Experience scientific discovery in the study of matter and conduct research with faculty in lab settings with state-of-the-art equipment.

Students explore chemistry through directed projects dealing with the study of matter — its properties, transformations and, ultimately, its applications to materials, biology and manufacturing. Every student completes a senior capstone that can include a research thesis, internship or independent study.

Pacific University’s chemistry program offers a full range of courses, including advanced studies in organic, bioinorganic, solid state, environmental and surface chemistry, instrumentation, biochemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics.


Pacific University chemistry major Ethan Dentler '22


Careers in Chemistry

Pacific University chemistry alumni are studying at Top 10 research universities, working at Intel and Nike, and pursuing careers in health, manufacturing and education careers.


Pacific University chemistry majors Keillan MacCulloch '19 and Hoan Nguyen '19
Keillan MacCulloch ’19 and Hoan Nyugen ’19 spent their college years looking for ways to make cleaner natural gas.

The two chemistry majors both came to Pacific University with a passion for science. Keillan was initially interested in biology, “But I just really fell in love with chemistry,” he said. Hoan, meanwhile, followed his older brother. “We’re both from Vietnam, we’re both born and raised in Vietnam, we’re both very interested in science,” Hoan said.

As the No. 1 private research university in the Northwest, Pacific offered both students an advanced track to their goals of graduate studies.

“I will continue to do chemistry, hopefully for the rest of my life,” Keillan said.

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Alex Hays receives her Pacific University diploma on stage with Narce Rodriguez

"While she is most certainly an intelligent, creative, resourceful, and generally remarkable student and scholar, she has truly distinguished herself through her service and collaboration with others in our university community," said Dave Cordes, Hays' academic advisor.

Julie Layshock

Pacific University Chemistry Professor Julie Layshock has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2022-2023.

Dr. Julie Layshock

Dr. Layshock is an environmental/analytical chemist who teaches courses on quantitative chemistry, instrumental analysis and environmental toxicology in Pacific’s undergraduate chemistry and environmental science programs.