Chemistry Major with ACS Certification

Everything you see, hear, smell, touch and taste involves chemistry, and every change in the observable world has its basis in the microscopic realm of atoms. Knowledge of chemistry is central to understanding disciplines as diverse as biology, materials science, geology, medicine and physics. Many chemists research why substances differ in their properties, while others use this knowledge to create new substances with useful properties.

Our faculty is diverse in their interests, offering courses in both the traditional and interdisciplinary areas of chemistry. Throughout your education, chemistry will be emphasized as a laboratory science, and as a major, you will learn basic chemical theories as well as current experimental techniques, using modern instrumentation and computational methods to solve chemical problems.

Chemistry students have many opportunities to become involved in faculty-directed independent research that investigates problems of current interest. These experiences help you develop a chemist’s analytical skills, critical thinking, creativity and the ability to work as a team. Chemistry majors at Saint Joseph’s regularly publish their findings in scientific journals and make presentations at regional and national meetings, where many have received recognition and won awards. The American Chemical Society certifies the Bachelor of Science degree program in chemistry, and special advisory options are offered for majors interested in the premedical, predental and chemistry and business curriculums.

In addition, the five-year B.S./M.S. chemistry-education program is designed for students who wish to become certified secondary school (grades 7-12) science teachers. The program incorporates the four-year B.S. degree in chemistry with additional work during the summer and a fifth year to complete the M.S. in secondary education and to become certified. Given the numerous course requirements for the dual degrees and the certification, it is important that students talk with the chemistry education advisor about this program early in their careers to ensure they are taking appropriate courses. 

The chemistry program prepares students to choose from a wide range of career paths. Our majors pursue graduate study in chemistry or biochemistry, professional degrees in medicine, the health sciences and pharmacology, graduate studies in other fields, including business, government and law, and direct employment after graduation.