Solve local and global problems with a major in Chemistry.
Students majoring in Chemistry study how material substances interact, combine and change. With that knowledge, you can find cures for diseases, create new products, develop nutritious food for the world’s growing population, monitor sources of pollution to protect the environment, or analyze evidence to solve crimes.
As a Chemistry major at St. Edward’s, you’ll learn to think both scientifically and creatively. Conduct research in with cutting-edge equipment — St. Edward’s is considered one of the best-equipped and best-funded small college chemistry departments in the country.
Present your work at regional and national conferences, where you’ll rub shoulders with working scientists. Win competitive summer research apprenticeships at universities across the country — funded by the National Science Foundation — where you can get experience studying different subfields of chemistry and focus in on your career direction. And learn in small classes from professors who mentor you every step of the way.
What do our graduates do?
Chemistry majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Scientist at Huntsman Corporation
- Chemist at Quality Chemical Laboratories
- R&D researcher at Procter & Gamble
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and PhD candidate at UC Berkeley
- Postdoctoral associate at the Air Force Research Lab
- Medicinal Chemistry PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
- Chemical Biology PhD candidate at the University of Michigan
- Inorganic Chemistry PhD candidate at the University of California Irvine
- Graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the University of California Santa Cruz
Young Alumni on the Rise
Chemistry major Chris Jackson ’16 is tackling climate change. Read about how he’s continuing the research he started at St. Edward’s in graduate school.
Tracks and Degree Requirements
Students pursuing a degree in Chemistry have two degree tracks to choose from.
1. Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
The BS in Chemistry is a rigorous course of study that incorporates more math and laboratory experience. This degree track is intended primarily to meet the needs of a student who wishes to seek employment in the chemical industry or to prepare for graduate study in Chemistry.
Major Requirements: 69 hours of major courses, of which 23 hours are supporting courses from math, physics, and biology.
General Education Requirements: In addition to the major program requirements, all students must satisfy the general education requirements and complete electives to have a total of at least 120 hours for graduation.
View and download the full degree plan for the BS in Chemistry major (PDF).
2. Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
This degree track provides more opportunities to take non-science-related courses for a broader-based education and is intended primarily for those students who wish to teach at the secondary school level or would like to use Chemistry as a supporting discipline.
Major Requirements: 52 hours of major courses, of which 20 hours are supporting courses from math, physics, and biology.
General Education Requirements: In addition to the major program requirements, all students must satisfy the general education requirements and complete electives to have a total of at least 120 hours for graduation
View and download the full degree plan for the BA in Chemistry major (PDF).
The Department of Chemistry also offers degree in Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Forensic Chemistry.
Student Support Services
Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:
- Academic counseling and advising
- Supplemental instruction and tutoring
- Career preparation and advising
- Writing Center consultation
- Health and wellness counseling
- Student disability support
Outside the Classroom
Students majoring in Chemistry can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through research, conferences and interactions with the greater Austin community. The Chemistry faculty have been very successful in securing external funding in support of curricular innovation, modern laboratory instrumentation and undergraduate research.
Departmental and Research Funding
In addition to an ongoing departmental research grant from the Welch Foundation, the department has secured curricular and equipment grants from the National Science Foundation, the Keck Foundation and the Educational Advancement Foundation. We are funded through the U.S. Dept. of Education under the Title V provision and through a five-year, $2.75 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences as part of a consortium that includes St. Edward’s University, Southwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin. We are proud to be considered one of the best-equipped and best-funded small college chemistry departments in the country.
Student-Faculty Research Opportunities
The Department of Chemistry has an active, externally funded undergraduate research program. In addition to performing research over the academic year in one of the faculty-led research groups, students are encouraged to apply for participation in the full-time summer research program. The department's summer program is fully funded and successful applicants receive competitive student stipends.
Other Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) include:
- University of North Carolina
- Michigan State University
- University of San Diego
- University of Nebraska
- University of Michigan
- University of Mississippi
- North Carolina State University
- Boston University
Students in chemistry-related majors at St. Edward’s University may apply for Welch Foundation undergraduate research scholarships — including a summer scholarship that provides a six-week stipend to conduct research.
Conferences and Presentations
Students are encouraged to present their results at professional meetings, such as regional and national meetings of the American Chemical Society and the Texas Academy of Science. Students also have the opportunity to present at the annual SOURCE Symposium of undergraduate research on the St. Edward's campus.
Our internship program acquaints students with practical experience. Our students have recently interned with...
- Bentoli AgriNutrition Inc.
- Sachem Inc.
About the Minor
A Chemistry minor is available for students interested in the field of chemistry, or for students who would benefit from adding courses in chemistry to their education for their future endeavors.
- CHEM 1340, 1140 General Chemistry, Lab 4 hrs
- CHEM 2327, 2127 Experimental Design & Practice, Lab 4 hrs
- CHEM 2323, 2123 Organic Chemistry I, Lab 4 hrs
- CHEM 2334, 2134 Inorganic Chemistry I, Lab 4 hrs
- CHEM 3000+ Upper-Division Chemistry Electives 9 hrs
- Total of 25 hrs
Meet the Pop Culture Scientist
She calls on zombies, vampires and Game of Thrones to teach chemistry. Meet Raychelle Burks, assistant professor of Chemistry.