What is a premedical chemistry degree?
Career options in chemistry are very diverse. While there are chemistry degree choices that allow you to specialize and identify a career path, a pre-med program in chemistry offers you a wide range of career options and earnings potential. Chemists work for government labs, the military, industry, medicine, academe, business, and law.
Whether you want to explore the mysteries of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, become a leader in cancer research, or gain entry into a prestigious medical, veterinary, or dental school, Florida Tech's premed program in chemistry gives you a strong background in chemistry with hands-on experience in physiology and biochemistry.
Gain Practical Experience
Accredited by the American Chemical Society, Florida Tech's pre-med program in chemistry offers organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry, as well as mathematics and physics. The pre-med program in chemistry immerses students in laboratory and field science, not just text learning. By getting to know their professors and each other through small classes and department gatherings, students find a home in a research group early in their college career. Other opportunities include independent or collaborative (with a peer or professor) research in a topic of their choosing. This results in practical experience and an enhanced job search portfolio for employment.
“Why pursue a premedical chemistry degree at Florida Tech? ”
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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 pre-med chemistry degree are well prepared to enter medical school and be part of a career field full of job opportunities. As one of the best pre-med colleges, Florida Tech can provide you with the knowledge and training you need to enter the workforce.
Strong Faculty Mentors—and a Low Student-to-Faculty Ratio
We pride ourselves on a low student-to-faculty ratio. Ours is a much sought-after learning environment, and as one of the best pre-med colleges, we give our students the type of high-quality instruction and specialized training they need to excel in medical school.
Led by an faculty who enjoy working closely with students, our pre-med chemistry program is second-to-none when it comes to professor-student interaction. Studying chemistry at Florida Tech gives you access to expert mentors in biology, mathematics, physics, chemical engineering, and biomedical engineering. With this level of mentorship, our students are also accomplished scientific writers and presenters of their research.
Get Published in Distinguished Journals
All undergraduate students conduct research and usually find a home in a research group early in their career, which may result in scientific journal publications and research exchange with some of the best pre-med colleges in the country. In fact, a majority of Florida Tech’s chemistry graduates have published a paper in a scientific journal by the time they graduate. Together, the faculty has secured $3 million in external funding for the department, as well as another $2 million to support research instrumentation.
High-Tech, State-of-the-Art Laboratories
A big reason Florida Tech is considered one of the best pre-med colleges in the country is because students have access to the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center and Instrumentation Center, a 70,000-square-foot facility that houses the Chemistry Department, faculty laboratories, state-of-the-art instrumentation and rooms for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, photochemistry, glass-blowing, and computational chemistry.
The 29,000-square-foot Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs of our biology programs and includes eight teaching labs, 12 modern research labs, a 16-workstation computer facility, and an electron microscope suite.
Located in the Heart of Florida’s High-tech Corridor
Florida Tech is the perfect place for a pre-med 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, premedical chemistry majors build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta, the biological sciences honor society), the Premed Club, student government, and over 100 other student organizations.
Florida Techs Premed Club is dedicated to helping each other reach their graduate school goals. Club members study for and take standardized tests in the medical field (such as the MCAT) as well as network for job and pre-med internship opportunities. The Florida Tech Premed Club also participates in regular field trips to medical schools and listens to guest lecturers.
“How will a premedical chemistry degree prepare me for the future? ”
Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities
A pre-med internship is one of the central parts of the learning experience for Florida Tech students seeking to pursue work in medicine-related fields after college. Our pre-med chemistry students take part in internships across Florida and the country working for businesses and organizations that match their interests, including:
- Cancer Care Center of Brevard
- Brevard Zoo
- East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic
- Kennedy Space Center
Most Florida Tech pre-med students choose to spend their time getting medical-related experience during a pre-med internship. The majority of these students volunteer at local hospitals, spending a great deal of time shadowing physicians. With a quality pre-med internship, our students gather the hands-on experience that puts them ahead of the competition when entering graduate schools and careers.
Participate in Cutting-Edge Faculty-Led Research
In addition to a general pre-med internship, all undergraduates participate in research, often in both the classroom and a chemistry pre-med internship. Many students take part in cutting edge faculty research teams, working side by side with 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 are:
- Infrared vision in snakes
- DNA replication
- Alzheimer's disease
- Developmental biology
Other universities and corporations also play a big role in our student's college experience through summer research program, conducting research at locations such as the Life Science Labs at the Kennedy Space Center, the Midwest Research Institute, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
In addition to faculty research, all students present papers at American Chemical Society meetings and regional meetings. Research programs unique to Florida Tech include 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 find out how chemical research is really done.
“What can you do with a premedical chemistry degree? ”
An aspiring medical student should decide on an undergraduate university based on the quality of pre-professional training that the school offers. Through course study, research activities, internships and intensive faculty interaction, Florida Tech pre-med programs give students a rigorous, research-based course of study.
For those students with an interest in a career as a physician, a BS in Premedical Chemistry from Florida Tech is an excellent first step in completing medical school prerequisites.
To fully appreciate the employment landscape that awaits graduates who meet applicable medical school prerequisites, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US 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 bureau reports that employment for physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by 24 percent by 2020. This is due primarily to our aging population and the need for more specialists in healthcare.
Likewise, career options are growing for those who meet medical school prerequisites but choose other professional chemistry careers. The world is solving many issues that demand the knowledge of chemistry from environmental concerns, medicines, food science and more.
Many students meet the medical school prerequisites and pursue careers as physicians, dentists, surgeons, pharmacists, etc. However, medical school isn't the only option for a graduate with this degree. Other careers that utilize a pre-med chemistry degree:
- Agriculture and food scientist
- Biochemist and biophysicist
- Chemists and materials scientist
- Chemical engineer
- Environmental scientist
- Medical and clinical laboratory technologist
- Medical researchers & scientist
- Nuclear medicine technologist
- Postsecondary teacher
- Registered nurse
Who Is Hiring Florida Tech Graduates?
Florida Tech alumni have secured employment with companies such as Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Merck & Co., Motorola, NASA, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Sherwin-Williams and more. For those who meet specific medical school prerequisites or those who choose to enter another professional career, the job outlook is excellent.
Graduate and Doctoral Programs
More than any other chemistry degree from Florida Tech, a degree in Premedical Chemistry meets the majority of medical school prerequisites. We prepare you for careers in general practice, medical research, and public health to forensic pathology, surgery, and more. After graduating from a pre-med program in chemistry, many of our graduates go on to medical programs at prestigious universities such as:
- Johns Hopkins University College of Medicine
- SUNY-–Buffalo College of Medicine
- Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine
- The University of Florida
Other pre-med chemistry graduates continue their studies in graduate or doctoral programs either at Florida Tech or at other prominent schools, including:
- Columbia University
- Emory University
- Georgia Tech
- University of North Carolina