The Medicinal Chemistry BS provides:
- A basic chemical understanding of life processes and biological control
- A chemical basis for the rational design, synthesis, and mechanism of action of drugs, and selective metabolic inhibition
- The basic laboratory skills necessary for research in medicinal chemistry
- An appreciation of medicinal chemistry and the chemical aspects of pharmacology
- A foundation for post-baccalaureate study in medicinal chemistry and professional studies in the health sciences
Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:
- Demonstrate knowledge in the basic sub-divisions of the science (organic, inorganic, analytical, physical and biological chemistry)
- Use modern instrumentation and classical laboratory techniques
- Design and conduct scientific experiments for the purpose of solving a scientific problem and to record and analyze the results
- Understand the proper procedures for safe use of chemicals and can follow the proper procedures for chemical waste disposal
- Use modern library searching and retrieval methods to obtain information about a topic, chemical, chemical technique, or an issue relating to chemistry
- Identify and solve chemical problems and explore new areas of research
- Understand the chemical basis for the rational design, synthesis, and mechanism of action of drugs, and selective metabolic inhibition
- Find employment in industry or government or be accepted at graduate or professional schools (pharmacy, medicine, etc.)
The Chemistry program features a wide variety of class sizes, types, and delivery methods. Most General Chemistry courses consist of 3 hours of lecture per week (class sizes of ca. 360) presented by Ph. D. level faculty, in addition to 1 hour of recitation and 3 hours of laboratory (class sizes of ca. 22 students) supervised by a graduate student teaching assistant. Organic chemistry courses in the second year consist of 3 hours of lecture per week (class sizes of ca. 275) presented by Ph. D. level faculty, in addition to 1 hour of recitation and 3 hours of laboratory (class sizes of ca. 16 students) supervised by a graduate student teaching assistant. In the third and fourth year classes are generally restricted to chemistry majors. Lecture classes have enrollments of 100 to 16 and use a variety of delivery methods. Laboratory courses are low enrollment and are taught by Chemistry faculty with graduate student teaching assistants; these are heavily hands-on and with state-of-the-art instrumentation. The Department strongly encourages undergraduate research; this is conducted in the individual research groups of tenured or tenure-track faculty.
The Department of Chemistry is housed in the Natural Sciences Complex (NSC) on the North Campus. The Department occupies about 112,000 square feet of space, including 32,000 square feet for teaching laboratories and 54,000 square feet of research laboratory space. Also included are support services, such as instrumentation labs, electronic shop, stockrooms, and conference rooms.
The Chemistry Department Instrument Center maintains and operates a number of instruments that facilitate a variety of research. These include multiple mass spectrometers for analysis of ions in gas, solution and solid phases, including accurate mass confirmation. Liquid and gas chromatographs are coupled with mass spectrometry to enhance mixture analysis. Ionization techniques include electron impact, electrospray, chemical ionization, and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization. Other techniques available include FTIR, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning spectrophotometry, and differential scanning calorimetry. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers include a Varian Gemini 300, Varian 400, 500, 600 and 750MHz NMR for structure studies.
The staff of the Department of Chemistry includes 30 tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty (all Ph. D.), 2 full-time lecturers, 84 teaching assistants (all graduate students), and 18 support staff. Faculty members deliver lecture courses and supervise teaching assistants who are responsible for oversight of laboratory courses. The chemistry faculty includes a number of Ph.D. scientists who maintain active research programs in medicinal chemistry. Many of these have grants and contracts awarded in competitions with other scientists to support their research. The majority of outside support is from the National Institutes of Health. Faculty also hold memberships in various national organizations and several have been honored for their contributions to science.
Please visit the Chemistry department website for additional information about our faculty.
- Government scientist
- Medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry
- Organic chemist
- Pharmaceutical sales representative
- Technical librarian
Alumni in Medicinal Chemistry have found employment in the following fields:
- Academe (Professor of Medicinal Chemistry)
- Government (Food & Drug Administration)
- Medicinal chemistry (pharmaceutical industry)
- Pharmaceutical sales (pharmaceutical industry)
What percentage of graduates goes on to find related employment?
The 2015-2016 employment survey of the American Chemical Society found 2.6% of members and 12.3% of new chemistry graduates were unemployed. About 45% of students who receive undergraduate chemistry degrees go on to graduate or professional schools. No data are available specifically on medicinal chemistry degree holders, but employment opprotunites are very similar.
Students may be referred to Dr. Jerome Keister, the director of undergraduate studies, for advisement regarding the prerequisite courses and any other aspect of the program and discipline. Students are advised to meet with him at least once every semester to discuss career goals and curriculum. Academic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester. Students should apply for admission to the department as early as possible in their academic career.
Dr. Jerome Keister
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Alan Cutler Undergraduate Scholarship
Albert Padwa Award
Ralph F. Theuer Scholarship Award
William E. Townsend Scholarship
Peter T. Lansbury Undergraduate Research Award
Sol J. Lederman Undergraduate Research Fellowship