Chemistry Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree On-campus

About Chemistry

Develop a sound foundation to prepare for a career or further study.

Chemistry focuses on the study of the nature and structure of matter and transformations that take place during chemical reactions. In the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry program at California University of Pennsylvania, you will explore fundamental concepts of atomic and molecular structure, function and reactivity that create materials that make up everyday life. 

Since 2012, Cal U's chemistry program B.S. degree has been accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) based upon its rigor, thorough curriculum coverage and unique laboratory experiences. Cal U's undergraduate chemistry program provides you with a strong foundation to prepare for employment in the private and public industrial sectors, as well as for advanced professional or graduate study.

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's top undergraduate program in chemistry.

There will always be a great demand for men and women trained in chemistry subfields - biochemistry, analytical, environmental, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Required courses provide a strong foundation in chemistry, physics and mathematics with a focus on using developed skills and knowledge in a full-year capstone research project. Together with your faculty adviser, you'll develop and execute a four-year chemistry program that may include a particular emphasis in biology, forensics, environmental science, nanotechnology, computer science, electronics and/or secondary education.


High-tech labs:  Our chemistry laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art materials, supplies and instruments. You'll have an opportunity to conduct experiments using nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectroscopies, high-performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, atomic absorption, mass spectrometry and electro-analytical chemistry. A multidisciplinary nanoscience research area includes an atomic force microscope and a visible/UV-fluorescence tissue-grade optical microscope with computerized image analysis.

Distinct experience: Our program uses the Studio Chemistry approach to teaching and learning in introductory-level courses. In this format, lecture and laboratory experiences are integrated into an active, hands-on learning experience. A wide range of senior-level chemistry elective courses allows students to further explore various disciplines in the field of chemistry.

Chemistry students benefit from multiple opportunities to use instrumentation as they go from learning basic theory to learning to analyze data to independent use of these tools in research. Chemistry faculty members are focused on student research and on ways to enable students to present their research at national conferences.

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Student-to-faculty ratio at Cal U.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in chemistry, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

The American Chemical Society (ACS) accredited Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree will challenge students to acquire factual and theoretical knowledge of chemistry, develop laboratory knowledge and skills while sustaining a commitment to safety, employ technology to obtain and utilize chemical information, and communicate effectively. Completion of the bachelor's degree in chemistry provides sufficient training for graduates to obtain entry-level positions as industrial chemists in the private or government sectors, as technical writers, or as industrial sales personnel. Chemistry majors are also well prepared to pursue careers in research, medicine, dentistry, law, pharmacy, management and/or teaching.

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Graduate Outcomes

Over the years, chemistry graduates have obtained industrial jobs both locally and outside the region. Employers of our graduates include Bayer Corp.; Mylan Pharmaceuticals; Eastman; U.S. Steel; Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals; state crime labs in Erie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania; and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. In particular, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has hired 20+ students from our program over the past few years. Our chemistry graduates hold a wide range of positions, including analytical chemist, quality control specialist, industrial management trainee, technical writer, chemical purchasing agent and salesperson in the chemical industry.

Chemistry (B.S.)
A chemistry professor helps a student with a project.

Professional Focus

For more than a decade, Cal U chemistry faculty members have been involved with regional and national chapters of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP), and Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon). Pittcon is the largest scientific conference in the world, attracting more than 20,000 scientists, students, researchers and instrument manufacturers. Each year Cal U chemistry and physics research students are given the opportunity to attend Pittcon as student aides. They have the opportunity to present their research findings, attend technical presentations, take advantage of an employment bureau and visit the industrial exhibit floor to see virtually every state-of-the-art tool for chemical analysis.

An anthropology professor shows an artifact to a student.

Campus Connections

The Chemistry Club is very active, and students attend monthly research meetings sponsored by the SAPC at Duquesne University.  The Chemistry Club maintains a tradition of taking students to a different city every year during spring break to visit graduate programs in chemistry, as well as the city's historical and tourist sites. Chemistry students are eligible for special scholarships and awards, including the J. Robert Craig, Calvin Flemming, Clyde and Kay Clendaniel, Serene, and Lazzaro Family scholarships, each awarded annually to distinguished chemistry majors with high academic achievement. The Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) Award and departmental Achievement Awards in academics, research and service are given annually to graduating seniors.

A chemistry student conducts a balloon gas experiment.

Advanced Study

Cal U chemistry graduates have gone on to top graduate programs for master's and doctoral degrees at Carnegie Mellon University, West Virginia University, Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, University of Utah, University of Delaware, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Arizona State University, as well as medical programs such as Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).


Chemistry Courses

Example Courses
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Introduction to Experiemental Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Analytical/Instrumental Methods
  • College Physics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

View full course sequence

Chemistry - Minors, Concentrations, and Certificates

  • Chemistry - Minor

Chemistry Faculty

Dr. Gregg Gould

Dr. Min Li

Dr. Ali Sezer

Dr. Kimberly Woznack