Department of Chemistry Programs

Chemistry is the study of all things chemical, such as chemical processes, chemical compositions and chemical manipulations. It is an exciting time in the field of Chemistry — science and technology career opportunities are seeing unprecedented growth. Opportunities to work as a researcher, chemical engineer, forensic chemist, pharmaceutical chemist, biotechnologist, or as a chemist within areas such as law, defense, public health and the environment, abound. The SCSU Chemistry Department offers bachelor's and master's courses of study; learner outcomes meet American Chemical Society (ACS) requirements. In all Chemistry degree options, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge base by taking elective Chemistry courses in areas such as Biochemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery, Pharmacology, Instrumental Analysis, Computational Chemistry, Chemical Education, and Environmental Chemistry, among others. Students can also opt to and are highly encouraged to use their elective Chemistry courses to pursue research with a faculty member.

Students with a B.A. in Chemistry receive a solid grounding in several of the major areas of chemistry, such as Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, and Physical. The B.A. is very similar to the B.S. in Chemistry degree, with the former having more free electives compared to the latter. Typically, our B.A. and B.S. Chemistry graduates go on to further their careers by attending graduate school, medical school, or by acquiring a job in industry or academia.

This is the traditional degree in Chemistry which provides students a solid grounding in four  major areas of chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, and Physical Chemistry. Students also receive a strong foundation in physics and mathematics. Typically, our B.S. in Chemistry graduates go on to further their careers by attending graduate school, medical school, or by acquiring a job in industry or academia. 

The B.S. in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration is one of the most popular options for students pursuing a degree in Chemistry. The concentration is very interdisciplinary: students are required to take  several Biology courses along with their Chemistry curriculum, allowing the student to earn a Biology minor in addition to their Chemistry major. In addition to the required biology courses, this focused concentration requires the student to take course(s) in the five sub-disciplines of chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, Physical and Biochemistry. Students also take elective courses in Drug Discovery, Pharmacology, or Medicinal Chemistry. We believe that this interdisciplinary curriculum gives this student population a focused, yet well-rounded curriculum where they take more courses directly relevant to their area of interest while establishing a solid foundation in Chemistry. The biochemistry concentration provides an excellent foundation for students wishing to attend medical, physician assistant, pharmacy, and dental programs after graduation. Students in this concentration can also pursue jobs in biotechnology and related areas. Students in this concentration can also pursue Ph.D. programs that comprise interdisciplinary research at the intersection of chemistry and biology.

The B.S. in Chemistry with an Environmental Chemistry concentration is interdisciplinary as the students are required to take several environmental courses in Marine Studies, Environmental Studies, Biology, Earth Science, or Public Health along with their Chemistry curriculum. Thus, this concentration allows students to pursue a minor in one of these areas in addition to their Chemistry major. This is a well-rounded curriculum where students take courses in Environmental Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis along with a strong foundation in four traditional areas of Chemistry: Organic, Inorganic, Analytical and Physical Chemistry. This degree provides excellent training to students that wish to positively impact the environment through chemistry. Students in this degree will typically find jobs in private and public environmental laboratories and can also choose to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Chemistry.

The B.S. Chemistry Accelerated Pathway Program is designed for academically strong (must maintain a GPA of 3.0) and research-oriented students who want to get a head-start on their graduate degree while still an undergraduate. A traditional Master's program generally takes about two years to complete, while the Accelerated B.S. Pathway Program takes only one additional year beyond the B.S. degree to complete. The admitted student proceeds with the usual requirements of a B.S. Chemistry degree, except that they are required to take two semesters of research courses along with two additional graduate-level Chemistry courses in their senior year. These four courses comprise 12 of the 30 required M.S. credits. The student would then take the remaining 18 Chemistry graduate credits in their 5th year (six credits of which are devoted to Master's level research involving a thesis proposal and graduate thesis), obtaining a Master's Degree in Chemistry at the end of that year.

The B.S. Chemistry with 7-12 teaching certification is intended to train future Chemistry teachers. This program has similar requirements as the B.S. Chemistry program, but students generally take fewer cognate courses and are required to take Chemical Education. Students also must take a number of educational courses from the College of Education. Chemistry teachers are always in high demand. Teaching Chemistry at the 7-12 level is also an excellent way to shape the future of the field. A student who graduates with the B.S. Chemistry with 7- 12 teaching certification is also just as qualified to pursue other careers in chemistry, should they decide to not pursue teaching later on in life.

The Master in Science program in Chemistry provides students the opportunity to advance their knowledge of Chemistry beyond the undergraduate level. Having a Master’s degree also leads to more opportunities and better paying jobs in the field of Chemistry. For example, students with a Master degree can teach at the Community College level or seek supervisory positions in industry. Although not required, a student with a Master degree is also a more attractive applicant for Ph.D. and Medical programs. Our graduate program is well suited for students that are already employed full-time and are looking to advance their careers since our courses are generally offered in the evenings. The program also offers the opportunity to take winter and summer courses to graduate in a timelier manner.  

Thesis Track

The Thesis Track of the Master of Science program in Chemistry is a graduate program that offers students the opportunity to take six graduate courses in any area of Chemistry alongside four research courses to complete a graduate thesis. A thesis proposal is required in the second semester of study, while a thesis and thesis defense are required in the final semester of study. The thesis advisor is secured prior to the start of the program. The student will do research under the supervision of the research advisor for approximately nine hours per week during a mutually agreed time. The Thesis Track prepares students well for a research career in industry or for further studies in a Ph.D. program. 

Comprehensive Exam Track

The Comprehensive Exam Track of the Master of Science program in Chemistry is a graduate program that offers students the opportunity to complete ten graduate courses in any area of Chemistry. Students may also elect to take a research course as one of their ten courses without committing to doing a graduate thesis. A comprehensive exam is taken in the final semester of study to test the proficiency of the student in Chemistry. The Comprehensive Exam Track provides students an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of chemistry through coursework. This degree is ideal for students that are already employed in industry or wish to pursue a career in industry.  

The Master of Science program in Chemistry is an interdisciplinary program that offers students the opportunity to complete six graduate courses in any area of Chemistry as well as six courses in management through the MBA program at SCSU. This degree provides excellent training for students that wish to pursue management positions in industry.  

A student who is pursuing a minor in Chemistry at SCSU is required to take two semesters of General Chemistry, as well as three courses at the 200-level or above; two of which must have labs. The minor in Chemistry is designed to give students from other majors solid grounding in an area of Chemistry of their choosing. For example, a Biology major may want to take -- in addition to the required General Chemistry courses – courses in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. On the other hand, a Physics major might choose to take courses in Analytical and Physical Chemistry instead. The minor in Chemistry is a good fit for students from a variety of disciplines such as Biology, Physics, Earth Science, Computer Science, Exercise Science, or those interested in pursuing Medical School or other professional health programs.