Undergraduate Program in Chemistry

A chemistry formula

 The Department of Chemistry at the University of Iowa is committed to providing its undergraduate students with the skills needed to comprehend and confront the scientific challenges of the new century. Our strong and vibrant undergraduate chemistry program is an environment where students can develop and ultimately find success in their chosen career paths.

The National Academy of Sciences issued a comprehensive report on the state of the chemical sciences in 1985, appropriately titled, “Opportunities in Chemistry”. The following quote from the introduction to that report still has great relevance today:

Chemistry is a central science that provides fundamental understanding needed to deal with many of society's needs. It is a critical component in man's attempt to feed the world population, to tap new sources of energy, to clothe and house humankind, to provide renewable substitutes for dwindling or scarce materials, to improve health and conquer disease, to strengthen our national security, and to monitor and protect our environment. Basic research in chemistry will help future generations to cope with their evolving needs and unanticipated problems.

Chemistry is indeed central to many areas of technology with chemical discoveries in the manipulation, detection and study of matter on the microscopic scale rippling out to a variety of disciplines. In addition, a chemistry degree and the corresponding knowledge of chemistry fundamentals serves as an excellent background for a wide range of associated careers, such as in education, law, public policy, public health, and a host of others. A basic understanding of science and the scientific process can also be an inspiration for some non-traditional, successful career choices.

You can learn more about career opportunities in chemistry from the web pages of the American Chemical Society, including career descriptions, career profiles, employment prospects, and salary information. Information about graduate study in chemistry can also be found on the ACS site. In addition, the ACS Directory of Graduate Research has comprehensive data on virtually all North American graduate chemistry programs.

Chemistry majors at the University of Iowa will benefit from all of the attention and resources provided by the Department, including personalized advising by a faculty mentor, state of the art teaching and research facilities in our newly renovated building, small class sizes for upper level courses, and other advantages. Many of our faculty have been recognized by the University for their excellence in teaching. In addition to the wide range of chemistry courses devoted to the traditional disciplines, there are also specialized courses in environmental chemistry, polymers, molecular modeling, and radiochemistry. Almost all of our majors choose to complete an independent undergraduate research project with one of our faculty. You can read more about the role of research in the undergraduate curriculum on the ACS web site.

If you are in the Chemistry Building, please feel free to stop by the Chemistry Center, located on the 2nd floor, room E225, to learn more.