What is chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of materials on the atomic, subatomic, and molecular levels and how substances can interact with each other.

Who takes chemistry classes?

Our students are usually pursuing majors in the physical sciences, biological sciences, and professional careers, such as medicine, nursing, pharmacology… a wide range! These classes also help you decide if you want to pursue a career in chemistry or materials science!

What do chemists do?

Pursuing a degree in chemistry leads to lots of job options! Some chemists work at universities and research laboratories. Others work in industry, such as pharmaceutical and semiconductor companies, or go into medical fields. Many chemistry fields are interdisciplinary, such as biochemistry, geochemistry, and environmental chemistry.  Most positions require advanced degrees, but others (such as pharmacy technicians) do not.

What is the career outlook?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment growth for chemists is 3% from 2014 to 2024. The median annual salary for chemists ranged from $75,000 - $99,000 depending on advanced degree and specialization in May 2016.

For more information about chemistry-related careers, visit the American Chemical Society’s Careers website.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding safe handling of chemicals and a respect for chemicals, their properties, and their effect on the environment.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which different aspects of nature (e.g., our local environment on Earth, the inner workings of the human body, etc.) can be known through and are connected by chemistry.
  • Demonstrate and understanding of how chemistry is the study of matter and its changes.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in a number of techniques and analyses employed in the chemistry laboratory.

Related Majors/Degrees/Certificates


Any questions?

Please contact the Physical Sciences Department Chair, Dr. James Covalt.