Chemistry: ACS Certified

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 ACS-certified chemistry major is designed for students who are undecided about advanced studies, or who plan to get a job in the chemical industry as soon as they're done with their undergraduate studies at WMU. It requires students to take several advanced courses to top off their studies. This track will better prepare you for technical employment, but will also be more rigorous and demanding. Some employers seek graduates with ACS-certified degrees or offer higher starting salaries to these candidates.

If you plan to pursue graduate studies or attend professional medical, dental, veterinary or pharmacy school, you may want to consider the general arts and sciences chemistry program.

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, physical chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Fourth year: physical chemistry, instrumental methods in chemistry, inorganic chemistry, advanced chemical synthesis and chemistry electives.

You will be required to take some biochemistry coursework. 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