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Chemistry Degree

Chemistry Program

Chemistry Degree

Learn the nature of reactions and reach career goals in medicine, chemical research or educating others.

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Chemistry is the inquisitive science in search of understanding the nature of reactions in our bodies and the world around us. Chemistry is entering the lives of each of us more intimately through alternative fuels, high temperature superconductors, and the search for a genetic switch to immortality. Tomorrow’s world is the world of chemistry.

A chemistry degree gives you the opportunity of studying a wide variety of specialized chemical fields, such as:

  • Biochemistry

  • Astrochemistry

  • Environmental chemistry

  • Forensic chemistry

  • Polymer chemistry

  • Quantum chemistry




Why a B.S. Degree in Chemistry?

If you’re interested in understanding the nature of reactions in our bodies and the world around us, then a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry could be for you. Dedicated faculty and unique out-of-the-classroom learning experiences will help you reach your future career goals, whether it’s practicing medicine, conducting chemical research, or teaching others.




Photo of Holman LibraryAbout the Chemistry Major


Housed under the Division of Science and Mathematics, the B.S. in Chemistry is offered in two major tracks.

General Chemistry Track:

This track is for students who want to focus the majority of coursework, including electives, within the discipline of science. Chemistry courses make up the core and many of the electives, with additional requirements in Biology, Physics, and Math. There are also research requirements within this degree.

2023-2024 Program Catalog

Science Education Chemistry Emphasis:

School of Education


Minors in Chemistry and Pre-Professional Studies are also available.





Photo of McKendree's Entryway MonumentWhy McKendree?

McKendree University provides you with interactive learning opportunities through our small class sizes, experienced faculty, and unique internship experiences that move you beyond the classroom. We are committed to your success in the degree programs we offer, the internships and extracurricular activities that will set you apart, and the college experience you’ll get here. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri, McKendree University is located in historic Lebanon, Illinois, and affords students a host of enriching cultural, career, and entertainment opportunities.



Program Highlights


  • You’ll have the unique experience of working one-on-one with a faculty member on an original research project with the goal of publishing or presenting the outcome at several national, state, and regional meetings.

  • Exciting internships and fellowships give you the opportunity to gain experience while earning academic credit.

  • Sigma Zeta Honor Society allows you to present your own research findings at a national conference, interact with others, and build your resume.



Photo of McKendree Seal MarkerEmployment Opportunities


Graduates in Chemistry find careers in chemical and biochemical research, and many go on to graduate school in fields such as organic chemistry, computational chemistry, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and quantum chemistry, to name a few. Chemistry majors may also pursue professional studies in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, and veterinary science.

Some of the companies our recent graduates are working for include:

  • American Bottoms

  • Anheuser-Busch

  • Apath LLC

  • Forensic Lab of Missouri State Highway Patrol

  • Sigma Aldrich



What Our Students & Alumni Are Saying


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As a transfer to the Chemistry program, I only had two years to complete many challenging courses. The faculty and my classmates took the time to help me excel in a field that I love. My senior research class prepared me for future research in computational chemistry and graduate school. Although I learned that Chemistry is tougher than I once envisioned, it was well worth the effort, and I’m proud to be a graduate of McKendree’s Chemistry program.”

~ Neil Berkel '15, Ph.D. Student at Notre Dame University


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I am very honored to be a McKendree alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. Although learning Chemistry was challenging at times, it was worth every obstacle to be part of the close-knit McKendree family. Along with my degree, I gained lifetime friendships with students, faculty, and staff.”

~ Tara Stacey '14, Production Chemist at Sigma Aldrich


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Without the knowledge, experience, and encouragement of McKendree’s Chemistry Department, I would not be a third year PhD student. One of the most meaningful experiences at McKendree for me was the Practicum in Chemistry, in which I assisted Dr. Ozturk tutoring and preparing labs for her General Chemistry students. The ability to use the knowledge I had gained in the classroom to assist others and prepare lab experiments for them has helped me so much as a graduate student.”

~ Kathleen Sellens '12, Ph.D. Student at Kansas State University


Quotation Graphic

The academic environment at McKendree has had a direct impact on my career. It was Professor Ozturk who encouraged me to think about Chemistry as a major. The experience I gathered during the project for Senior Research in Chemistry led me into the field of computational chemistry. After graduating from McKendree, I enrolled in Georgia Tech’s Chemistry graduate program and completed my PhD in Computational Materials Chemistry in 2013.”

~ Laxman Pandey '07, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Georgia Southern University




Club Information / Honor Societies


Sigma Zeta (National Science and Mathematics Honor Society) - The McKendree Beta Chapter is the oldest active chapter in Sigma Zeta and has been awarded the Founder’s Cup five times for its activity at the national and local level. Each year, students and faculty attend the National Conference, where they present their independent research and network with peers and professors from universities across the nation.



Related Programs





Your Student Success Support Team





Key Faculty


Vincent Dunlap, Ph.D.Vincent Dunlap, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Voigt Science Hall 220A

(618) 537-6814