What is a research chemistry degree?

Research Chemistry BS

Chemistry is the “central science,” with applications in all areas of science and engineering. Chemists are employed in all areas of society, including government. Energy, the environment, water, materials, and medicine are just a few of the pertinent segments of our society with problems that chemistry can solve.

With a research chemistry degree, you can help develop life-sustaining pharmaceuticals or discover new materials used in product manufacturing. At Florida Tech, you’ll develop a strong background in chemistry and get hands-on experience in chemical analysis and technology. Consider how a research chemistry degree from Florida Tech can create a dynamic and exciting for career for you.

Gain Practical Experience

Chemistry students can look forward to immediate immersion in “real science” through small classes, hands-on, high-caliber research, and field studies. Students are guided through the program by highly qualified faculty who care about your success. Additionally, the American Chemical Society certifies our research chemistry degree.

The curriculum includes technical electives and specialized labs offering the opportunity to undertake exciting collaborative research with a peer or professor, or work independently in a topic of your choosing. Research chemistry degree students also present papers at American Chemical Society meetings—an ideal introduction to the world of professional chemistry. All this practical experience, as well as the availability of internships, offer an active and robust learning environment that enhances your job search portfolio and prepares you for employment or graduate study.

Why pursue a research chemistry degree at Florida Tech?

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Get the facts about graduate studies at Florida Tech

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

You have three graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

  5. 100% Online
  6. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. At an Education Center near you
  2. Get the Education Center Brochure

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

Chemistry is a career field that will offer many opportunities and provide life-long employment. Because chemists are in high demand in the workforce, it is a popular program at every university. So why is Florida Tech your best choice for research chemistry?

Internationally Recognized Faculty

Florida Tech’s research chemistry department has an active, internationally recognized faculty who are involved in research and teaching. These world-renowned chemists enjoy working closely with students in an environment that encourages undergraduate participation in research projects. Together, the faculty has secured $3 million in external funding for the department, as well as another $2 million to support research instrumentation. The department is also a member of the Council for Chemical Research.

Additionally, the faculty has received a wealth of awards including the Nelson Award, the highest Florida ACS honor (Dr. Joshua Rokach). Chemistry faculty have also been awarded Florida Tech’s awards for Outstanding Teacher, Outstanding Researcher, and Outstanding Service—Chemistry Faculty.

State-of-the-Art Laboratories

A big reason Florida Tech is considered among the best research chemistry colleges in the country is student 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 (360, 300, and 60 MHz), photochemistry, glass-blowing, and computational chemistry. The building provides teaching and research laboratories, faculty offices and enhances the use of technology in teaching the physical sciences.

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

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a research 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, research chemistry majors build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like the Chemistry Club, student government, and over 100 other student organizations. Each of these experiences gives you a way to interact with other research chemistry degree students, professors, and industry professionals.

The Chemistry Club—the student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS)—is focused on making chemistry interesting and fun for students from all disciplines. ACS holds regular campus-wide events including ice cream socials, silver bottling experiments, and more. Being part of a professional organization can provide leads on chemistry internships, research opportunities, and future job prospects.

How will a research chemistry degree prepare me for the future?

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

Florida Tech is one of the top research chemistry colleges because at Florida Tech, chemistry is not just something you study, it’s something you go into the lab and do. From their first year they conduct hands-on, high-caliber research in exciting areas, which may result in being published in scientific journals, and research exchange with other top chemistry colleges. In fact, a high percentage of our chemistry graduates have published at least one paper in a scientific journal by the time they graduate. In addition, original research conducted by Florida Tech students is often presented during American Chemical Society meetings in the form of research papers.

Chemistry internship opportunities are a vital part of the Florida Tech student experience. Working in research labs alongside university faculty or industry professionals builds valuable skills and a highly competitive resume to equip you for future chemistry jobs.

Many organizations offer chemistry internship positions to our students, including:

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

By taking part in these chemistry internship opportunities, students can practice using the tools and techniques of chemistry professionals around the world. Valuable chemistry internship experiences set Florida Tech students apart from the competition.

Participate in Cutting-Edge Faculty-Led Research

Florida Tech students find a home in a research group early in their academic careers and form lasting ties with fellow student and faculty researchers. Students participate in all major areas of chemistry such as biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry.

Undergraduates are active in synthetic materials, transition metals, organometallics, and instrumental, computational, spectroscopic, medicinal, and environmental chemistry. In addition to a chemistry internship and research, students may also participate in research exchanges with other universities around the world.

Some of the topics studied by these student and faculty research groups include:

  • Novel approaches to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s
  • Chemical countermeasures for biological threat agents
  • Polyurethane foams for fireproofing and energy absorption
  • Hydrogen as an alternative energy source
  • Chronic inflammatory diseases
  • Nanotechnology

How will a research chemistry degree prepare me for the future?

Among the most fascinating science careers with a chemistry degree are those that involve research including the chemical industry, healthcare, analytical services, environmental consulting, government lab, academia, the electronics industry, biotechnology, and more. Upon graduation, students find the options for careers with a chemistry degree to be well-paying, specialized—and, often, available immediately!

Get Recruited by Top Companies Upon Graduation

Florida Tech research chemistry degree graduates secure jobs in the chemical industry, health care, analytical services, environmental consulting, government labs, academia, and the electronics, materials, and biotechnology industries.

Among the organizations recruiting graduates for careers with a chemistry degree are:

  • Bristol-Meyers Squibb
  • Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Merck & Co.
  • Motorola
  • NASA
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Sherwin Williams
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Shell Oil

Career Outlook

Research chemistry jobs are among those available to those interested in finding careers with a chemistry degree. The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides detailed information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook. It also includes specific information for Florida Tech grads with a degree in research chemistry.

Those who seek careers with a chemistry degree can look forward to such jobs as:

  • Chemist and material scientist
  • Chemistry teacher (postsecondary)
  • Biochemist and biophysicist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Flavorist (flavor chemist)
  • Chemical technician
  • Pharmacist
  • Environmental scientist and specialist
  • Medical scientist
  • Physician (after medical school)
  • Surgeon (after medical school)

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

Florida Tech research chemistry degree graduates are in high demand not only in the real world but at graduate school programs across the country. Many Florida Tech undergraduates continue their studies in graduate programs at such illustrious institutions as:

  • Columbia University
  • Emory University
  • MIT
  • Ohio State University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Florida
  • University of North Carolina

For those thinking of looking at one of the careers with a chemistry degree, the Florida Tech BS in research chemistry is an amazing foundation upon which a professional future can be built.