Overview

If you’re interested in studying chemistry, chances are you already understand how essential chemicals are to our lives, and how important the contributions of chemistry are to society. Chemicals – both those that occur naturally and those that are manufactured – are essential to life.

The job of a chemist is to study the composition, structure, properties and reactions of matter, making the study of chemistry fundamental to understanding many other scientific disciplines. Chemists are credited with the development of important vaccines and medicines, the discovery of radioactivity, the explanation of the atomic theory and many other important accomplishments that affect people all over the world.

Chemistry students at Alvernia learn more than what is contained in textbooks. You’ll experience “real-world learning” that will enable you to link your classroom experiences to the larger community and, indeed, the world. Scientists have the potential to influence positive change in the world. At Alvernia, you’ll develop an appreciation for and knowledge of the fundamental skills, principles and techniques that enable you to do just that.

Chemistry courses are taught in the two-story O’Pake Science Center, which is equipped with the latest in educational technology. Students use a variety of laboratory materials and equipment for use in performing chemical synthesis, exploring physical and chemical properties of chemical compounds, examining chemical structure and reactivity.

The application of modern analytical tools to chemical, biochemical and forensic investigations is facilitated by a variety of instrumentation, including an atomic absorption spectrometer with flame and graphite furnace capabilities, an infrared spectrometer with an ATR (attenuated total reflectance) attachment, a high-pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC), a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS), a laser laboratory with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) capabilities and much more.

Career

Chemistry majors have opportunities to pursue careers in varying and diverse fields. You might seek a career in the pharmaceuticals industry or work for a company that produces agricultural chemicals or petroleum products. Perhaps your primary interest is biotechnology or health care.

Chemistry is an inherent part of environmental work. Chemists are involved in making automobiles safer and more fuel-efficient and improving the way food is packaged and processed. Graduates of Alvernia’s Chemistry Program serve society as research scientists, chemists, pharmacists, teachers, scientific editors, and lab technicians.

In addition, the study of chemistry provides excellent training for students who want to earn advanced degrees in the chemical sciences, medicine, dentistry and other science-related professional programs, or who wish to pursue research opportunities.

Where do Alvernia chemistry graduates pursue graduate degrees?
Graduates of the Chemistry Program have gone onto graduate and professional schools, including:

  • Villanova University
  • Temple University Dental School
  • University of Southern California

Where are graduates of Alvernia’s Chemistry Program working?
Chemistry graduates are employed by reputable companies and research facilities, including:

  • 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
  • DrugScan

For more information about Alvernia’s Chemistry Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu.

Curriculum

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. View the 2018-2019 Academic Course Catalogue for more information.

As a chemistry major, you’ll need to earn 66 to 72 credits in chemistry and related areas. Students who minor in chemistry must earn 17 to 20 credits in chemistry. Students are required to complete either an internship or a research experience as part of their chemistry major.

Core Requirements (62-66 credits)
CHE 104  General Chemistry I
CHE 110  General Chemistry Laboratory I
CHE 105  General Chemistry II
CHE 111  General Chemistry Laboratory II
CHE 107  Laboratory Safety
CHE 201  Organic Chemistry I
CHE 210  Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
CHE 202  Organic Chemistry II
CHE 211  Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
CHE 212  Analytical Chemistry w/Lab
CHE 221  Instrumental Analysis
CHE 301  Physical Chemistry I
CHE 302  Physical Chemistry II
CHE 310  Physical Chemistry I Laboratory
CHE 311  Physical Chemistry II Laboratory
CHE 404  Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHE 406  Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
SCI 402  Senior Seminar
SCI 480  Internship in Math or Science  OR 
SCI 406  Research I   AND
SCI 407  Research II

Math/Science Requirements (17-20 credits)
PHY 200 Physics I w/Lab
PHY 201 Physics II w/Lab
MAT 131 Precalculus (recommended)
MAT 220 Math/Stats Computer Lab
MAT 230 Calculus I
MAT 231 Calculus II

Electives (6-9 credits)
CHE 401  Biochemistry AND CHE 410 Biochemistry Laboratory
CHE 403  Spectroscopic Methods
CHE 404  Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHE 405  Forensic Chemistry w/Lab
CHE 406  Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
MAT 209  Probability & Statistics
MAT 332  Calculus III

Internships

As a chemistry major, you have the option to participate in at least 252 hours of chemistry-related activities at an off-campus location under the supervision of an internship sponsor. Internships normally are completed during the junior year. You need to have a 2.5 GPA 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

Research Opportunities

In addition to real-world learning, chemistry majors can also benefit from research opportunities. Chemistry students have opportunities through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program for internships that offer laboratory and research experience. Alvernia students have participated in programs at Louisiana State University, the University of Southern California and Texas A&M.

In addition, all chemistry students complete a two-course series that will introduce you to the fundamentals of research, prepare you to participate in an ongoing research project under the direction of a research mentor, and teach you how to formulate conclusions and output their data in a presentable research format.
 
Research I (SCI 406) is the first of two courses in the student research sequence. Students will develop a research project with a faculty member of their choice. This course will focus on a literature review, developing a research plan, conducting experiments and interpreting results.

Research II (SCI 407) is the second of two courses in the student research sequence. Students will continue to work the research project with the faculty member of their choice from the previous semester; this will include completing any final experiments and wrapping-up their research project. Students will work to formulate conclusions and output their data in a presentable research format.

Faculty members who teach in Alvernia’s Chemistry Program participate in a wide range of research, and enjoy assisting students with ongoing research projects. You can visit the Chemistry faculty pages to learn more about research that might match your interests.

The Honors Program

If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alvernia’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities.

Student Perspective

"In chemistry, it's all about your lab technique. At Alvernia I learned how to do chemistry, correctly and efficiently. I learned to work at a quick pace and think ahead."

-Jason Betz '08, Adpen Laboratories, Jacksonville, FL

Contact Information

Rosemarie C. Chinni, Ph.D.

Science & Mathematics Department Chair and Director of the Forensic Science Program

Bernardine Hall 234

610.568.1492

rosemarie.chinni@alvernia.edu

Chemistry