Frequently Asked Questions
How many people graduate with a major in chemistry each year?
The Department has had 108 graduates in the last twelve years, so we average about 9 per year. Of these graduates, the female to male mix is 42% -- 58%.
Where do our graduates go?
Over this twelve year period, 37% of our graduates have gone to medical school, 35% have gone to graduate school, and many of the remaining people have gone directly into industrial or clinical laboratory work. These graduates have gone to such graduates schools as Cal Tech, Wisconsin, Cornell, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Emory. In most instances those going to medical school have gone back to their home state university, but some have gone to private institutions like Vanderbilt and Baylor.
How is your major structured?
There are two major tracks, chemistry and biochemistry. Over the past twelve years, about 60% of our graduates have taken the biochemistry track and 40% have taken the chemistry track. Of those graduates in the chemistry track, over 80% have gone the extra mile and obtained certification by the American Chemical Society.
What is a typical course schedule for someone at the start of majoring in chemistry?
Regardless of which track the major ultimately chooses, their course of study in chemistry is the same in the first three years. In the first year, students should expect to take Chemistry 111, 111L, Chemistry 122, 122L (general and analytical) and two semesters of calculus. In the sophomore year, Chemistry 211, 211L and Chemistry 212, 212L (organic) should be taken along with a year of physics. With this course work completed, a major is prepared for Chemistry 311, 311L and Chemistry 312, 312L (physical) in their junior year. The courses chosen for the senior year depend on the students track of choice.
How about AP credit?
Credit is granted for Chemistry 111 and 112 (not on the chemistry track) for a 4 or 5 on the AP examination. In most instances, students planning to major in chemistry or biochemistry waive the AP credit and take the Chemistry 111 as a lead up to taking Chemistry 122 in the second semester. In any case, Chemistry 111L must be taken prior to taking Chemistry 112L, 122 and 122L.
How large are the classes in the department?
In the first year courses, the enrollments are usually between 35 and 40 per class with no more than 24 per laboratory class. In the second year, the organic class is taught in two lecture sections of about 30 and three laboratory sections of 20. Upper level class enrollments range from one to fifteen.
What research opportunities are available for chemistry majors?
All five major areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, biochemistry) are represented in the disciplinary backgrounds of the members of the department. Each professor maintains an on-going research program that is appropriate for student participation. Summer research experiences both on and off campus are also available and most carry a stipend. Approximately two-thirds of the majors will have gained research experience before graduation.