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Chemistry - General, B.S.

Chemistry - General, B.S.

What is a chemistry degree?

Chemistry BS

If you want to explore the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease, aid in the development of life-sustaining pharmaceuticals, or discover new applications of nanotechnology, a chemistry degree offers the knowledge and experience you need.

While there are chemistry degree choices that allow you to specialize your knowledge and career path such as biochemistry or premedical chemistry, a chemistry degree also offers you a wide range of career options and earnings potential. Your career choices include jobs in materials science, research and development, forensics, consumer products, government policy, or food chemistry. Because chemistry is such a versatile science, it is easy to find interesting career opportunities in any industrial, educational, scientific, or government field.

Because chemistry is so fundamental to our world, it is often referred to as the central science that joins together physics and mathematics, biology and medicine, earth sciences and the environment. Students with a BS in chemistry are well prepared to be part of a career field that never seems to lack job opportunity.

Gain Practical Experience

Science is hands-on at Florida Tech, with small classes and intensive faculty–student interaction. Your program provides for building practical skills in technical electives and specialized labs. Other opportunities include collaborative research with a peer or professor or work independently in a topic of your choosing. As a result, you will build practical experience, an enhanced job search portfolio, and a stronger sense of yourself as a scholar—the perfect preparation for graduate and professional school or employment.

Our program is dynamic and comprehensive. Accredited by the American Chemical Society, Florida Tech’s course of study includes organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry, as well as mathematics and physics. Courses like General Chemistry and Calculus-Based Physics are part of your first-year program. As you continue the program, your chemistry degree program involves hands-on experience including conducting nanotechnology experiments in the lab—all while working beside highly qualified faculty who care and will guide you to success.

Why pursue a chemistry degree at Florida Tech?

Florida Tech is one of the country’s top chemistry schools. In fact, the Florida Tech chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society. The department has strong professional ties to Kennedy Space Center and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which means more opportunities for students.

Another reason Florida Tech is one of the top chemistry schools is because at Florida Tech, chemistry is not just something you study, it's something you go into the lab and do. All undergraduate students conduct research and find a home in a research group as early as their first year, conducting hands-on, high-caliber research that may be published in a scientific journal or research exchange with other top chemistry schools. In fact, a high percentage of chemistry graduates have published at least one paper in a scientific journal by the time they graduate!

Individualized Attention and Collaborative Learning

Florida Tech is one of the top chemistry schools because of its approach to individualized learning. Attentive and active faculty members work closely with students, who benefit by the program's small class size. All students participate in research in a faculty member's lab using high-tech, state-of-the-art instruments. Chemistry majors also enjoy lectures by world-renowned instructors. Our high standards, quality faculty, and reputation for hands-on research make Florida Tech one of the top chemistry schools for any student aiming to earn a degree in chemistry.

High-Tech Lab Facilities

In terms of facilities, Florida Tech is considered among the top chemistry schools because students have access to the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center and Instrumentation Center. This 70,000-square-foot facility houses the Chemistry department, teaching and research laboratories, and rooms for photochemistry, glass-blowing, and computational chemistry.

Located in the Heart of Florida’s High-tech Corridor

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a chemistry degree. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us), minutes away from the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America.

The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

Florida Tech is just over the causeway from the Atlantic Ocean with its 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and is a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

Beyond the classroom, chemistry majors build leadership and professional experience through internships (see below) and participation in academic organizations like the Chemistry Club (Florida Tech’s chapter of the American Chemical Society student affiliate), student government, and over 100 other student organizations.

The student chapter of the American Chemical Society is dedicated to making chemistry interesting and fun to people of all disciplines. ACS regularly holds several popular events around campus, including ice cream socials and silver bottling, an annual event many students and faculty look forward to.

How will a chemistry degree prepare me for the future?

Florida Tech’s range of chemistry internships and study in the field of chemistry make the university an attractive option for anyone interested in a chemistry career.

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

Chemistry internships are a valuable part of the Florida Tech experience. By working hands-on using the tools and techniques use of professional chemists, our students gather valuable knowledge that extends beyond the classroom. Some of the organizations that provide chemistry internships to our students include:

  • NASA
  • Oak Ridge National Lab
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Through chemistry internships provided by these and many other companies, Florida Tech students forge connections that eventually lead to careers after college.

Participate in Cutting-Edge Faculty-Led Research

All undergraduates participate in research, often in both the classroom and chemistry internships. Many students join cutting-edge faculty research teams, working alongside experienced professors to conduct original research. Students build valuable skills and a highly competitive resume that equips them for future chemistry jobs. Some of the research topics studied by our faculty include:

  • Alzheimer’s research
  • Pharmaceutical development
  • Polyurethane foams for fireproofing and energy absorption
  • Hydrogen as an alternative energy source
  • Chronic inflammatory diseases
  • Nanotechnology

In addition to faculty-led research, all students present papers at American Chemical Society meetings. Many chemistry students publish their papers in scientific journals. These publications allow our students to build a portfolio to present to potential employers for chemistry internships and careers. Research programs that are unique to Florida Tech are medical chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and space-related chemistry. Research is a great way for students to gain experience working with scientific instrumentation, learn valuable laboratory skills, and learn how chemical research is really done.

What can you do with a chemistry degree?

Chemistry is a diverse field of study that ultimately provides career opportunities in environmental science, biotechnology, forensic science, medicine, agriculture, materials science, energy, and more.

For those students who want to explore the mysteries of disease, aid in the development of life-sustaining pharmaceuticals, or discover chemical counter-measures for biological threat agents, chemistry is exactly the right field of study. A BS in Chemistry from Florida Tech prepares you for chemistry careers so you can explore the multitude of questions about our world and the chemical processes that make life possible.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Florida Tech graduates are in demand. Employers that have recruited Florida Tech students for internships and careers include

  • Bristol Meyers Squibb
  • Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Merck & Co.
  • Motorola
  • NASA
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Sherwin–Williams

Career Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things. The handbook reports a diversity of jobs in the chemistry field:

  • Chemist and material scientist
  • Chemistry teacher postsecondary
  • Biochemist and biophysicist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Food scientist or flavorist (flavor chemist)
  • Chemical technician
  • Pharmacist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental scientists and specialist
  • Medical scientist

According to the handbook, employment for chemists is expected to continue to grow through 2020, especially for individuals who obtain their PhD, as large pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms continue to look for experienced chemists to fill senior research positions.

Whether you enter the workforce immediately after graduation to begin your chemistry career, or upon successful completion of a graduate or doctoral degree program, a chemistry degree from Florida Tech is the first step (even if medical school is in your plans.)

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

After receiving their chemistry degree, many of our students go on to graduate programs at Florida Tech as well as other prestigious universities, such as :

  • Columbia University
  • Emory University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Princeton University
  • University of Florida
  • Auburn University
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State
  • University of Texas
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