Department of Chemistry and Physics

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The Department of Chemistry and Physics

Why would you want to study chemistry at a liberal arts college?
There are many reasons!

We are an American Chemical Society (ACS) approved school and, upon completion of the requirements, students can earn an ACS-certified B.S. degree in chemistry.

Because we are an ACS approved school, our program meets the same standards as undergraduate programs at major research universities, with classes taught by faculty with expertise in the various sub-disciplines of chemistry. Even first-year classes have this advantage. Our class sizes are smaller than typically found in university programs. This allows our students to interact frequently with the faculty, which is a major part of the Saint Mary's experience. The smaller class sizes also allow each of our students to gain valuable, direct experience using chemical instrumentation and other techniques that may only be described at larger schools. Many of our majors gain valuable experience as assistants in laboratories, working with the faculty instructor and learning and teaching as they serve.

The Department offers the chemistry major and minor. We also offer physics courses in support of chemistry, biology, math and engineering students, as well as chemistry and physics courses that support the College's Sophia Program in general education. Our goal is to prepare our students for life after Saint Mary's, whether they move directly into careers in industry, education or government, or continue their studies in graduate or professional school (Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Pharmacy, etc.).

 Our graduates have succeeded in a wide variety of endeavors. Around 43% of our students go into industry or government positions, 35% go directly to graduate school and 15% go on to professional schools. Our alumnae have undertaken advanced study at a wide range of schools, including Stanford University, The University of North Carolina, The University of Texas, MIT, Kansas State University, The University of Illinois, Duke University Medical School, Georgetown Medical School, Northwestern Medical School and Indiana University Medical School. Students have also continued on in engineering, law, pharmacy and forensics. Some of our graduates work in labs at hospitals, for consulting firms, in a variety of industrial government laboratories, and, of course, as educators.