Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

With an over-burdened global health-care system, an increasing number of multi-drug resistant microbes, terrorism, and competition over dwindling planetary resources, life on earth is going to face some major challenges in the near and distant future. There is a need, not just for research scientists, but for science-educated citizens, capable of making decisions for the direction of their lives, their family, and their communities. Alvernia strives to give students not just technical knowledge but insight and guidance about how science should be applied for the good of humanity and the betterment of society. As a Franciscan University, we are especially positioned to coordinate such goals.

Learning in leading-edge laboratory settings promotes development of knowledge and skills required to identify and pursue careers based on chemical science. Exploring broad-spectrum scientific concepts provides flexibility for students pursuing professional careers that demand knowledge of chemical systems, processes and interactions. Participating in internships and experiential learning enables students to apply academic theories and concepts to real-world challenges faced by professional chemists. And studying chemistry within the context of Franciscan traditions prepares chemists with the moral and ethical standards to employ science in the service of the world and its inhabitants.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Chemistry students
Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.

Program Overview

Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Chemistry majors must complete 67-72 credits in the major. 

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (3 credits: SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher (3 credits)
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology (3 credits)
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science (Met in related area.)
    • Math (Met in related area.)
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON 3
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence (6 credits)
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (200-400 level) (3 credits)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level) (3 credits)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Chemistry majors must complete 67-72 credits in the major. 

Required Courses (44 credits)

  • CHE 104: General Chemistry I (co-requisite: CHE 110)
  • CHE 105: General Chemistry II (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 110; co-requisite: CHE 111)
  • CHE 107: Laboratory Safety
  • CHE 110: General Chemistry Lab I (co-requisite: CHE 104)
  • CHE 111: General Chemistry Lab II (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 110; co-requisite: CHE 105)
  • CHE 201: Organic Chemistry I (pre-requisites: CHE, 105, 111; co-requisite: CHE 210)
  • CHE 202: Organic Chemistry II (pre-requisites: CHE 201, 210; co-requisite: CHE 211)
  • CHE 210: Organic Chemistry Lab I (pre-requisites: CHE 105,111; co-requisite: CHE 201)
  • CHE 211: Organic Chemistry Lab II (co-requisites: CHE 201, 210; pre-requisite: CHE 202)
  • CHE 212: Analytical Chemistry (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111)
  • CHE 221: Instrumental Analysis (pre-requisite: CHE 212)
  • CHE 301: Physical Chemistry I (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111; co-requisite: CHE 310)
  • CHE 302: Physical Chemistry II (pre-requisite: CHE 301; co-requisite: CHE 311)
  • CHE 310: Physical Chemistry Lab I (pre-requisites: CHE 105 and 111; co-requisite: CHE 301)
  • CHE 311: Physical Chemistry Lab II (pre-requisites: CHE 301 and 310; co-requisite: CHE 302)
  • CHE 406: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111, 301, 302)
  • SCI 402: Seminar 2
  • Select one 6-credit option:
    • Research Sequence: SCI 406: Research I and SCI 407: Research II OR
    • Internship: SCI 480: Internship 

Major Electives (6-8 credits)

Choose from the courses below:

  • CHE 401/410: Biochemistry w/Lab (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111, 201, 210, 202, 211)
  • CHE 403: Spectroscopic Methods of Analysis (pre-requisites: CHE 201,210, 202, 211)
  • CHE 404: Advanced Organic Chemistry (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111, 201, 210, 202, 211)
  • CHE 405: Forensic Chemistry (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111, 201, 202)
  • MAT 209: Probability & Statistics Satisfactory math placement
  • MAT 232: Calculus III (pre-requisites: MAT 230, 231)

Required Related Courses (17 credits)

  • PHY 200: Physics I (pre-requisite: MAT 230, or as a co-requisite)
  • PHY 201: Physics II (pre-requisite: PHY 200)
  • MAT 220: Math/Statistics Computer Lab
  • MAT 230: Calculus I (pre-requisite: MAT 131 or by placement)
  • MAT 231: Calculus II (pre-requisite: MAT 230)

Recommended (3 credits)

  • MAT 131: Pre-Calculus (pre-requisite: 2 years of high school algebra or satisfactory math placement)
Experiential Learning Opportunities

Through internships, students have opportunities to apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom in a variety of professional settings. In addition to providing exposure to the activities and expectations of a real-world workplace, internship experiences help students develop their network of professional contacts.

