Schools for Chemists
Find out what steps you need to complete to become a chemist and what degree programs are offered in this field. Learn what subjects may be covered in a degree program and how to choose a school.
Chemistry can be studied through bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Plenty of options exist for potential students who want to work towards this type of degree.
What Do I Need to Become a Chemist?
While having a bachelor's degree in chemistry will allow you to find entry-level work in the field, you will need a master's degree, or more often a Ph.D., in chemistry in order to perform actual research as a chemist. You can start your education by, most commonly, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry before applying for a graduate program. Some schools offer a Bachelor of Arts program for those planning a non-laboratory career. Many schools offer programs in general chemistry, while others allow you to concentrate in an area such as biological or organic chemistry. Most bachelor's degree programs join classroom study with lab work and some provide opportunities for undergraduates to participate in graduate-level research.
Master's degree programs are available and may be offered as an alternative to pursuing a Ph.D. Thesis and non-thesis tracks are both options; however, you will most likely need to complete a research project.
If you are pursuing a Ph.D., you may or may not need a master's degree before enrolling, depending on the program. Most programs give you the opportunity to focus on a specific area of chemistry, such as inorganic, biophysical or theoretical chemistry. You may be required to perform in various laboratory rotations, as well as teach. You will also be expected to do a dissertation.
Which Schools Offers Bachelor's Degrees in Chemistry?
Bachelor's degrees in chemistry are widely available at prestigious 4-year schools across the country. You can decide on a program that is close to you, or maybe you'd like to go out-of-state.
- Northeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Chemistry
- The University of California at Berkeley offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Chemistry
- Michigan State University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Chemistry
Which Schools Offers Master's Degrees in Chemistry?
There are plenty of master's degree programs in the field of chemistry to choose from. Teaching degrees are also available.
- American University offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Chemistry
- The University of Arizona offers a Master of Science (M.S.) and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in Chemistry
- The University of Saint Joseph at Connecticut offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program in Chemistry
Which Schools Offers Doctoral Degrees in Chemistry?
Numerous 4-year schools offer doctoral degrees in chemistry. Most programs required a bachelor's degree.
- UCLA offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Chemistry
- Drexel University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Chemistry
- Boston University offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in Chemistry
What Will I Learn?
In a bachelor's degree program, you will take basic courses in general chemistry and math before moving into a possible track. Core coursework at the master's degree level includes instruction in organic, bioorganic, analytical and physical chemistry, among others. Depending on your focus of study, a Ph.D. program can offer you further study in these areas, as well as in subjects such as solid state chemistry, spectroscopy, materials science, chromatography, molecular synthesis and quantum mechanics. Instruction at all levels often combines lectures and laboratory work.
What Other Programs Can I Find?
You may wish to begin your college studies by pursuing an associate's degree prior to transferring into a 4-year program. Certificate programs, as well as individual classes, are available in specialized areas of chemistry, such as green chemistry or forensic chemistry. This specialized education may be available while earning a degree or while working as a professional chemist.
A few schools may offer you the opportunity to pursue a degree online. What is more usual is for certain classes to be made available online, allowing you the flexibility to take some classes from the convenience of your own home. You will need to meet the particular hardware and software requirements in order to fully access the coursework.
How Do I Find a Top School?
The American Chemical Society (ACS) offers various resources for professionals and those interested in the field. This includes a list of Ph.D., bachelor and master's degree programs in chemistry approved by the organization. Also, sites like U.S. News & World Report regularly rank graduate programs in chemistry and may be helpful in your search for a top school.
Students looking to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry can select from a number of programs from across the country.