Frequently asked Questions
Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about our Chemistry programs.
What career options are available with a degree in chemistry or biochemistry?
Opportunities for our graduates include careers in Analytical, Organic and Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Dentistry, Law, Chemical Sales, Education, Medicine, Optometry, Veterinary Medicine, Industrial Management, Forensic Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Research, Public Health, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Materials Research, Biomedical Research, Nanotechnology Research and Polymer Chemistry, among many others. Approximately two-thirds of our graduating seniors immediately go on to pursue graduate-level studies in medicine, chemistry, biochemistry and many other related fields. Our graduate outcomes are impressive. Since 1992, seven of our graduates who subsequently earned Ph.D.'s now hold faculty appointments at other colleges or universities, including Vanderbilt University, Morehead State University, and Eastern Michigan University.
What is the difference between B.A. and B.S. programs in chemistry?
Students planning to become professional chemists usually follow the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program. The curriculum meets the requirements of the American Chemical Society for the training of professional chemists, though many of our BS students go on to graduate studies in medicine, pharmacology, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and related fields. Students interested in medicine, dentistry and other health-related careers who want more flexibility have found the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program a fine preparation for professional schools. Due to the broader range of available electives, scientifically oriented students who plan careers in areas such as law, business or secondary education will find it possible to tailor course work to their own needs and objectives in the BA program.
What is the difference between Chemistry and Chemical Engineering?
Generally speaking, industrial chemists are responsible for research, discovery, development and improvement of chemical processes on a laboratory scale while chemical engineers tend to deal with facilities design and management issues related to moving newly developed chemical processes to large-scale production. Scientists and engineers are both needed for any successful industrial chemical enterprise, but their roles are quite different.
What is the BS Biochemistry program?
Our program is designed to provide especially desirable candidates for graduate and professional schools in the life sciences and to meet current technical demands in the biomedical, pharmaceutical and agricultural research communities. Our students engage in a program of rigorous courses in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics and mathematics as well as liberal arts courses that help broaden perspectives and facilitate understanding of societal issues. The program's faculty-mentored research thesis requirement is designed to develop advanced laboratory skills in an environment that supports independent and team-oriented approaches to biochemical research. Our program also attracts and graduates many outstanding pre-medical students who have gone on to medical schools such as Case Western, Ohio State, University of Cincinnati and many others.
What are class sizes like in chemistry at UD?
It depends on the level of the course. Our first year chemistry classes are always the largest, since they are taken by all students in the sciences and engineering at UD as well as certain students in education and related disciplines. These courses range from 70-85 students per lecture section. However, the lab courses that accompany these classes rarely exceed 18 students per section. Second year courses, including organic chemistry and quantitative analysis, are smaller, usually 30-45 students per section. Labs are again held to 18 students or less. Third year courses like physical chemistry and biochemistry are smaller still and may have as few as a dozen students. Finally, our senior level classes--usually advanced electives--are generally quite small, from 2 to 6 students, and the capstone course for our BS degrees, "Research and Thesis", is often a one-on-one laboratory experience between student and professor.
What kinds of courses do chemistry and biochemistry majors usually take?
In addition to technical courses in chemistry, biochemistry, physics and mathematics, our majors also take many courses in the humanities, arts and social sciences as part of our general education requirements. The Department has a long tradition of commitment to teaching excellence and a cutting-edge curriculum that includes faculty-mentored research experiences for all students within the general framework of a liberal education in the Marianist tradition.
What are the science facilities like at UD?
Our facilities occupy most of the four floors of the Wohlleben wing of UD's Science Center complex. Our state-of-the-art instructional labs, equipped with Fourier Transform (FT) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers and computer-interface lab experiment modules, are among the finest to be found anywhere . Upper-level students gain hands-on experience with a Bruker 300 MHz FT NMR, high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), a GC-mass spectrometer system (GC-MS), a laser Raman system, as well as Fourier transform (FT) infrared, fluorescence and ultraviolet spectrometers. Desktop and mainframe computer access and high-speed parallel computing clusters are also available for studies in computational chemistry. Specialized equipment supporting research in X-ray crystallography, biochemistry, nanotechnology, inorganic and organic synthesis and electroanalytical studies are also available, including scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) equipment in UD’s Nano Engineering Science and Technology (NEST) Center.