As a chemistry major, you have the option to participate in at least 252 hours of chemistry-related activities off-campus under the supervision of an internship sponsor. Internships normally are completed during the junior year. A 2.5 or higher GPA is required to qualify for an internship.

Here’s a sampling of places at which chemistry majors at Alvernia have completed internships:

  • Clinical Laboratories, Inc.
  • DrugScan
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Puritan Products, Inc.
  • United States Medical Research
  • Institute of Chemical Defense
  • Lancaster Laboratories
Accreditation Statements
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning your Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Laboratory science
  • Environmental science
  • Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical products and research
  • Agricultural products and research
  • Veterinary products and research
  • Petrochemical products and research
  • Industrial products and research
  • Science education
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Chemistry/science journalism

Chemistry graduates from Alvernia are employed by such reputable companies and research facilities as Johnson & Johnson; Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Lancaster Laboratories; Spotts, Steven & McCoy; Lockheed Martin; National Medical Services; Church & Dwight; Wistar Institute; Ortho Pharmaceutical Company; and DrugScan.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers for chemists and material scientists are expected to grow by 6 percent between 2021 and 2031. The median annual salary is $79,760.

Opportunities for Majors

Science Association

The object of this club is to afford an opportunity for the students of science to become better acquainted, to secure the intellectual stimulation that arises from professional association, to obtain experiences in preparing and presenting technical material before chemical audiences, to foster a professional spirit among the members, to instill a professional pride in the sciences, and to build an awareness of the responsibilities and challenges facing the modern scientist. Membership of this association is open to students pursuing their study in the area of science and related fields. Contact Rosemarie Chinni (610-568-1492, or Kevin Burns (, 610-790-2865) for more information.

Pre-Health Club

The Pre-Health Professions Club includes, but is not limited to, Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Physician Assisting, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and Pre-Veterinary students. It provides a setting in which students who are working toward future careers in the health professions can get together, share information, learn more about the health professions in general, and develop friendships with students who share some of their interests. Members of this organization are composed of students pursuing study in several areas of science and related health fields.

Environmental Club

The purpose of this student organization is to maintain the temperate deciduous forest, riparian, and freshwater ecosystems about Alvernia University and the community it serves. The organization does this by recruiting new members, educating the public, and holding events that draw attention to the environment. Such events are Eco-Fun Day, trail clean-up days, and hosting public speaker seminars.

Beta Kappa Chi

Beta Kappa Chi is the National Science Honor Society composed of chapters which seek to encourage and advance scientific education through original education, the dissemination of scientific knowledge and the stimulation of high scholarship in pure and applied science.

Epsilon Gamma Chapter of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society

This is a National Scholastic Honor Society for students, faculty, and alumni of colleges and universities with a Catholic tradition.

The Washington Center Experience

Alvernia students have an opportunity to earn college credit by spending a semester or summer in Washington, D.C. where they serve as interns in a congressional office, government agency, major corporation, newspaper or news network, or agencies devoted to legal affairs, international relations, or business and economics. They also may intern with one of several non-profit groups dealing with the environment, women’s issues, the arts, education, science, or labor relations among others. Participants are customarily juniors or seniors who have achieved grade point averages of 2.5 or better and who have the endorsement of the appropriate academic area. In addition to their internship, students select one seminar dealing with the arts and humanities, communication, public policy, the legal system, business, and government. Interested students should see their academic advisor.

Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Chemistry program contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to Chemistry Program Director Joshua Smith at 610-790-1915 or