Chemistry

Western Michigan University offers a new $28.5-million state-of-the-art building and two tracks of study for undergraduate chemistry majors—a general arts and sciences chemistry major and an American Chemical Society-certified chemistry major.

WMU's general arts and sciences chemistry program is designed for students who plan to attend graduate school, or who want flexibility to prepare for professional medical, dental, veterinary or pharmacy school. If you're undecided about advanced studies, or plan to get a job in the chemical industry as soon as you're done with your undergraduate studies at WMU, we suggest the second track. It is certified by the American Chemical Society and requires students to take several advanced courses to top off their studies. Learn more about the ACS-certified chemistry major.

As a student in the general arts and sciences chemistry program, it is suggested that you adhere to the following sequence to satisfy your major requirements.

  • First year: general chemistry and calculus.
  • Second year: organic chemistry, multivariate calculus and matrix algebra, and physics.
  • Third year: quantitative analysis and physical chemistry.
  • Fourth year: physical chemistry and chemistry electives from at least two sub-disciplines—analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic or physical.

Additional courses in statistics and differential equations are also recommended.

Beyond the classroom

As a chemistry student at WMU, you will have many opportunities to conduct research alongside professors and graduate students. Programs such as the University's Research Experience for Undergraduates will help you gain a competitive edge and take better control of your professional and educational future. You should also apply for internships with nearby businesses since prior experience is a huge consideration for employers looking to hire new chemists.

You may also gain experience outside the classroom by joining the Chem Club, an affiliate group of the American Chemical Society. The club provides networking opportunities and information about careers and advanced degrees in chemistry-related fields.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with degrees in chemistry are working as:

  • Scientists
  • Technicians

Among the organizations they work for are:

  • Government agencies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Schools and universities
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Large industrial sites

Many of WMU's chemistry graduates pursue advanced or graduate studies. WMU offers a master's degree in chemistry that provides a broad background in several fields, and allows you to concentrate in one area of your choice. We also offer Ph.D. programs in chemistry and biochemistry. Both are suited to serve those who plan to fill a high-level or leadership role in education, research or industry.

Where is this program offered?

  • Kalamazoo