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College of Arts & Sciences

Office of Dean - College of Arts & Sciences
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
(717) 477-1151

Department of Chemistry

Franklin Science Center
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA
(717) 477-1629
Department Web Site

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Office of the Provost
OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371

The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016

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Bachelor of Science in


Currently in demand, chemistry majors can expect a wide variety of career choices with good salaries and low unemployment rates. 

The Undergraduate Chemistry Degree at Ship

Chemistry is the study of matter (anything that has mass and occupies space) and the changes it undergoes. Most changes in matter are accompanied by changes in energy. Matter and energy are what all of chemistry is about. We practice chemistry when we cook, drive our cars, and take medicine. Chemistry is part of everyday life, and this is just a peek into the world of chemistry.

Chemistry is also about applying this knowledge for the benefit of society. There is chemistry in synthetic dyes creating the multitude of beautiful colors around us unavailable 100 years ago. Chemistry is in the molecules making up our body, in the polymers that clothe it, and pharmaceuticals that cure its ills. Chemistry is in our environment, in the molecules that pollute it and the methods that clean it. Students who possess a curiosity about our physical world and a desire to improve the quality of life, should consider a major in chemistry.

Each Ship chemistry faculty member holds a doctorate from a major university, and is noted as an excellent teacher who is focused on student learning. Class sizes are small, and we are proud of our accessibility in and out of the classroom. Students who study in Ship's undergraduate chemistry program have the opportunity to undertake research to obtain experience in individual scientific investigation. To prepare students to achieve any career goal, we provide a solid background in all areas of chemistry: 

  • Analytical
  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic
  • Organic
  • Physical

Chemistry Admission and Degree Requirements

Shippensburg University offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with the option of six different concentrations and with secondary certification. Students can choose:

  • Biochemistry Concentration—prepares students for careers or graduate study in biochemistry or for application to medical, dental, or veterinary school.

  • Forensic Chemistry Concentration—includes courses in biology and criminal justice to prepare students for master’s programs in forensic science and careers in the forensic chemistry field.

  • Pre-Pharmacy Concentration—prepares students for application to a doctorate in pharmacy (PharmD) program.

  • Secondary Certification—for students interested in teaching chemistry in Pennsylvania secondary schools.

As an established PA university, Ship's undergraduate chemistry program is challenging and demanding. It requires a sound foundation in scientific fundamentals and methods as well as strong mathematical and communication skills. High school students can prepare by taking as many courses as possible in science, mathematics, writing, and computer skills.

Approved by the American Chemical Society, the curriculum involves core and laboratory courses in general, inorganic, organic, physical, and analytical chemistry as well as the allied fields of physics and mathematics. It is easy to match courses with career goals by taking advanced courses and concentrations in mathematics, physics, biochemistry, health sciences, polymers, or education. A strong general education program complements professional training.

Designed for non-science majors, CHM103 and CHM105 are available to students wanting a basic literacy in chemistry. Minors in chemistry and biochemistry are also available to students seeking to complement their primary training. A minor in chemistry can provide breadth and increase your potential employment opportunities—a journalism major minoring in chemistry can understand and more accurately report science-related news stories. Interested students should contact their advisors or the chemistry department immediately after they begin working towards their bachelor's degree in chemistry at Shippensburg University.

Careers in Chemistry

Immediately after graduation, approximately half of our students enter industry, business, or government agencies where employment usually involves laboratory testing or research. Examples are:

  • Petrochemicals
  • Plastics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental analysis.

Opportunities do not stop here because half of the chemists employed in these areas are involved in management, production, sales, and marketing.

Some of our students complement the undergraduate chemistry degree with a teaching certificate and pursue careers in secondary education. We encourage our students to take additional courses in business, computer science, environmental science, foreign languages, and other disciplines to build skills that complement their degree in Chemistry. Others use their strong chemical background in nontraditional areas such as:

  • Science writing
  • Scientific computing
  • Mass communications
  • Library and information science

A chemistry degree from a PA university also provides access to graduate and professional schools. Half of our students pursue an advanced education. They enroll in programs that lead to careers in university teaching and research, toxicology, forensics, patent and environmental law, as well as health-related professions such as medicine and dentistry. In our scientific and technological society, opportunities abound.

Get Involved

The SU Chemistry Club is a group of students who share a passion for Chemistry. One or more faculty advisors and four elected student officers lead this group of students. There are a lot of great educational and leisure activities for members to enjoy while making a difference around campus and the surrounding area. Best of all, funds are acquired through fundraisers so membership is free. Overall, it is a great opportunity to expand your leadership and to use your knowledge in Chemistry to help others.