Majors in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Modern chemistry is a broadly diverse science positioned at the interface of physics, biology and mathematics. The chemistry curriculum at Berry College combines a solid background in the fundamental principles of chemistry with firsthand experience using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.
There are two majors available within the Chemistry Department. Both the Chemistry major and the Biochemistry major lead graduates to careers in industry, research or education. The Biochemistry major has also been very popular with premedicine students since the requirements include most of the courses needed for applying to medical schools.
Our Chemistry Department has earned the distinction of approval by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Only 15 other Colleges and Universities in Georgia are ACS approved. The Chemistry Department offers ACS-accredited degrees in both Chemistry and Biochemistry. These accredited degrees are especially helpful for those students planning on attending graduate school to obtain a Masters or Ph.D. in Chemistry.
How is a chemistry degree from Berry different from
one earned anywhere else?
The smaller class sizes offered at Berry College provide a more personalized learning experience for students than the auditorium-sized classes often found at large universities. You’ll find that contact with chemistry professors can be as easy as waiting until after class to ask questions or planning a longer visit during office hours. Our faculty members are committed to knowing you as an individual and to helping you develop to your fullest potential. They want to help you achieve your personal goals.
Chemistry is a hands-on science. Learning chemistry involves much more than learning from a book. Learning chemistry means learning how to DO chemistry. This requires experience in the laboratory performing experiments that illustrate concepts discussed in class. Learning chemistry also means learning how to use state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation. At Berry, you won’t just look at instruments, you’ll use them – starting in your freshman year!
Learning doesn't end in the classroom!
Engaging in research activities alongside faculty members is an enriching part of the chemistry education available at Berry College. While classes and labs teach the important concepts and experimental techniques crucial to your success as a chemist, a true education in chemistry requires independent thought and working through the difficult problems that novel research efforts offer. Our faculty members are active researchers. Chemistry majors are able to select from research projects spanning all the major areas of chemistry.
The chemistry department hosts three or four outside speakers each semester as part of our "Cheminar" Series, including faculty from other colleges and universities, representatives of industry, and successful Berry alumni with amazing stories to tell about how their Berry education led to their success. These programs will help you learn about the varied types of jobs and/or graduate programs in chemistry available to you across the nation. They also will inspire you!
In addition to involvement with research activities, many of our majors also are employed by the department through the college’s Student Work Experience Program. Some of these students are paid as research assistants. Some students are hired to work as laboratory and teaching assistants for the department. These students help to prepare the laboratories for lab courses, and also to maintain chemical instrumentation and equipment. They are present during laboratory sessions to answer questions and demonstrate techniques for other students. This type of assistantship is definitely learning in action, and it has made our majors stand out from those at other schools when looking for jobs or applying to graduate school.
Where do Chemistry and Biochemistry majors go after leaving Berry College?
Chemistry and Biochemistry majors have many options after graduation. Some of our majors take industrial research or sales jobs in such fields as pharmaceuticals, polymers, materials and cryogenics. Some decide to teach at the elementary or secondary school level. Some enter medical, pharmacy or dental school. Finally, some of our majors pursue advanced graduate studies at major universities to obtain their master’s or doctoral degrees. Berry chemistry alumni have attended top-tier graduate schools, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Texas at Austin, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Virginia, the University of Florida, Vanderbilt University, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Can Chemistry or Biochemistry help me obtain a position in the health fields?
The Chemistry and Biochemistry majors offer an excellent vantage point for students pursuing studies in medical, pharmacy or dental school. These schools all require entrance exams (MCAT, PCAT and DCAT, respectively) that test for in-depth knowledge of chemistry and chemical principles. While many of our Chemistry students have successfully entered medical, dental, and pharmacy school, the Biochemistry major has been the more popular choice. The Biochemistry major requires the biology, chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics and physics courses that are necessary for obtaining a superior grade on the entrance exams.
Where can I find out more?
For more information, of if you have questions, please contact the Chemistry Department Chair, Dr. Ken Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org; 706-236-5496.