Chemistry is the study of matter, so understanding chemistry means understanding the world around you – from how cooking works to how detergent gets clothes clean. Chemists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels to develop new and improved products, test the quality of manufactured goods and develop new theories.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry - Individually Designed degree lets students create their own specialty by combining chemistry with other disciplines, either within the sciences or the humanities. The individually designed curriculum is developed in consultation with the chair of the Department of Chemistry.
Like other degrees in Appalachian’s Department of Chemistry, this one combines an innovative and intellectually challenging curriculum with scholarship and service/engagement opportunities that employ state-of-the-art technologies. Chemistry majors graduate with strong problem-solving skills that are transferrable to a number of professions.
Examples: A student with interests in chemistry and archeology could design a curriculum that leads to greater knowledge about the analysis of bones. A student planning to attend medical school might explore ethics through a series of philosophy courses. Or, a student planning to attend pharmacy school might find value in taking nutrition classes.
Employment: Many graduates go directly into jobs in industry or government, with employers including GlaxoSmithKline, Exela, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Health, and the FBI.
Graduate School: The demand for qualified chemistry majors wishing to pursue graduate studies is high. More than half of Appalachian’s chemistry majors go on to graduate schools all over the country, mostly for chemistry, environmental science, pharmacy and medical school. Recent destinations include Duke University, University of Virginia, University of Colorado, University of California Irvine, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, University of Michigan, University of Charleston, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.
A 32-hour chemistry core, 10 hours of physics, 8 hours of mathematics, 6-8 hours selected from astronomy, biology, geology, or physics, plus 18 hours of an individually designed concentration to prepare the chemistry major to pursue other career opportunities. This concentration may be developed in consultation with the chairperson of the Department of Chemistry and must be individually approved.
A minor is optional. Chemistry majors often minor or take courses in Nutrition, Physics, Geology, Math, Biology.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Forensic Club – for students interested in forensic science, computer forensics, toxicology or a career in law enforcement.
Appalachian Chemical Society – the campus chapter of the American Chemical Society.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Depending on their research topic, students may want to connect with scholars in other countries. Chemistry majors are allowed to conduct research with faculty at any of Appalachian’s international partners.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Chemistry majors from Appalachian typically graduate with multiple job offers and can work in any area of the profession, regardless of their concentration.
- State-of-the-art technology gives students job-ready skills, while also providing services to research and industry partners.
- Professors focus exclusively on undergraduates, and about half of all chemistry majors conduct research directly with a faculty member and present at national or regional conferences.
- Employers comment that Appalachian chemistry majors need minimal on-the-job training.
- Weekly seminar discussions bring national leaders to campus, enhancing learning and career opportunities for upper-level students.
Number of Students
1% of current chemistry majors pursue the Individually Designed concentration
Method of Delivery
On campus only
The American Chemical Society details career options in industry, academia, government, non-profit and entrepreneurship. Learn more
Career options with any chemistry degree can include the following, with some requiring more than a bachelor’s degree:
- Analytical Chemist
- Brewer Lab Assistant
- Laboratory Technician
- Chemical Oceanographer
- Clinical Chemist
- Color Development Chemist
- Development Chemist
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Fire Protection Engineer
- Food and Drug Inspector
- Food Scientist Technician
- Forensic Chemist
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
- Sanitation Inspector
Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin