God’s creation, down to a science. Chemistry

Established in 1905, and certified by the American Chemical Society since 1948, Wheaton’s chemistry program has a rich legacy of training skilled scientists, researchers, and healthcare practitioners. Rigorous academics and plenty of hands-on learning prepare Wheaton chemistry majors for graduate and medical school, as well as to go directly into the industry. 

Credential Type

  • B.S.

Major Credits Required

  • 52

Offered As

  • Major/Minor

Major Tracks

  • Chemistry / Biochemistry and Molecular Biology / Biochemistry / ACS Certified Chemistry / ACS Certified Biochemistry / Chemistry Minor

Other Options

  • Sub-disciplines include organic, inorganic, physical & analytical chemistry

98.9% employed or in graduate school

Within six months of graduation, nearly 99% of Wheaton’s Class of 2021 found work in their field or continued their education.

75% completed an internship

Three-quarters of the most recent graduating class pursued at least one internship.

11:1 student-faculty ratio

Small class sizes mean individualized attention and greater access to faculty.

Connect with Admissions

You can reach us anytime via admissions@wheaton.edu.

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Three Wheaton Students in Chemistry Lab

Why Wheaton for Chemistry?

At Wheaton, you will learn chemistry through hands-on experiences that span the classroom, teaching and research laboratories, and seminars. Experimentation and practical applications infuse our curriculum at all levels and our faculty maintain active research programs driven by undergraduate participation. Our Chicagoland location also provides a rich resource for internship opportunities with renowned scientists at local research universities, Argonne National Laboratory, and many science and technology businesses.

Sized just right, our close-knit program allows students to form solid relationships with their professors and each other. Our faculty’s commitment to research not only provides high-quality hands-on experiences for students, but their scientific inquiry also keeps their teaching fresh. And our first-rate instrumentation and research equipment is available to all students to enhance your learning.

Chemistry major/minor tracks:

  • Chemistry Major
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry Major with Biochemistry Concentration
  • Chemistry Major ACS Certified*
  • Chemistry Major ACS Certified* in Biochemistry
  • Chemistry Minor

* The department recommends an ACS major for those who are interested in jobs in industry or graduate programs in chemistry. 

Honors and Awards

The Chemistry department offers an honors program which requires independent projects with original laboratory research culminating in a scholarly paper and oral examination.

Our department recognizes outstanding chemistry majors with annual awards for student achievement in General, Organic, and Physical/Analytical Chemistry. We also award a research prize, the Hanchett Prize, to an outstanding undergraduate researcher. To honor current outstanding chemistry majors, one sophomore, one junior and two senior students are chosen to receive internal awards. 

Faces and Spaces Where You'll Learn, Who You'll Meet

two faculty members in lab

Our Faculty

Our faculty members have a wide range of research interests, including bacterial toxins, chemical information, nanoscale materials, computational chemistry, metals, industrial chemistry, and drug design and development.

Three Wheaton College Students in Chemistry Lab

Our Facilities

All Wheaton chemistry majors are provided with the opportunity to gain practical experience in all major analytical techniques and research equipment. You’ll learn, discover, and experiment in the Meyer Science Center, a world-class facility with modern labs and first-rate equipment and instrumentation.

Two Wheaton College Students in Chemistry Lab

Our Experiences

Chemistry students gain real-world experience in many ways, from working as lab assistants and tutoring non-science majors to shadowing medical professionals and interning with companies of all kinds.

With Wheaton Opportunities Across Campus & Beyond

Interdisciplinary learning is a way of life at Wheaton. Aside from your work within your chosen major, you can enrich your educational experience and connect with peers and professors across campus (and beyond) in many ways.


Real-World Learning at Wheaton & Beyond

  • Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR Program)
  • Wheaton in the Black Hills
  • Wheaton Summer Research Program

Other Opportunities

Students interested in cultural anthropology can also choose from a number of other study abroad and domestic travel experiences offered by Wheaton and partner programs, such as:

  • Teaching and lab assistantships
  • Research with faculty mentors
  • Internships
  • Medical profession shadowing 
  • Local high school outreach and education

Related Centers, Organizations & Co-Curriculars

  • Health Professions Advising
  • Wheaton Chemistry Society
  • Society for Women in STEM

Additional Academic Opportunities: Common Minors, Certificates & Second Majors

  • Geology
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics
  • Spanish
  • Health Professions Advising

 

Chemistry Chapel
CHEMISTRY for Christ and His Kingdom

Faith & Learning at Wheaton

A Wheaton education is built on the foundation of our unique Christ at the Core general education curriculum. As a Chemistry major, you'll learn about the molecular details of God’s world—the foundation and interactions of matter. Disciplined study of chemistry enhances our worship of the triune God by providing insight into the molecular details of God’s world and strengthens our service, both to the church and to society, by providing foundational knowledge about matter and the interactions of matter. Our graduates are prepared to advance Christ’s kingdom through a wide range of vocations in chemistry and beyond.

Learn More About Christ at the Core

Success After Wheaton What You Can Do With a Chemistry Degree

Whether they take their analytical chemistry skills right into the workforce or continue along the path of scientific discovery, Wheaton chemistry majors are prepared to succeed.

Careers

Recent alumni found positions such as:

  • Electro-optical engineer
  • Environmental chemistry analyst
  • Forensic mass spectrometrist
  • Genetic counselor
  • Inside sales specialist in biotechnology
  • Lab technician 
  • Lead analytical chemist
  • Nuclear chemistry technician
  • Pharmacy technician
  • R&D labs contractor
  • Research project manager
  • Software developer
  • Teacher at science magnet high school

Continued Learning

Our alumni were accepted into medical and professional programs such as:

  • Carnegie Mellon University (M.S., Molecular Biophysics)
  • Case Western Reserve University (M.D.)
  • Cedarville University (Pharm.D)
  • Colorado School of Mines (Ph.D, Chemistry)
  • DePaul University (M.S.N)
  • Harvard University (Ph.D, Evolutionary Biology)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (M.S, Materials Chemistry)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.S, Inorganic Chemistry)
  • Purdue University (Ph.D, Chemistry)
  • University of Missouri (Ph.D, Biochemistry)
  • University of Washington (D.D.S)
Joshua Dunbar headshot
CHEMISTRY Alumni in Action

Goldwater Scholarship Winner

“Wheaton’s rigorous academic standards have helped me realize my full potential academically. More importantly, the tremendous mentorship I received from my science professors has been critical in developing me as a scientist and communicator.”

– Joshua Dunbar ‘21

Joshua Dunbar '21 was awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship in 2021. Considered the nation's premier undergraduate award in the sciences, this honor comes along with a $7,5000 scholarship. Dunbar was one of only 396 students nationwide awarded this scholarship in the 2020-2021 academic year. After graduation, he pursued a PhD in chemistry at Colorado School of Mines.

Next Steps

Interested in learning more about studying chemistry at Wheaton? Request more program info or start your application today.