Pacific University’s chemistry program offers a challenging academic experience, marked by heightened personal attention from faculty with an emphasis on applying knowledge in lab settings. Students are introduced to scientific discovery through directed projects dealing with the study of matter — its properties, transformations and, ultimately, its applications to materials, biology and manufacturing.

Program Highlights

  • Start research in the first-year chemistry lab and continue your hands-on research through a senior capstone that can include a research thesis, internship or independent study
  • Access modern instrumentation for nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, atomic force microscopy and atomic emission spectroscopy
  • Integrate computer technology at Pacific, the first college to obtain an unlimited site license for CAChe molecular modeling software
  • Continue your work through paid summer research opportunities funded by Pacific and external research grants
  • A variety of opportunities to broaden experience and explore different fields in chemistry through internships and outside research programs


We offer a full range of courses, including advanced studies in organic, bioinorganic, solid state, environmental and surface chemistry, instrumentation, biochemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics. In addition, coursework includes the development and understanding of good scientific communication. Coursework over four years provides the basis for entry into a variety of professional programs, such as medicine and other health professions, as well as graduate study in related fields or immediate employment in industry. Our students present talks in the department seminar and often travel to regional and national scientific meetings to present their research findings.


Pacific’s chemistry major and minor are proven pathways to rewarding careers in health professions, research, industry, business and education. Students gain a broad range of technical skills and emerge as creative problem solvers. Many graduates accept positions in local manufacturing and health industries immediately after graduating. Others pursue advanced study in the medical sciences or chemistry. Our graduates are also high school teachers, and Fulbright Scholars.