Chemistry Bachelor of Science
Department of Chemistry
Print Document

OVERVIEW OF MAJOR
Are you naturally curious about what makes up the everyday things you see? Did you ever wonder about the composition of the substances that produce colors in clothes, paints, paper, rocks, and glass? Have you ever wondered what chemicals might reside in your food or drinking water and how they might affect you? Would you like to research and develop new products and manufacturing processes that are environmentally friendly? Does monitoring the composition of air, water, and soil to maintain or improve environmental quality interest you? Are you fascinated by the vast possibilities that lie in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research, food product development, medicine, and toxic substance management? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then a major in chemistry may be right for you.

Chemists study the atomic structure of physical matter and analyze how it changes. More specifically, they analyze how basic atomic and molecular components are combined and can be manipulated to produce useful or improved products. Chemistry majors develop a solid foundation in general chemistry and mathematics followed by coursework in organic chemistry, quantitative analysis, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physics. The curriculum is rounded out by courses in the liberal and communications arts.

Students who plan to pursue careers as professional chemists may arrange their programs to obtain professional certification by the American Chemical Society. This objective entails completion of additional upper level chemistry classes in inorganic chemistry and instrumental analysis. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. There are ample opportunities for undergraduate students to become involved in graduate level research in the laboratories of individual faculty members. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged for any student planning a career in chemistry. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment including NMR, FTIR, UV/Vis, fluorescence, Raman and mass spectrometers, vacuum lines, x-ray diffraction, column chromatography. Those students whose career goals involve the health professions generally take advanced coursework in biological sciences. Students who plan on teaching chemistry at the secondary school level can complete the teacher licensure program offered through the School of Education.

Back to top

CHARACTERISTICS AND SKILLS
* Strong interest in chemistry
* Strong aptitude for and interest in mathematics and the physical sciences
* Inquisitive and curious nature
* Innovative
* Analytical thinker
* Flexible, patient, and persevering
* Strong problem-solving ability
* Able to work independently or in a group
* Able to see the “big picture” while paying attention to detail
* Interest in experimentation and data analysis
* Good oral and written communications skills

Back to top

POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS
Chemists are employed in a wide array of professional fields in private industry, government and education. Chemists work in research, development, analysis and testing, consulting, industrial quality control, environmental resource management, and forensics. Principal employers are petrochemical firms, biotechnology firms, consumer chemical firms, environmental testing laboratories, agricultural companies, governmental regulatory agencies, governmental and educational research laboratories, and manufacturing firms. Participation in internships, volunteer activities, or cooperative education opportunities is highly recommended to enhance your practical training and development. Graduates who continue on for advanced studies can attain more responsible positions with the possibility of rising to top professional levels. Chemistry is also an excellent major for those preparing for careers in veterinary medicine and the health professions. Career occupations include but are not limited to:
* Agricultural chemist
* Air and water quality analyst
* Biochemical technician
* Chemical sales and marketing representative
* Clinical chemist
* Consultant
* Educator
* Forensic analyst
* Laboratory Technician/Bench chemist
* Materials analyst
* Patent examiner
* Pharmaceutical chemist
* Polymer technician
* Technical writer
* Toxicologist

Back to top

RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
* Chem Club
* Premedica
* Natural Sciences College Council
* Biochemistry/Biotechnology Club
* Biochemical Engineering Club
* ACS Student Affiliates

Back to top

MORE INFORMATION
Department of Chemistry
B101 Chemistry Bldg
1872 Campus Delivery
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1872
970-491-6381
http://www.chm.colostate.edu/
* Academic and career advising for majors


Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA)
TILT Building
801 Oval Drive
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1033
970-491-7095
http://www.casa.colostate.edu/
* Academic advising/Major exploration


Career Center
120 Lory Student Center
Fort Collins, CO 80523
970-491-5707
http://career.colostate.edu/
* Major and career exploration/Job search information


Admissions and Undergraduate Recruitment
Ammons Hall
711 Oval Drive
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1801
970-491-6909
http://admissions.colostate.edu/
* Admission applications/University visits and tours


General Catalog Online
http://www.catalog.colostate.edu/

Back to top