Academic Program


Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the discipline that studies the fundamental nature of matter and the changes in energy and properties accompanying compositional changes in matter. As a scientific discipline, chemistry is firmly rooted in the liberal arts tradition, placing emphasis on the development of intellectual capability and judgment. Yet it is also a very practical discipline dealing with the fundamental technology of matter that affects our environment and our society.

Career Opportunities for Chemists

Because of the nature of the discipline, a wide diversity of careers is possible with a chemistry major. These range from industrial product development to academic research, from medical and paramedical careers to forensic (law enforcement) chemistry. Government, industry, schools and universities and many private institutions, such as museums, have a variety of openings for chemists. About two- thirds of the chemistry graduates continue their education in graduate, medical, or professional school. In almost every instance, those who go to graduate school receive complete financial support in the form of a fellowship or an assistantship.

Why study chemistry at Valparaiso University?

The programs of the Chemistry Department provide balance between theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry. This balance is achieved through a diverse curriculum and research.

The Department is approved by the American Chemical Society for the training of professional chemists, including the biochemistry option, and the Beta Sigma Chapter of the Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honorary Society is located here.

Opportunities for carrying out directed or honors work research are available. A wide selection of instruments is maintained for student use in instructional laboratory work and research.

Close interaction between faculty advisors and undergraduates in the laboratory is a cornerstone of undergraduate research. Through these close interactions, students will be introduced to the basics of scientific research, taught how to keep an accurate notebook record of their research progress, learn a variety of new laboratory and instrumental techniques, and become skilled at using database search software such as SciFinder Scholar.