Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. If you have a curiosity about our physical world and a desire to improve the quality of life, consider a major in chemistry.

Our chemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society and prepares students for a wide variety of careers and educational opportunities. Those interested in entering our program can prepare by taking as many courses as possible in science, mathematics, writing and computer skills.

We offer concentrations in biochemistry, forensics and pre-pharmacy. Students interested in teaching chemistry in secondary schools in Pennsylvania can pursue a secondary education certification.

  • Biochemistry Concentration - This concentration prepares students for careers or graduate study in biochemistry or for application to medical, dental, or veterinary school.
  • Forensics Concentration – This 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 – This concentration prepares students for application to a doctorate in pharmacy (PharmD) program.
  • Secondary Certification – This certification is for students interested in teaching chemistry in Pennsylvania secondary schools.

What’s Special About Chemistry at Ship?

Our class sizes are small, meaning students and professors have close relationships. This accessibility in and out of the classroom is key to students achieving their individual goals within the field of chemistry. You will have the opportunity to undertake research to obtain experience in individual scientific investigation. Students also have the opportunity to apply for grants to receive funding for research expenses.

Our curriculum is approved by the American Chemical Society and involves core and laboratory courses in general, inorganic, organic, physical, and analytical chemistry, as well as the allied fields of physics and mathematics.

Where Can Chemistry Get Me?

A chemistry degree from Shippensburg University can lead to lots of opportunities after graduation. Many of our students enter industry, business, or government agencies upon completion of their degree. They work in petrochemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, environmental analysis and more.

There are also plenty of opportunities for chemists employed in different areas to get involved in management, production, sales and marketing.

Some of our students complement their 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.

A chemistry degree also provides access to graduate and professional schools, creating a pathway to careers in university teaching and research, forensics, patent and environmental law, and toxicology, as well as health-related professions like medicine and dentistry.

Annual salaries for chemistry-related jobs in Pennsylvania range from $30,000 to $71,000.

How Do Chemistry Majors Spend Their Time?

To graduate with a major in chemistry at Ship, you need to complete 39 credits that make up the core curriculum as well as other courses that lead to a bachelor's of science.

To minor in chemistry you are required to take 23-27 credits. Students interested in completing a minor in biochemistry must complete 24-28 credits.

The undergraduate catalog details specific course requirements.

Our students have plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience through labs, internships and research.

We provide access to a wide variety of instruments for use in course work and research. Learning how to use these instruments is key to preparation for internships, careers and graduate programs.

Each faculty member is devoted to providing students with the opportunity to perform research, the focus of which is tuned to the individual student’s interests and career goals. Students have opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research projects as early as their freshman year.

Chemistry majors may also consider joining Chemistry Club. Participation in activities and services through the club stands out on a resume and is a great way to network and create lifelong relationships.

Our students also have the opportunity to compete for various awards while they complete their degree.

Shippensburg University chemistry students can become recipients of the following awards:

  • Freshman Chemistry Award
  • Eastman Kodak Scholarship Award in Chemistry
  • Undergraduate Award for Achievement in Organic Chemistry Sponsored by the American Chemical Society and the Joint Polymer Education Committee
  • Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh
  • Analytical Chemistry Award
  • American Chemical Society Award
  • American Chemical Society Dinner
  • American Institute of Chemists Award
  • Class of 1920 Award in Sciences – Chemistry
  • Dr. Louise Lienemann Chemistry Scholarship Fund
  • APSCUF/SU Student Award
  • ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry
  • ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry
  • The Dr. James A. Beres and Merry Jean Beres Student/Faculty Research Endowment for the Department of Chemistry Award