Major, Minor

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.


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.


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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The Pacific Undergraduate Research Conference is returning to an in-person format this fall on Nov. 10. For many presenters, these research projects will become the basis of their senior capstone project. Pacific is the No. 1 private research university in the Pacific Northwest, and as such, has a reputation for mentoring its undergraduate students especially in the areas of scientific and creative research.

Kelsey Schweitzer '11 and friends on a mountaintop

Kelsey Schweitzer ʼ11 attended Pacific University with hopes to become a marine biologist. She dreamed of studying wildlife to find ways to promote the health of the environment and mankind. Eight years later, she had her heart set on going to law school.

Jeannine Chan

Chan joined Pacific’s Chemistry Department in 2006 and teaches foundational and upper-level chemistry courses, while mentoring student research