front of sherman hall

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry.

Chemistry is formally the study of matter - the composition, properties, reactions and transformations of the elements and their compounds - using a variety of experimental, instrumental and analytical techniques. Biochemistry focuses on the chemistry of biological systems and chemical reactions within cells using specialized methods developed at the intersection of chemistry and biology, providing a uniquely integrated focus for understanding the molecular processes of life. Chemistry and biochemistry are distinct disciplines that also provide the basis for many other specialized professions.

The Department of Chemistry offers an American Chemical Society accredited Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, a Bachelor of Science in medicinal-pharmaceutical chemistry and a Master of Science in chemistry. All of our B.S. chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to participate in an undergraduate research project under the guidance of a faculty research mentor (B.S. medicinal-pharmaceutical chemistry and B.A. chemistry students are encouraged to participate as well). Students may choose to pursue projects in all major chemistry sub-disciplines (analytical, inorganic, medicinal, organic, physical and biochemistry).

students in chem lab

Explore our academic programs.

Four major degree programs are available in the Department of Chemistry:

The B.A. program in chemistry provides a framework of scientific courses that serves as a preparation for a number of interdisciplinary professions. The traditional B.S. chemistry curriculum has been modified in the B.A. program, most notably in mathematics, physics and advanced chemistry. The program is sufficiently flexible to afford a wide selection of courses in the humanities while providing the science courses necessary for the many careers that either require or benefit from a substantial background in science (dentistry, medicine, patent law, pharmaceutical sales or veterinary medicine, to name a few).

The B.S. program in biochemistry follows a curriculum with requirements similar to those of the B.S. chemistry degree program, but with special emphasis on additional course work in biology and biochemistry that satisfies the needs of students who anticipate careers in the life sciences. A mark of distinction and rigor is the program's focus on research. Each student is required to conduct a research project that normally includes a ten-week summer period following the junior year and culminates with the submission of a research thesis and the presentation of a seminar.

The B.S. program in chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society for the training of professional chemists. Qualified students may participate in cooperative education following the completion of the sophomore year. Each student in the program is required to conduct original research, which begins with selection of a research professor and project, usually during the second term of the junior year. The research project, conducted during the entire senior year, culminates in the final term with the submission of an acceptable thesis and presentation of a departmental seminar. With prior approval, cooperative education students may substitute work experience for research.

The B.S. program in medicinal-pharmaceutical chemistry provides a solid foundation for careers in medicine, pharmacy and forensic science, and is especially appropriate for students with strong interests in drug design and compounds of pharmaceutical significance. Faculty-directed research projects are optional, but strongly encouraged. They are similar in design to those described for the B.S. degree in chemistry and ordinarily involve laboratory experiences in synthetic or analytical chemistry.

What can you do with a degree in chemistry?

Chemists find exciting careers in medical, environmental, and industrial fields. The knowledge gained through the study of chemistry opens many career pathways. Here are just a few of the career areas chosen by chemists:

  • Agricultural Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Education
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Information Specialists
  • Chemical Sales
  • Chemical Technology
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Product Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Food and Flavor Chemistry
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Geochemistry
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Oil and Petroleum
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Pulp and Paper Chemistry
  • R&D Management
  • Science Writing
  • Textile Chemistry
  • Water Chemistry
Stander poster sessions

Enhance your learning experience.

In the Department of Chemistry, our learning is not limited to the classroom. Your academic study is enriched by a wealth of opportunities. Take advantage of them.
working with pipettes

Get to know our faculty and staff.

The faculty and staff of the Department of Chemistry invite you to meet us and find out what we have to offer.

Our research and scholarship set up apart from the crowd.

The intellectual power and creative vitality of the College of Arts and Sciences reside in our faculty. While students lie at the center of the College’s attention, the work of the College’s faculty makes possible the distinctive education in the liberal arts and sciences that our graduates attain. All of the College’s achievements and aspirations spring in some way from faculty members’ creativity, talent, and dedication in scholarship, teaching, and professional service.


How can we help you?

Please feel free to contact us for more information about our programs. We look forward to hearing from you.

Office Information

Department of Chemistry
University of Dayton
Science Center Room 178
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469-2357

Phone: 937-229-2631
Fax: 937-229-2635