At Elmhurst, we know that well-rounded scholars need varied environments to stimulate their minds and provide experience. That’s why the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers so many opportunities to engage the outside world and expand your skills.
Once a week, junior and senior chemistry majors meet to “talk chemistry.” We host outside speakers; students present papers or the results of their research; and we discuss topics of interest to us, such as graduate school or relevant issues involving chemistry. The professional skills learned in these classes are the building blocks needed for successful careers.
As a chemistry major, you’ll be involved in independent research projects. Projects are designed in close collaboration with a faculty mentor to coincide with your particular interests and goals. Through this advanced theoretical or laboratory work, you’ll be able to demonstrate the cumulative knowledge you will have gained in the course of your undergraduate studies. Many of our students present their research at local seminars and national conferences, gaining valuable experience and exposure to the scientific community.
You’ll get a head start on success by taking advantage of our extensive internship, shadowing and mentorship opportunities. Students interested in the health professions benefit from Elmhurst’s Patterson Center for the Health Professions, which connects students with internships and many other professional opportunities. Those interested in graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry are encouraged to apply to federally funded summer research programs. Some internships lead to full-time employment in desirable positions—and all provide the kinds of experience that make employers take notice.
Some recent student internship/summer research sites:
Elmhurst is home to a chapter of the National Science Teachers Association and an active Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society. The ACS chapter offers a wide range of activities; for example, chemistry students can participate in local and national conferences, present their scholarly work in professional journals, attend seminars and interact with working professionals, providing valuable connections and learning experiences—long before they graduate. The group also organizes local field trips to laboratories and schedules numerous social activities throughout the year, including an annual holiday party held at a faculty member’s home.
Beginning with your first chemistry course, you’ll use modern instrumentation to model molecules as well as collect and analyze scientific data. As you move through the program you’ll get even more hands-on experience with instruments through classes and research. Our innovative Chemical Instrumentation modules provide concentrated theory and usage instruction on the instruments you’ll encounter in your career.