Undergraduate | Chemistry and Biochemistry | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

Student using microscope


Chemistry is an excellent foundation for any scientific, professional or business career, including but not limited to agricultural chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, dentistry, ecology and environmental chemistry, forensic science, geochemistry, management and marketing, materials science, medicine, optometry and ophthalmology, patent law, pharmacology, physical chemistry, plas­tics and polymer chemistry, renewable energy, synthetic organic chem­istry, toxicology or veterinary science. Students are encouraged to meet with an undergraduate advisor to design a curriculum focused on their career goals.

 All Chemistry majors begin in the Comprehensive Chemistry specialization, which provides a rigorous program with advanced study in analytical, organic and physical chemistry for the professional chemist. After the freshman year, all students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Science have the option to continue in Comprehensive Chemistry or pursue one of the more focused specializations, which include Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Forensic Chemistry.

 Although not required for graduate study or employment as a chemist, students are encouraged to pursue certification from the American Chemical Society. Students who complete an honors thesis may earn Chemistry Honors.

 Future business leaders can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Science. The Business specialization allows students to pursue a minor degree in Business and Administration and is ideal preparation for a career in the production, management, marketing and technology transfer aspects of the chemistry industry.

 Undergraduate research experiences are readily available under the supervision of a faculty advisor with financial support through the McNairs Scholars Program, REACH awards and undergraduate assistantships. Our state-of-the-art facilities include an IMAGE Center, the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility, the Central Research Shop, and a Mass Spectrometry Facility.

 Our students are encouraged to join student organizations such as the American Chemical Society student affiliate, which organizes social and professional activities such as visits to chemical companies, meetings where students present papers on their research work, Chemistry Bowl competitions, and picnics. 

Prospective and current students in need of financial assistance will find a variety of options available through the University as well as the College of Science.