Chemistry and Biochemistry
Professors—Arrey, Clark, Hemmingsen, Murray
Chemists are employed in a wide variety of fields that discover or develop new materials. This includes drug development, polymers, nanotechnology, household products and thousands of other materials. Chemists are also employed in medicine, agriculture, energy and biotechnology. Chemistry majors are in high demand and almost all graduates move on to graduate or professional school or are employed as scientists.
The chemistry program has adopted several national models for science teaching that maximize student success. These include chemistry workshops, where students work in small groups with a peer leader on class activities and problems, and Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), which engages students in the classroom with team-based activities. The chemistry program is also focused on developing student research abilities beginning in the first year. Each student participates in research-based laboratory modules that develop problem solving skills and encourage presentations at scientific meetings. These early experiences prepare students for independent research projects with professors and scientific careers after they graduate.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) for over 40 years, which insures the highest academic standards. The department maintains more than $500,000 of modern instrumentation that is exclusively for student use in classes and research. The level of student support in courses and opportunities for research experiences are outstanding.
Students who complete the major will:
- possess an understanding of
- the application of chemical principles to other areas of study, the environment and everyday life;
- the nature, standards and ethics of the scientific enterprise;
- possess a broad understanding of chemistry’s traditional subdisciplines — organic, analytical, biomolecular, inorganic and physical chemistry — through both classroom work and laboratory experience;
- have the ability to analyze chemical information and solve chemical problems; and
- have the ability to communicate chemical information, both orally and in written form.
Administered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Biochemists work at the exciting and rapidly changing interface between biology and chemistry. They work in fields like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, genomics and basic research. Biochemistry is excellent preparation for medical and veterinary school as well as graduate school in biomedical and molecular life science. More than 90 percent of Capital biochemistry majors pursue advanced degrees.
The biochemistry program features a modern curriculum that focuses on research opportunities and student support. Chemistry courses include small group workshops that meet outside of class with a peer leader. Students in the biochemistry courses participate in POGIL, Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning, a national program of classroom activities that have been shown to improve student learning. Students can begin research projects in the first year of the program. In recent years, many students have attended national scientific meetings to present their research findings.