Two female Chemistry students use chemicals for experiment in classroom lab at Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg.

Chemistry

Small class sizes, hands-on labs, use of cutting-edge instruments, and the high-impact practice of one-on-one faculty-mentored research gets you ready for success in whatever path in chemistry you choose.

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.A.
  • B.S.
Location
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
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Your place in chemistry awaits.

We'll learn to gather, interpret, and disseminate data appropriately. We'll also retrieve, utilize, and apply a variety of chemistry resources. And most importantly, we'll recognize and minimize potential chemical and physical hazards in the laboratory. These lab and research skills and scientific knowledge will enhance your marketability and advance your preparation for graduate school, as well as your chosen career field. Onward!

Our Program

The Chemistry Program is part of the Department of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics. Students may pursue a B.S. degree in Chemistry, or choose from four other exciting concentrations: Biochemistry, Forensics, Pre-Medicine, and Natural Products. Our faculty represents a great diversity of interests and covers the major areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, biochemistry.

Course Delivery Format

  Bloomsburg

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Lock Haven

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Mansfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Clearfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

Courses and Curriculum

The chemistry and biochemistry programs are approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Students who complete certain requirements may then have their degrees certified by ACS. The biochemistry and pre-medicine concentrations are also accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Students in these concentrations can have their degree certified after completing the ASBMB exam.

This program provides a three-year exposure to the core of the chemistry curriculum. You can double major in chemistry and another discipline, or you can participate in the 3:2 program in engineering.

Also includes a "3 + 4" B.A.-D.O. program with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)

No matter what degree or track you pursue the first two years of study is very much the same for all chemistry majors.

A degree in Chemistry from CU will prepare you for a rewarding career as a chemist in industry, government, research institutes, technical sales, and for graduate studies in all fields of chemistry. By completing a research project with a faculty member and earning at least a 2.7 GPA in your chemistry courses your degree will be certified by the American Chemical Society.

Topics covered include:

  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Faculty-mentored independent research

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

The concentration in biochemistry ACS, ASBMB was developed in response to the recent explosive growth of the biotechnology industry and to attention to biological problems by all industrial sectors. 

The biochemistry concentration at CU will prepare you for a specialized career as a biochemist in industry, government, research institutes, technical sales, and for graduate studies in the fields of biochemistry, pharmacy, or medicine.

Topics covered include:

  • Foundational coursework in the 5 major areas of chemistry
  • A full year of biochemistry course and lab work
  • Basic and advanced biology courses with laboratory  
  • Faculty-mentored independent research or an internship 

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

The B.S. degree in chemistry with a forensics ACS concentration is designed for students who want a chemistry education that concentrates on the rapidly growing field of forensic science. This degree program includes a core chemistry curriculum combined with courses in criminal justice and physics that emphasize evidence collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of physical evidence that will combine the breadth of the field with a depth of understanding.

Our program combines the core chemistry degree, which is necessary for students to understand the scope, depth, and background of the scientific theory as well as the laboratory skills necessary to become a forensic scientist, as well as offering several specialized courses in forensic science in order to give students context in the specifics of the field.

Some career opportunities for students completing this program include employment in pharmaceutical, biomedical, and forensic science laboratories. Students seeking careers in forensic science may be subject to background checks similar to those required for law enforcement officers as a condition of employment. This program is excellent preparation for graduate study in forensic chemistry and analytical chemistry. The program follows the Forensic Sciences recommended curriculum. 

The Forensic Chemistry concentration at CU combines specially selected courses from Chemistry and Criminal Justice to prepare you for a career as an analyst in a government or private sector forensic laboratory or graduate studies in forensic science.

Topics covered include:

  • Foundational coursework in the 5 major areas of chemistry
  • Courses in Criminal Investigation and Procedure
  • Faculty-mentored independent research or an internship

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

The Natural Products ACS concentration within Commonwealth University's B.S. in Chemistry degree program is designed to prepare students for success in established and emerging industries relating to plant extract production, purification, and analysis. The core of the program is Commonwealth University's chemistry degree, featuring its American Chemical Society-certified curriculum. The addition of specific courses in plant biology and hands-on experiences in extraction science enhances that degree toward the goal of providing qualified personnel for a variety of occupations requiring plant extraction skills, including occupations in the pharmaceutical, medicinal marijuana, brewing, vinification, food, cosmetic, and perfumery industries.

More information coming soon.

Secondary education chemistry and physical science teachers are in high demand across the country. CU’s renowned chemistry program and tradition of training great teachers provide the perfect combination of content knowledge and teaching methods to prepare you for a rewarding teaching career.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

A Minor in Chemistry shall be awarded when you obtain a 2.0 grade point average in the following prescribed courses. In addition to meeting the GPA requirement, you'll be expected to meet with your minor advisor before scheduling the electives.

