Academics

Undergraduate

  • Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
  • ACS Certified Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (jointly administered by the Biology Department)
  • Minor in Chemistry
  • Minor in Environmental Chemistry

Students completing a degree in chemistry will:

  • Learn the basic canon of chemistry, covering the five fundamental sub-fields as recommended by the American Chemical Society: inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry.
  • Conduct original chemical research and report their results orally and in writing to scientific audiences.
  • Learn and apply the principles of scientific ethics with regard to use of sources, generating and reporting of data, and collaboration with colleagues.
  • Develop an understanding of green chemistry and environmental responsibility.
  • Upon graduation, be prepared to practice as a professional chemist, whether in further study or in the workforce.

About the American Chemical Society (ACS)

Many professional chemists (certainly almost all of your chemistry professors) are members of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The ACS holds national and regional chemistry conventions, publishes a wide range of chemical journals and other materials, and provides many other services for its members. You cannot become a full member of the ACS until after you graduate with a B.S. degree in chemistry or biochemistry, but you can join right now as a student affiliate for a small cost and receive a subscription to the weekly news publication of the ACS, Chemical and Engineering News, as well as In Chemistry, the ACS Student Affiliates magazine. You can also subscribe to other ACS journals at a discounted student rate.

The local chapter of the ACS, the Northeastern Section, is one of the largest of the approximately 190 sections in the U.S., with over 6000 members at last count. The Northeastern Section holds monthly meetings featuring speakers or symposia on topics of current interest to chemists. The meetings are often preceded by dinner. Students are welcome; the cost for students is nominal. Watch for posters advertising the meetings.

The American Chemical Society also promotes excellence in chemistry education by administering approval of undergraduate programs. ACS approved programs are officially recognized by the American Chemical Society as offering a high quality undergraduate program in chemistry. Approved programs have undergone an official review process and have been found to be in compliance with the guidelines developed by the Committee on Professional Training (CPT), which administers the approval process for ACS.

Why should I pursue an ACS-approved degree?

Employers realize that graduates of approved programs have better preparation for technical employment. Some companies offer higher starting salaries to certified degree holders than to non-certified classmates.

Although graduate school admissions committees are unlikely to consider overtly whether or not a graduate holds a certified degree, the admissions committees may be impressed by the stronger preparation required for a certified degree and by a student being a graduate of an approved department.

An ACS-certified graduate is eligible for immediate membership in the ACS and thus is able to secure the benefits of membership, which include helpful services such as finding employment.