There are a variety of opportunities available to you as a student in the Chemistry department at Wheaton, including research with faculty, internships, student employment, participation in the Wheaton Chemistry Society, as well as various honors and awards.
In collaboration with a faculty member, our students have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of independent research projects each academic year. Faculty research is supported by the College and by external funding agencies.
Chemistry students involved in research also actively participate in the Science Division Summer Research Program at the College. As a summer researcher-in-residence, you live on-campus during the summer and carry out full-time independent research with a faculty mentor. In addition to daily research activities, participating students share housing with their peers, enjoy organized social events, and join faculty mentors in in-depth discussions about the integration of Christian faith into chemistry research and the scientific life.
Students who participate also have the opportunity to present their work at a Science Division Poster Session held during Homecoming each fall, and many of these students are able to make similar presentations at regional or national professional scientific meetings as well. Wheaton students have presented posters at American Chemical Society National Meetings, the Midwest Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Conference, the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as other local events.
Many chemistry graduates continue developing their research careers by enrolling in graduate programs in chemistry and allied fields.
The geographical location of Wheaton provides a rich resource for internships with government research centers (Argonne National Laboratory >>, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory >>), major universities and industrial research facilities.
Wheaton offers a variety of study abroad opportunities, including opportunities to take chemistry classes at international universities. It is far more than travel; it’s a way to take what you’re learning and apply or understand it in a new context. Interested students should visit the Global Programs and Studies office to learn more.
HNGR-Human Needs and Global Resources
Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) is an academic certificate program that integrates multidisciplinary coursework, a six-month overseas internship, and whole-person formation through experiential learning. Students can combine a HNGR certificate with any area of study, including chemistry. Chemistry majors interested in applying their skills in global development, sustainable technologies, or related fields are encouraged to visit the HNGR website to learn more.
Wheaton Chemistry Society
Chemistry students involved in the Wheaton Chemistry Society enjoy opportunities to perform chemistry demonstrations at a local middle school STEM Expo, host a neighboring high school for a day of forensics investigations using our lab’s advanced equipment, and gather with fellow chemistry students for organized social activities each year.
We employ over 25 students each semester to fill vital positions in the department. Students work in a variety of tasks including teaching assistants, lab preparation, stockroom management, peer tutoring and more.
Career Exploration opportunities for chemistry students can be found at Wheaton College's Center for Vocation and Career.
Honors and Awards
Our department honors outstanding chemistry majors with annual awards for student achievement in General, Organic, and Physical/Analytical Chemistry. Included are the Nelson and Wright Prizes, in honor of two long-serving former Wheaton College Chemistry Department faculty. We also award a research prize, the Hanchett Prize, to an outstanding undergraduate researcher.