Hands-on Experience, Advanced Training

UNC’s chemistry program enables you to work directly with advanced technology, assist on faculty-led research projects, and conduct original research. Our bachelor’s degree in chemistry stands out for its small classes and engaged faculty, with every chemistry lecture course being taught by experienced Ph.D. faculty (not graduate students). You’ll get personalized attention, professional mentoring, and exceptional training that helps you stand out in the job market and strengthens your application for graduate school or medical school.

We offer six specialized concentrations that let you tailor the chemistry degree your interests and career objectives, pursuing opportunities in health care (including medical school, pharmacy school, and dental school), industrial chemistry, pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring, high school teaching, forensic analysis, and more.

Murielle Watzky

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Murielle Watzky, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry

Doctors have been prescribing silver to fight infections for more than 2,000 years, dating back to the ancient Greeks. Silver nanoparticles are now widely used in everyday items such as anti-odor clothing and food storage containers, as well as in advanced medical technology such as artificial heart valves. Yet the ways in which metal nanoparticles interact with living systems, and the mechanisms involved in their antimicrobial action, are still poorly understood. Dr. Watzky’s lab studies the unique physical and chemical properties of silver nanoparticles, which have become increasingly prevalent in our environment.

Learn More 

Degree Options

B.S. in Chemistry

Approved by the American Chemical Society, this degree provides a broad and thorough foundation for a variety of career pathways. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct an original research project under faculty supervision, while distinguishing yourself as a candidate for a graduate chemistry degree or professional school (such as medical, pharmacy, dental, or other health-related schools). If you choose to go straight into the work force, you’ll be highly qualified for jobs in dynamic industries such as petroleum, pharmaceuticals, food/nutrition, and environmental analysis.

B.S. in Chemistry: Biochemistry Emphasis

With the biochemistry emphasis, you’ll gain specialized preparation for postgraduate opportunities in fields such as medicine, chemistry and biochemistry. You’ll also build a strong base of skills for rapidly growing industries such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The degree holds approval from the American Chemical Society, and it includes opportunities for independent, faculty-supervised research.

B.S. in Chemistry: Forensic Science Emphasis

Advances in forensic science have created new opportunities for chemists in law enforcement, criminal justice, homeland security, agriculture, environmental monitoring and related fields. You’ll get hands-on laboratory experience and training on cutting-edge instrumentation. Graduates who choose this emphasis find career opportunities with crime labs, government agencies, manufacturers and other employers.

B.S. in Chemistry: Industrial Chemistry Emphasis

You’ll choose your own minor as part of this versatile degree, specializing in an area that matches your career interests. The industrial chemistry emphasis can prepare you for many different career paths, including petroleum, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and government research and regulation. You’ll gain practical, applied skills that qualify you for jobs in the lab, factory, management suite, policy arena and more.

B.S. in Chemistry: Pre-Health Emphasis

This degree offers focused preparation for medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, chiropractic and optometry schools. You’ll complete all the prerequisites necessary for admission to these schools, while gaining a strong background in chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, physics and biological sciences. UNC helps you stand out in the applicant pool by offering personalized advising and advanced opportunities for research.

B.S. in Chemistry: Secondary Teaching Emphasis

UNC has a national reputation for excellence in the training of chemistry educators. Demand is skyrocketing for strong teachers in chemistry and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, and this emphasis can yield outstanding career opportunities. You’ll complete teacher training (including a student teaching assignment) as part of this degree, and be eligible for a teacher’s license upon graduation.

Minors Options

Minor: Chemistry Liberal Arts

You can pair the 21-credit chemistry minor with any bachelor’s degree. Common pairings include education, biology, physics, nutrition, dietetics and environmental studies. The minor includes extensive experience in lab-based courses, providing a solid foundation in current techniques and hands-on experience with modern lab instruments.

Minor: Chemistry Teaching

Paired with an education-related degree, this 21-credit minor provides you with expertise in secondary science education. It satisfies most (but not all) of the requirements necessary to qualify as a secondary-level science teacher. Working with your advisor, you can earn the remaining requirements. The minor includes a minimum of two lab courses.

Minor: Brewing Laboratory Science

This 18-credit minor can be paired with any program to provide you with the skills needed for entry-level positions in the brewing industry. The minor includes coursework and extensive lab-based work on the analysis of beer and the development of a quality-assurance / quality-control program that helps you strengthen your application for positions in this rapidly growing field. Hands on use of a 7bbl brewing system, and extensive understanding and experience with QA/QC methods in the laboratory, make this minor very useful. Learn more about what’s unique about UNC’s Brewing Science minor.

Your Future in Chemistry

You’ll get more hands-on lab experience and research training at UNC than you’d get in most chemistry bachelor’s degree programs. That preparation helps you stand out in the job market and the competition for graduate school placements.

Chemistry majors possess specialized scientific skills that are always in high demand, particularly in rapidly growing industries such as health care, environmental technologies, and forensic science. The national demand for qualified STEM teachers creates an additional career option. The American Chemical Society identifies five major career branches for chemists: Industry, Government, Nonprofit, Entrepreneurship, and Academia.

Consider UNC’s Chemistry programs if you want to:

  • Become comfortable in laboratory settings, working with advanced technology
  • Obtain a career in science, health, industry, education, or a related field
  • Continue your education in a graduate in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, pharmacy, forensics, or a related discipline

You’ll learn:

  • Basic and advanced principles of chemistry
  • Modern applications for chemistry in industry, manufacturing, health care, and other fields
  • Advanced laboratory techniques
  • State-of-the-art lab technology and instrumentation
  • Research design and execution

Sample courses:

  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Beyond the Classroom

Chemistry majors at UNC are encouraged to assist in faculty research, an unusual benefit for an undergraduate program. You’ll have the opportunity to work with advanced modern instrumentation that most universities reserve for graduate students, gaining direct experience in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, gas and high-performance liquid chromatography, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and many other techniques. UNC’s student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) holds frequent meetings and special events throughout the academic year.

Where can your degree take you?

  • Graduate program
  • Industrial research and development
  • Government or nonprofit agency
  • Environmental regulation and research
  • Secondary education

Current Research in Chemistry

Applied biochemical research

Dr. Hyslop’s research involves identification of biological systems capable of converting natural compounds into active drugs, genetically engineering appropriate cells to produce the system(s), and employing Cell-in-a-Box® technology for encapsulating the cells. The encapsulated cells could then be injected into the capillary network of a tumor and the patient given an extract of the natural compound. The precursor would be converted to the active drug at the tumor site, increasing the efficacy of the antitumor process.

Research with Bovines

What You Need to Know Right Now