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Chemistry (B.S.)

B.S., Chemistry

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

What You'll Do

Tomorrow’s textbooks will document what researchers are discovering now—perhaps even something you will discover. As a Chemistry major pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, you’ll grow in your mastery of chemistry while getting the chance to flex your research muscles.

You’ll have the opportunities found at larger research institutions while enjoying the more personal learning community found at smaller colleges. Unlike many other schools, IUP encourages you to be active in research, starting in your freshman year. 

Our B.S. degree in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society. You’ll learn from a world-class faculty of 17 professors with doctorates in a range of chemical specialties, including analytical, biochemical, computational, education, inorganic, organic, and physical. Most conduct research in their specialties and encourage undergraduate research leading to presentations at conferences and publication in academic journals. 

What You'll Become

The B.S. degree in Chemistry will prepare you for a career as a chemist in industry or government or for continuing your education at the graduate level in chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, forensic science, or an associated field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 41 percent of chemists and materials scientists most recently worked in manufacturing firms—mostly in chemical manufacturing; about 18 percent worked in scientific research and development; and 12 percent worked in architecture, engineering, and related services.

The report noted that an anticipated employment decline in chemical manufacturing until about 2016 may change those figures. The most promising areas for job growth in the report were in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental research, and smaller, specialized, scientific services firms (as manufacturers continue to outsource research and testing).

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Special Features

  • Students enjoy hands-on access to a wide variety of scientific instrumentation. This includes a Bruker 300 MHz NMR, a Thermoelectron 4700 high-resolution Infrared spectrometer, a Perkin Elmer ATR Infrared spectrometer, an Agilent GC-Mass spectrometer, both single crystal and powder x-ray diffractometers, a differential scanning calorimeter, a Hitachi fluorimeter, real-time PCR machine, plate readers, a Zeeman atomic absorption spectrometer, and numerous gas and liquid chromatographs.
  • A forensic science course explores the chemistry of drugs, arson, poisons, hair, fibers, glass, and fingerprints and the methods used in forensic evidence collection, processing, and crime scene reconstruction.
  • Student groups include the American Chemical Society Club and the Alpha Chi Sigma service fraternity. 
  • ACS Club members have participated in volunteer water sampling of the Penn Hills II and Richards abandoned mine drainage sites near Clymer, Pa.