Chemistry (BS)

USF student and professor in the chemistry lab creating fire.

At USF you’ll spend as much time in the field as you will in the classroom, exploring the real- world applications of chemistry. Research is a core aspect of the curriculum and you’ll have access to a variety of research and professional opportunities — both on campus and in the scientific community.

Research & Real-World Experiences

As a Chemistry major, you have the choice of completing a research project or participating in an internship.

The teaching is different here: the professors connect the material to real-life situations in a way that helps you remember it. USF has done a great job preparing me and adapting to my needs and interests.

Jordan Schneider ‘18
Chemistry major

Research projects evolve from students’ interests and can expand into the field of Biology and Environmental Science. Recent projects include:

  • Monitoring the phosphate & nitrate levels in Crooked Lake
  • Testing the level of lead in mussel shells found in local waterways
  • Measuring levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) in soil
  • Analyzing the conservation and air exchange of heating and cooling systems in homes

Some students opt to do an internship in an industrial setting. Recent sites include:

  • Cooke Polymer Technology
  • A & L Great Lakes Laboratory
  • Fort Wayne Metals

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

Chemistry student in the community collecting data.

Chemistry for the Greater Good

Since 2012, USF chemistry students have partnered with the Allen County Department of Health on a Lead Testing & Awareness Campaign. The original team designed and conducted a lead contamination analysis on homes in Fort Wayne. When more than 80% tested positive, the project incorporated a public health and treatment campaign. The students presented their study at the American Chemical Society conference and won 3rd place in the poster competition. The study is ongoing and USF students continue to test and analyze homes.

Career Outlook & Success


Of USF Chemistry graduates are hired into professional positions or accepted into graduate, medical or pharmacy school within 6 months of graduation.


Expected job growth for chemists by 2026


The median annual wage for chemists (per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employers Seek USF Graduates

The Chemistry program does a great job preparing students for careers. I know this as a graduate and a professional. Whenever I hire bachelor-level chemists, I look for certain skills: a strong foundational understanding of chemistry, of course, but also the ability to solve problems. This, along with extensive lab work, distinguishes the USF chemistry program.

Nancy Concepcion ’91
Senior Manager of Technology
Polymer Diagnostics, Inc.

On the Road with Research

USF students regularly travel to present their research at scientific conferences:

  • American Chemical Society Conferences, regional & national
  • Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
  • Undergraduate Research Conference at Butler University
  • Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences
  • Ohio Valley Unified Malacologists Meetings
  • and our own Annual USF Research Exhibition

Chemistry majors participate in summer research with USF faculty or through National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates, including:

  • American Chemical Society Nuclear & Radiochemistry Summer School, New York
  • Kellogg Biological Station Lab, Michigan
  • Bioenergy Systems Program, Nebraska

Discover Your Capacity

The work I’m doing now is the direct result of my USF experience. Throughout my time at USF, the professors always made me feel like a real researcher. They taught me to think deeply and seek a deeper truth, skills I use every day.

Alexandra Meyer ’15
Ph.D. student in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Purdue University

Get Hands-on Experience

Get direct experience working with professional instrumentation in USFs on-campus lab — and start your freshman year! Our Chemistry Lab houses the same instruments used in professional labs throughout the industry, including spectrophotometers, fluorimeters, electroanalytical devices, a variety of spectrometers, and more.

Students in the chemistry lab examining a beaker with smoke.


Join Sigma Pi, an organization for science and math students who want to be involved in events on campus and in the community. Sigma Pi provides an open forum for like-minded students with a shared interest in all things scientific! Events and opportunities include: judging science fairs at local schools; sponsoring a research exhibition; organizing the National Chemistry Week celebration, tutoring, and more.

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Program Director

Jean Elick, Ph.D.