major is offered through the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry within the College
of Science & Mathematics.
American Chemical Society Certified Curriculum
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSCHEM.shtml
Description of Major:
Chemistry is offered as a major and minor at JMU. The
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs designed to
provide the student with theoretical and practical instruction
in Chemistry and related areas leading to careers in
chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, dentistry, paramedical
areas, forensic sciences, chemical engineering and other
technology based careers. The department offers an American
Chemical Society (ACS) Certified Curriculum in 1) Chemistry,
2) Biochemistry, 3) Materials Chemistry and 4) Chemical
Education. The General concentration prepares
students to go into a variety of teaching, technology
or medical based fields. The Chemistry / Business concentration
is designed for business oriented Chemistry students
preparing for careers in patent law, technical sales
or services and other related areas. The department also
offers a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Materials Science.
me more about this field of study.
Chemistry is the science that describes matter, its
chemical and physical properties, the chemical and physical
changes matter undergoes, and the energy changes that
accompany these processes. Chemistry is concerned with
studying the composition and structure of matter as
well as how composition and structure determine the
physical, chemical, and physiological properties of
matter. Chemistry is central among the sciences and
thus offers excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary
interaction with the other sciences.
rely heavily on advanced instrumental techniques such
as chromatography, mass spectrometry, laser spectroscopy,
X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and
surface analysis - all using computers for control and
me more about specializations in this field.
Specialization in Chemistry normally does not occur
at the undergraduate major level, but in graduate school.
Instead, an undergraduate program in Chemistry provides
a thorough preparation in the fundamentals that enable
students to pursue a wide variety of specializations
and sub-disciplines after undergraduate college.
there are five sub disciplines in Chemistry: analytical,
inorganic, organic, biochemistry, and physical chemistry,
all of which are represented at JMU. Analytical Chemists
determine the composition of substances, finding
the what and how much of the
substance studied. Inorganic Chemists specialize
in taking apart or putting together all molecules except
those whose properties are primarily due to containing
carbon. Organic Chemists study compounds that
contain carbon as the most significant element. Biochemists
focus on the chemistry of any compound that is a part
of the living world. Physical Chemists explore
the role energy plays in chemical reactions.
There are a variety of other specializations within,
among, and outside of the traditional five areas such
as: polymers, natural products, spectroscopy, materials
science, computation chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry,
and chemical ecology. New areas are continually emerging.
For example, chemists are employed in a wide range of
industries working on problems such as: making
more efficient pain killers and pharmaceuticals; helping
to solve problems of industrial waste; finding
new sources of energy; understanding what makes
a good diet; studying the nutrition of plants;
reducing the pollution from automobile exhausts;
or developing new materials with desirable properties.
common major or minor combinations from other departments
complement this major?
The most common is perhaps a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Other combinations could include: Anthropology, Biology,
Computer Science, Criminal Justice, English, Environmental
Studies, Geographic Science, Geology, Integrated Science
and Technology, Materials Science, Mathematics,
Physics, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Pharmacy,
Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Veterinary, Psychology
or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
OF SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
In general, the successful Chemistry major must be curious,
have good mathematical abilities, and genuinely enjoy
science. Often organizational skills, perseverance,
judgment, and attitude are as important as intelligence.
The amount of time spent with course related activities
such as studying and preparing lab reports is usually
substantially greater than that required for other majors.
This requires considerable dedication when friends are
seen participating in other non-academic activities.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose nontraditional career fields that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.