College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Chemistry

Why Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of the composition, properties, and transformations of matter, i.e., anything that has mass and occupies space. Everything you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste involves chemistry. Every change in the observable world has its basis in the microscopic realm of atoms. Thus, a knowledge of chemistry is central to our understanding of disciplines as diverse as biology, materials science, geology, medicine, and physics. Many chemists work to determine why substances differ in their properties. Other chemists use this knowledge to create new substances with useful properties. The man-made products of chemistry impact many aspects of our daily lives.

The B.S. in Chemistry degree program at Saint Joseph’s University is certified by the American Chemical Society. Our chemistry majors are introduced to all of the major subdisciplines in chemistry: analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic, and physical. Throughout our program, emphasis is placed on chemistry as a laboratory science. Consequently, our chemistry majors learn not only the basic theories of chemistry, but also how to use current experimental techniques, modern instrumentation, and computational methods to solve chemical problems. Faculty members teach all of the laboratory courses. The curriculum is designed to prepare our chemistry majors for graduate and professional schools as well as for employment in government and industry

Many chemistry majors engage in faculty-directed independent research projects both during the academic year and in the summer. These experiences help to develop a chemist’s analytical skills, critical thinking, and creativity. Students publish their results in scientific journals and present their work at local, regional, and national scientific meetings.