Chemistry

Open up to asking different questions and seeing the world in new ways in our undergraduate Chemistry program. With extensive opportunities, Wells offers the resources of a large university with the personal attention only a small college can provide.

Chemistry majors at Wells College are active participants in both the classroom and the laboratory, exploring and discovering how nature works at the atomic and molecular level. Modern equipment and engaging experimentation are a part of every class, with a focus on research and hands-on learning. We also offer cross-registration at Cornell University, giving you the opportunity to experience a variety of learning strategies and broaden your study of chemistry off-campus. The Chemistry major at Wells College leads to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree and is also offered as a minor.

students in chemistry laboratory
autumn view of campus
professor bailey and students
students with chemistry equipment

A Look Inside the Chemistry Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

As a chemistry major at Wells College, you’ll take core courses in chemical analysis and organic chemistry, advanced courses in physical and inorganic chemistry and instrumental analysis, with related courses in calculus and physics. From there, our bachelor’s degree program is designed to help you discover your strengths and use them to plan for your future. Elective courses pursue topics like biochemistry, solid state chemistry, and others that allow for focus on areas of individual interest.

You’ll be introduced to developing fields such as nanochemistry, green chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and more. Laboratories are based on real-world practices and problems, and your lab experiences will be guided by your interests. There is also a Senior Capstone Project that you choose and design, with the guidance of faculty who help you to plan a project that will best prepare you for your career goals after completing your bachelor’s degree.

Our chemistry and other science majors get to conduct their own research, often with faculty and as part of paid research opportunities. Wells’ Center for Sustainability and the Environment offers another way to ground your scientific study in important research through internships and experiences with a variety of visiting scholars as you pursue your bachelor’s degree. There is also a weekly Science Colloquium Series that brings professional guest speakers to our Aurora, New York, campus to present their leading work in chemistry and other sciences.

What You’ll Learn as a Chemistry Major

  • How and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how matter interacts with energy
  • How to apply the scientific method to analyze and solve issues in a wide range of areas
  • How to conduct research, collaborate with other scientists and effectively communicate your ideas to different audiences

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Chemistry Bachelor’s Degree Program

At Wells, you’re part of a hands-on chemistry and science program designed to prepare you for real-world challenges. When you earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll enter the job market with firsthand experiences working with other scientists, adjusting your process based on the advice and expertise of others, writing about your work, and presenting papers for an audience. Read on to learn more about internship and study abroad opportunities you’ll find as an undergraduate chemistry major at Wells.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Explore careers and make valuable professional connections in medicine, research, public policy, and other areas through diverse internship opportunities at Wells. These are just a few of the places where our chemistry and other science majors recently held internships:

  • Syracuse University Department of Chemistry, Syracuse, New York
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Suitland, Maryland
  • National Cancer Institute, Genetics Branch, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Canandaigua Wine Co., Canandaigua, New York
  • U.C.L.A. Medical Center (neurosurgery), Los Angeles, California
  • Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York
  • Cornell University Large Animal Clinic, Ithaca, New York
  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Aurora, New York

Interested in taking your undergraduate chemistry studies overseas? Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells

Related Science Programs

If you’re interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, you might also consider one of our other related science programs: 

Career Options for Chemistry Majors

Science and technology jobs are growing at a rapid pace all over the world, and chemistry majors go on to do exciting work in a wide range of careers including research, chemical engineering, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and much more.

Recent graduates of our chemistry and other bachelor’s degree science programs are now working as research associates, laboratory technicians, dietitians, pharmacists, veterinarians, marine biologists, genetics counselors, physicians’ assistants, and in many other professional roles. Other Wells chemistry and science majors have gone on to graduate school programs such as Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, Georgetown University, the University of Tennessee, Stony Brook University, SUNY Binghamton and Buffalo, and many other top colleges and universities.

Current Research in the Chemistry Bachelor’s Degree Program

Christopher Bailey, Professor of Chemistry, team taught a summer faculty workshop on "Materials Science and Nanotechnology for Chemists" at Beloit College. Among the topics covered were the synthesis of several types of nanoparticles, self-assembling monolayers, solid state stoichiometry, semiconductors, quantum dots, organic solar cells, light emitting diodes, optical transform, and piezoelectricity. 

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lindsay Burwell had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine on the effect of long-term vitamin E and selenium supplementation on urine F2-isoprostanes, a biomarker of oxidative stress.

Apply Now to Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Wells College. Apply now.

Request More Information

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Chemistry Bachelor of Arts program? Request more information. 

"The resources and freedom to problem-solve as a team made available to me were very different from classroom lab instruction; this internship gave me an accurate idea of what obtaining a Ph.D. in microbiology is truly like."

Maia Baskerville ’17
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major
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Program Faculty
Christopher Bailey
Professor of Chemistry
Lindsay Burwell
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Science, Wells, and You

Many Wells science majors have been awarded a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), funded by the National Science Foundation, to conduct primary research at another college or university over the summer. Not only will completing a summer REU help boost your resume and set you apart in the job market, it can be an important personal experience and rewarding memory.

Each year, Wells also sends students to attend the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), an interdisciplinary academic conference that recognizes some of the top scientific research and creative work being done by bachelor’s degree students throughout the nation. Our chemistry and other science program students are consistently among those chosen by our own faculty and the NCUR committee for participation. 

Wells faculty members also take students to the Sigma Xi conference, a student-focused conference for scientific and medical research, and the Senior Capstone class attends the regional Rochester Academy of Sciences meeting, offering students opportunities to present individual research. Recent student research projects that have been presented at NCUR have examined topics such as the effects of caffeine on embryonic cardiovascular development, the ability of different strains of yeast to slow the growth of spoilage organisms in beer, and the effects of ethanol on the circadian rhythms of fruit flies.

Academics

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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