanced biochemistry, chemistry in elementary school classrooms, and quantitative analysis and basic instruction technology. The department is a well-equipped facility with modern instrumentation that includes nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, high pressure liquid chromatography instruments, inert atmosphere glovebox, and several others. Full-time chemistry majors with solid academic performance can apply for the Hobart, Sr. and Mary Rodriguez Hamilton Memorial Scholarship Fund (amount varies). Stanislaus' chemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society.
Since chemistry requires a huge amount of lab work, most universities and colleges are reluctant to offer 100% online undergraduate degrees. On the other hand, you will probably find online classes in math and science in associate degree programs. You can also try hybrid programs that combine distance learning with on-site labs and classes. In general, chemistry professionals with an accredited bachelor’s degree will have an easier time enrolling in 100% online programs.
When it comes to online learning, reputation is hugely important. Look for schools that have:
Be very wary of schools with low completion rates and high student loan default rates.
An associate’s degree in chemistry is a 2-year undergraduate program focused on giving students a strong foundation in the field. You’ll find a variety of programs being offered at community colleges, junior colleges, and universities. A high school diploma or GED is required to apply.
An associate’s degree can prepare you to become a chemistry lab technician. However, if you’re interested in becoming a chemist or teaching high school, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. Thinking of using an associate’s degree to earn credits for a BA or BS? Before you enroll, make sure your associate course credits will be transferable to the bachelor’s program of your choice.
The curriculum for an associate’s degree in chemistry has three components: general education requirements, chemistry courses, and lab work. For the general education section, you may be required to take calculus, physics, algebra, composition/English, and computer science. At the same time, you will also be able to explore topics in general chemistry and organic chemistry. A good chunk of your training will take place in labs, where you can experiment with a variety of chemicals.
Graduates with an associate’s degree in chemistry have two main job options:
Unfortunately, because of outsourcing and degree inflation, these support-level jobs can be hard to come by. Generally speaking, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry is going to give you more flexibility. If you’re focused on becoming a technician, make sure your associate’s program trains you in computer science and gives you plenty of time in the lab.
A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is a 4-year undergraduate program that grounds students in the field of chemistry. Bachelor programs are offered by a wide range of regionally accredited universities, colleges, and schools. A high school diploma or GED is required to apply.
Since chemistry is a complex field, many students use the BA or BS as a step towards graduate work, a professional program (e.g. medicine, pharmacology, law, etc.), or a career in K-12 teaching.
Many colleges will allow you to choose a major or electives in a specific area of chemistry. We’ve listed a few specializations below, but there are plenty more. Talk to your academic adviser if you’re unsure about your options.
In the first couple of years, you will follow the same curriculum as an associate’s degree. That means general education courses in science (e.g. physics and biology), math (e.g. calculus), computer science, and writing/composition. At the same time, you will cover general chemistry courses such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
Once you have completed those requirements, you will be able to concentrate on specialized classes (e.g. chemical physics, environmental chemistry, thermodynamics, biomedical imaging, etc.). A lot of your time will be spent in the lab, receiving training in conducting experiments, analyzing data, and reporting results. In your final year, you may be working on a capstone project or a research-based thesis. Some programs will also arrange internships or co-op experiences – a great way to gain real-world experience!
A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is the standard requirement for entry-level jobs. Examples of these jobs include:
However, if you’re interested in conducting your own research, being in charge of a team, or advancing up the ranks, you should look closely at a master’s or higher. Most professional chemists have a graduate degree.
A master’s degree in chemistry is a graduate-level qualification focused on research that usually takes 1-3 years to complete. Many candidates decide to pursue a master’s in order to become a professional chemist, qualify for better jobs, or prepare for doctoral work. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a closely related field is required to apply.
Master’s programs in chemistry are a mix of advanced chemistry (e.g. advanced organic chemistry, advanced analytical chemistry, advanced physical chemistry, biochemistry, etc.) and classes in your specific area of interest. Because this degree is focused on science research, you may also be required to take courses in topics such as statistics and research methods. Almost all programs will expect you to complete an in-depth thesis, an exam, or a capstone project as a condition of graduation.
A master’s degree in chemistry is a common choice for professional chemists (around 25% of students who major in chemistry will end up working as chemists). But the buck doesn’t stop here. A graduate degree qualifies you for a variety of roles, including research and management positions. Career titles you may wish to explore include:
With a master’s degree, you may also wish to earn a PhD in chemistry, become a K-12 educator, teach at the junior college level, or apply for a professional school.
A PhD in Chemistry is the highest academic credential you can pursue as a chemist and often takes 3-6 years to complete. A master’s degree is generally required to apply, although some universities offer combined master’s/doctorate programs. Most PhD candidates have thorough training in lab/research work.
The first years of a PhD in chemistry often include core courses in advanced chemistry and upper-level courses in analysis, research skills, lab techniques, and theory. You may also be required to pass a set of exams to prove your knowledge in the field. In subsequent years, you’ll usually be free to work on a piece of original research (i.e. dissertation) in your specific area of interest.
Graduates with a PhD in chemistry have the option to teach in universities and serve as department heads. You will also find these highly qualified scientists in the federal government, large private companies, hospitals, and independent research organizations.
A certificate in chemistry is a non-degree qualification offered by many universities and colleges. These short, specialized programs introduce students to specific chemistry principles and can take 6 months-1 year to complete. A lot of students use the certificate to amass course credits for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. If you’re keen on this option, make sure your credits will be transferable to the degree program of your choice.
Chemistry certificates come in two major categories:
Once you’ve put together a shortlist of schools, see if they have regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is a “seal of approval” granted to institutions (e.g. non-profit and public colleges and universities) by one of six regional accrediting bodies (e.g. New England Association of Schools and Colleges).
You can learn more about the difference between regional accreditation and national accreditation in Accreditation: Understanding the Difference Between Real Schools and Diploma Mills.
Going to a regionally accredited school will make it easier for you to:
The American Chemical Society is recognized as the major professional society in the United States for practicing chemists. In order to ensure that ACS-certified chemists are going to good schools, the ACS has given its approval to a number of baccalaureate chemistry programs. These undergraduate programs have to meet a series of stringent guidelines, including high standards for the:
Thinking about becoming a K-12 science or chemistry teacher in a public school? You will need to earn a teaching license from your state. We talk more about this procedure in our article on K-12 Teaching. Happily, many colleges offer combined undergraduate chemistry/teaching programs that will prepare you for licensure. To teach in a private school, you may only need a degree and proof of teaching/tutoring experience.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the major professional society for practicing chemists. That means ACS certification can be a useful thing for chemists and researchers to have.
The procedure is very simple. In order to become an ACS-certified chemist, you must graduate from an ACS-approved bachelor’s program. During your undergraduate years, you’ll complete at least 500 hours of formal lab experience in chemistry, 400 hours of fundamental chemistry coursework, and classes in math and physics.
Although ACS certification is not required to become a chemist, there are a range of benefits: