Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry

Chemistry is in and all around us. From the clothes we wear to the medicine we take, the food we eat, and the cells that make up our bodies, humans are part of a chemical universe.

How can we better understand a world in which everything that we taste, smell, and feel is made of chemical matter? By studying chemistry!

Chemistry is a scientific discipline which addresses the structure, composition, reactivity, and energetics of substances down to their very atoms and molecules. It tells us what substances are made of and how they will behave. And importantly, by understanding chemistry, we can change the world for the better.

Why choose a B.S. in chemistry at Marian?

Advances in chemistry are improving human health and well-being around the world. Those who understand chemistry are uniquely situated to address global needs—and discover, develop, and implement solutions to some of the modern world's toughest challenges.

Whether you want to practice medicine, be an engineer, teach, work in the pharmaceutical or biomedical sciences, or be a “green” (environmental) chemist, a B.S. in chemistry from Marian University will help you develop the technical and cognitive skills you need to make your career goals a reality.

Here are a few things that make our program unique:

  • Hands-on teaching and learning gives you deep knowledge, broad perspectives, and keen understanding about the chemical, physical, and biological world.
  • You can choose one of three concentration areas (bio-organic chemistry, chemical physics, and environmental science) with which to customize your studies.
  • Engage with chemistry faculty who provide you with an exceptional level of personal attention, so you thoroughly understand key concepts, theories, and learning outcomes. And, since Marian classes have an average 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll build close relationships with both professors and peers.
  • Our classes are rigorous and you can expect to be academically challenged. But you’ll have support and access to tutors and other academic resources that help you excel.
  • Put your values into practice! Marian is a leader in green chemistry education. Our curriculum and laboratory practices encourage you to practice one of our key Franciscan values: responsible stewardship. And we’ll help you explore careers in which you can integrate this value into your professional work after graduation.
  • You can partner with faculty in chemistry and the biomedical sciences on multidisciplinary research projects, presenting your work and discoveries at on-campus symposia and at regional and national conferences.
  • Thanks to our general education curriculum grounded in the liberal arts, you will develop strong communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills. These skills are important in all professional settings and are essential to those practicing chemistry, including those who plan to attend graduate school for medicine or the health sciences.
  • Indianapolis is home to top global employers in the pharmaceutical, life science, manufacturing, and other industries, so you can pursue a range of internship opportunities in the field of chemistry and build a professional network before graduation.

What will you study?

As a B.S. in chemistry major at Marian, you will complete at least 128 total credits, including required general education, core, and elective courses.

Through our high-impact, experiential curriculum you’ll gain the technical and cognitive skills needed to:

  • Design and perform a wide array of laboratory experiments.
  • Analyze complex substances using state-of the-art instrumentation.
  • Show creativity and innovation through your coursework and research.
  • Prove that you are an independent thinker by conducting your own research investigations.
  • Develop and showcase your ability to communicate inspiring concepts and ideas by writing, speaking, and presenting your work to diverse people in various settings.
  • Demonstrate specialized scientific and technical knowledge that is attractive to employers and graduate programs, including medical schools.

You will also take courses that enable you to study and explore current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the field.

  • Courses are specifically sequenced to provide you with early foundational knowledge in chemistry, progressively building upon what you learn through your last semester as a senior.
  • You will start with 100-level courses where you will master the fundamentals chemistry. Then you’ll progress into upper division courses in analytical, organic, and biological chemistry.
  • You’ll explore the interdisciplinary impact of chemistry on topics like cell and gene therapy, cancer, disease, sustainability and environmental protection, and physics.
  • Faculty will teach you to understand and appreciate scientific knowledge and methodology.

At least 60 credits focus on the chemical and physical sciences. You’ll complete courses such as:

  • CHE 275: Practical Computational Chemistry
  • CHE 300: Analytical Chemistry
  • CHE 305-306: Organic Chemistry I and II
  • CHE 325-326: Physical Chemistry I and II
  • CHE 430: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

 You can also add a concentration in one of these fields to your plan of study:

  • Bio-organic chemistry
  • Chemical physics
  • Environmental science

Depending on whether and which concentration you chose, you’ll complete courses like:

  • CHE 270: Environmental Chemistry
  • CHE 310-312: Biochemistry, Biochemistry I, and Biochemistry II
  • CHE 315: Environmental Toxicology
  • CHE 435: Physical Biochemistry

Throughout your studies as a chemistry major, you’ll also complete a two-credit chemistry seminar and one-to-four-credit special topics in chemistry courses.

In addition, you’ll have opportunities to complete directed research and independent study courses as well as earn two to six credits through an off-campus internship in chemistry.

You’ll work closely with your academic advisor to choose required and elective courses that (1) fit your career interests and/or (2)  prepare you to be a competitive candidate for admission to graduate school, if plan to continue your education in a master’s or doctoral degree program.

For full course descriptions, review our 2018-19 undergraduate course catalog.

Sample four-year plan and checklist

What are your career paths?

For some Marian students, earning a B.S. in chemistry degree is the first step in an academic journey focused on the health sciences. After earning their undergraduate chemistry degree, they apply for admission to a graduate degree program and complete advanced studies to become physicians, dentists, optometrists, and other types of professional healthcare providers.

Other chemistry majors want to work in fields like advanced manufacturing, environmental protection, or the biosciences.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) reports employment for chemists and chemical specialists typically falls into one of five categories: industry, academia, government, non-profit, or entrepreneurship.

Chemists work in a range of roles and organizations:

  • Research and development, quality control, technical support, sales, marketing, or manufacturing
  • Environmental protection and management, public health, law and public policy, the military and law enforcement
  • K-12 and higher education
  • Regulatory affairs, technical communication, and information management/informatics

Among the industries that hire the most chemists:

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Scientific research enterprises, both public and private
  • Chemical manufacturing companies
  • Paint, coating, and adhesive manufacturers
  • Petroleum and gas extraction companies
  • Petroleum products manufacturers
  • Aerospace research, development, and manufacturing enterprises

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), examples of career paths, including employment projections and media salaries, for chemistry majors include:

Occupation  Growth through 2026  Median 2017 salary 
Chemist  7 percent $76,280
Materials scientist 7 percent  $91,000 
Agricultural and food scientist  7 percent  $62,910 
Chemical engineer  8 percent  $102,160 
High school chemistry teacher 8 percent  $59,170 
Natural science manager 10 percent  $118,970 
Biochemist  11 percent  $91,190 
Environmental scientist  11 percent  $69,400 
Medical scientist  13 percent  $82,090 
Geoscientist  14 percent  $89,850

For more information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7263
admissions@marian.edu

For program specifics

Carl Lecher
Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences
(317) 955-6005
clecher@marian.edu

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*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.