Chemistry (B.A.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in the five foundational areas of chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Biochemistry).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemistry problems
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct research/laboratory work, including analyzing and interpreting data
  4. Access, utilize, communicate information (information literacy) in an ethical and responsible manner.
  5. Understand important safety principles in chemistry laboratories and demonstrate safe use of instrumentation

Chemistry ACS (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in the five foundational areas of chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Biochemistry).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemistry problems
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct research, including analyzing and interpreting data
  4. Access, utilize, communicate information (information literacy) in an ethical and responsible manner.
  5. Clearly communicate chemistry information with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form
  6. Understand important safety principles in chemistry laboratories and demonstrate safe use of instrumentation

Chemistry ACS, ASBMB Biochemistry (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in the five foundational areas of chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Biochemistry).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemistry problems
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct research, including analyzing and interpreting data
  4. Access, utilize, communicate information (information literacy) in an ethical and responsible manner.
  5. Clearly communicate chemistry information with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form
  6. Understand important safety principles in chemistry laboratories and demonstrate safe use of instrumentation

Chemistry ACS Forensics (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in the five foundational areas of chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Biochemistry).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemistry problems
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct research, including analyzing and interpreting data
  4. Access, utilize, communicate information (information literacy) in an ethical and responsible manner.
  5. Clearly communicate chemistry information with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form
  6. Understand important safety principles in chemistry laboratories and demonstrate safe use of instrumentation

Chemistry ACS Natural Products (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in the five foundational areas of chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Biochemistry).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemistry problems
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct research, including analyzing and interpreting data
  4. Access, utilize, communicate information (information literacy) in an ethical and responsible manner.
  5. Clearly communicate chemistry information with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form
  6. Understand important safety principles in chemistry laboratories and demonstrate safe use of instrumentation

Chemistry Pre-Medicine ASBMB (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in the five foundational areas of chemistry (Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Biochemistry).
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemistry problems
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct research, including analyzing and interpreting data
  4. Access, utilize, communicate information (information literacy) in an ethical and responsible manner.
  5. Clearly communicate chemistry information with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form
  6. Understand important safety principles in chemistry laboratories and demonstrate safe use of instrumentation

Chemistry Minor

Upon completion of the minor students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory practice in chemistry.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of core concepts in chemistry (symbiosis of structure to molecular activity)
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to chemical problems
  4. Demonstrate skill using appropriate scientific methods and instruments
  5. Clearly communicate scientific ideas in both written and oral form
Commonwealth University

Chemistry

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Accreditation

Students who elect this degree are prepared to assume careers in food, pharmaceutical, oil, and chemical industries. Chemists are often involved in quality control, research, sales, monitoring employee environments, and agencies requiring analytical skills. Chemistry graduates are very competitive in the retail and wholesale professions. Over half of our chemistry graduates continue on to graduate school.

American Chemistry Society

American Chemical Society, ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology helps you excel at all stages of your scientific career through networking, professional development, meetings, journals and leadership opportunities.

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Catalyze Your Future

Clubs and Organizations

Chemistry Club
A student organization for chemistry majors and other interested students. Chemistry Club members participate in various activities together, such as coming up with events to celebrate National Chemistry Week (NCW) on campus and in the community.

American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is the national organization of professional and academic chemists. Annual meetings take place at the regional level and biannual meetings at the national level. Commonwealth University chemistry majors often attend regional meetings to present research.

Corning Section of the American Chemical Society
A local organization of professional chemists from Corning, Inc. and GTP; and academic chemists from the seven colleges in the section. In the spring, there is a meeting dedicated to the presentation of research from the area colleges, and Commonwealth University typically enters three or more researchers.

Careers

Graduates are well-prepared for a changing job market or for further study in chemistry. Many of our students have found successful careers in the following areas:

Potential Job Opportunities

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Patent Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Biotechnology Industries
  • Food Industries
  • Cosmetics Industries
  • Biomedical Industries
  • Semiconductor Industries
  • Microelectronic Industries
  • Optoelectronic Industries

Behind the Scenes: Cancer Research Lab

Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg Pre-Med Student Helena Eby

I knew I wanted to study something related to science. I was always drawn to that subject throughout middle and high school. I also liked the problem-solving and mathematical aspect of chemistry, as well as the idea it really does explain how life works at the atomic and molecular level.

Helena Eby '22
Pre-Medical Science
Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg Pre-Med Student Jason Stone

My research experience has helped prepare me for medical school by teaching me how to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to solve problems I’ve never seen before, and in most cases, have never even thought about before. All this will help me when I come across conditions I've never seen before to provide the best care possible for my future patients.

Jason Stone '21
Pre-Medical Science
Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg Pre-Med Student Jason Stone
Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg Pre-Med Student Helena Eby

Program Contacts

CommonwealthU University Employee

Kevin Range

  • Professor/Lock Haven Lead, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering & Physics
  • Lock Haven
CommonwealthU University Employee

Natalie Wilson

  • College of Science and Technology Administrative Assistant
  • Bloomsburg
Toni Bell

Toni Trumbo-Bell

  • Chair of the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, and Engineering / Professor of Biochemistry
  • Bloomsburg
Ellen

Ellen Kehres

  • Associate Professor of Biophysical Chemistry
  • Bloomsburg
CommonwealthU University Employee

Kyle Root

  • Associate Professor, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering & Physics Department
  • Lock Haven
CommonwealthU University Employee

Kurt Rublein

  • Professor, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering & Physics
  • Lock Haven
Elaine Farkas

Elaine Farkas

  • Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics
  • Mansfield

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