About the Department

Valparaiso University's Department of Chemistry (Fact Sheet) offers a wide range of degree programs tailored to fit individual needs. The six-member faculty is intensely involved in every facet of education, from the classroom and laboratory to individual research and advising. The department is approved by the American Chemical Society for the training of professional chemists and biochemists, and hosts the Beta Sigma Chapter of the Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honorary Society.  Each year, roughly 20-30 chemistry majors graduate and pursue a variety of career options.

Our Chemistry degree programs are firmly rooted in the liberal arts tradition, placing emphasis on the development of intellectual capability and judgment. Our courses stress both theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry. Classroom training is augmented with extensive laboratory experiences making use of our arsenal of modern instrumentation. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in departmental research projects, which cover organic and inorganic synthesis, biochemistry and biophysics, materials/polymer science and theoretical physical chemistry.

Chemistry is also foundational for many other careers. We provide pre-professional education and training for medical, dental, veterinary, and physical therapy programs. Many classes are listed in the interdisciplinary Environmental Science program, and the chemistry minor can be combined with a wide range of degrees to form a specialized program of study.

Our graduates successfully pursue professional careers after graduation, or continue their education in graduate school. Recent graduates have entered industries specializing in pharmaceuticals, personal care products, petroleum, and analytical services, and government agencies like NASA. The list of graduate schools accepting our majors is extensive. Many students go on to attend medical school or pharmacy school.

The quality of Valparaiso University's chemistry graduates was recognized by the Dow Chemical Company Foundation which provided funding for undergraduate scholarships in recognition of outstanding performance in the industrial setting by Valparaiso University's chemistry graduates who had received their chemistry Ph.D.’s.