Lab Skills

Valpo offers us more hands-on work with instruments than most undergraduate institutions. It’s helpful for summer research opportunities — being able to work intelligently with instrumentation that other undergraduates may not have even touched.

– Samantha Cassell ’14, Ph.D. student

Valpo’s chemistry program graduates can be immediately productive in a professional or academic laboratory setting. Nearly all chemistry courses at Valpo include a laboratory component, and students are also encouraged to conduct research under the supervision of faculty members.

In Valpo’s laboratory classes, such as Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory, students learn through independent and team-based projects and research experiences.

Laboratory experiences allow students to master specific lab techniques, and deepen their understanding of:

  • Chemical synthesis, analysis, and problem-solving
  • Technical scientific writing and record-keeping
  • Professional written and oral communication
  • Modern biochemistry and molecular biology techniques
  • Safe laboratory practices, chemical handling and disposal
  • Ethical conduct and laboratory practices

Through laboratory classes and research projects, students get extensive hands-on training with research-grade instrumentation. This knowledge distinguishes Valpo’s chemistry students and opens opportunities for them, both before and after graduation.

In the Center for the Sciences, students have access to an arsenal of modern instrumentation including:

  • Fourier Transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer (FT-NMR)
  • Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) and Infrared (IR) Spectrometers
  • Gas Chromatograph – Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatographs (HPLC)
  • Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Instrument
  • Electrochemical Workstation

Learn more about Valpo’s chemistry facilities »