Natural Sciences Department

Fact Sheet Details

Chemistry - Major or Minor

UW-Superior offers a major in Chemistry that provides students with several options, depending on their career goals. Students majoring in chemistry may seek jobs as professional chemists or teachers after they graduate, pursue advanced degrees in graduate school, or use their degree as the foundation for attending medical or veterinary school. The one-on-one attention students receive provides the opportunity to develop deeper scientific insights, sharpen their independent-thinking skills, and gains hands-on experience.

Students completing the 56-credit chemistry major are well prepared to seek entry-level jobs as professional chemists or to pursue graduate school or medical school. The major emphasizes chemistry but also includes courses in mathematics and physics.

Students interested in careers or advanced study in biochemistry can complete the chemistry major while selecting courses that cover the topics recommended for study by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

A severe shortage exists of secondary education teachers in chemistry. UW-Superior offers a chemistry major leading to certification to teach chemistry at the high school level. Students benefit not only from a quality education in chemistry but also from UW-Superior's strong Teacher Education program.

Graduates of the chemistry program work at companies such as 3M, Intel, Dow Corning, Potlatch Corp., Pfizer Pharmaceutical and Murphy Oil (Calumet). Others have gone on to graduate or medical schools such as the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of California-Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, University of Illinois, Purdue University, University of Minnesota and North Dakota State University.

Degrees and Majors/Minors

Majors:

Chemistry -- comprehensive liberal arts (requires no minor)

Chemistry -- secondary education

Chemistry - Forensic Chemistry concentration

Minor: Chemistry

Let's talk Chemistry

  • Small classes and laboratory sessions, especially in advanced courses.
  • All faculty members have earned doctorate degrees from world-renowned universities.
  • Students can work within the department as laboratory assistants and with faculty members as research assistants.
  • Students have access to modern laboratory techniques such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Infrared Spectroscopy, Laser Optics, biotechnology instrumentation and many others.
  • Chemistry majors are eligible for Swenson Scholarships that pay for up to four years of tuition and books.
  • Geographic Information Systems lab and faculty offer preparation in this new field that can be used in science careers.

What can you do with a degree in Chemistry from UW-Superior?

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts many new chemistry jobs will be concentrated in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies and in scientific research and development services firms. In addition, a severe shortage exists of secondary education teachers qualified to teach chemistry. Students completing UW-Superior's Chemistry - Secondary Education major will be competitive in this job market. In the past, we have already successfully trained students to become employed in the forensic labs such as the Minneapolis Crime Lab. Students interested in pursuing research careers generally need to earn advanced degrees.

A wide range of manufacturers employ chemists for controlling manufacturing processes and testing products. A few include oil refineries and chemical plants, pulp and paper manufacturers, food producers, pharmaceutical companies, paint producers and cosmetic companies.

Meet Jeremy
UW-Superior 2006 Graduate

Chemistry Alumni student

Jeremy is originally from Ely, Minnesota and attended UW-Superior from 2001-2006. He graduated from UW-Superior with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry, along with a minor in Physics. He then went on to receive his PhD in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Since January of 2011, Jeremy has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California - Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab doing research in organic electronics.

Advice to UW-Superior Chemistry Majors:

"When compared to other universities, UW-Superior is relatively inexpensive. At UW-Superior, you will have the opportunity to learn from the exact same textbooks and gain experience doing the exact same lab courses as students from larger universities."

"However, students at UW-Superior also have the opportunity to take courses  in a more intimate setting than a larger universities. For example, picture your general chemistry course at UW-Superior where you will be in a classroom of about 20-30 students. Now imagine that same course with 400+ other students. It becomes clear which one is the better value."

"UW-Superior has a wonderful open-door policy and gives you the advantage of being able to speak with your professors face-to-face. It is my advice to take advantage of it!"

"In addition, there are a wide variety of research opportunities available to chemistry students at UW-Superior. These undergraduate research projects are on par with research opportunities you would find available to students in high-level graduate programs."

"Regardless of your career goals, hands-on research is an excellent learning experience that allows you to relate what you've learned in class to real world problems. I would recommend doing a research-based project to all undergraduates attending UW-Superior!"

 

 

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