Though a subset of science, chemistry is a general term for a host of specialized fields that fall beneath it. Chemists can study anything from the chemical processes in lifeforms to the material makeup of a slice of pizza. Whether it’s solving crimes by finding chemical clues or earning a deeper understanding of the Earth’s composition, chemists dedicate themselves to studying the behavior and framework of matter.
As an interdisciplinary study, chemistry majors will find themselves taking courses that cover a variety of topics and fields — mainly in mathematics and science. Classes can include: biochemistry, calculus, geology, physics, thermodynamics, and both organic and inorganic chemistry. Students of the major tend to work in labs, perform experiments, and write lab reports. Students will also likely choose a focus to specialize in. Those attracted to chemistry are generally curious, interested in the sciences, analytical and observant, and enjoy experimenting with new things.
A chemistry degree opens the doors to a vast array of scientific careers and specializations. Areas of focus can include: meteorology, theoretical chemistry, paleontology, forensic chemistry, atmospheric dynamics, and pharmaceutical science, among many others. Since matter makes up everything, it’s important to have dedicated chemists working to study the multitude of aspects matter encompasses.
Chemistry fun fact: Only one letter in the alphabet does not show up on the periodic table — J.
Celebrities who studied Chemistry: Kurt Vonnegut, author; Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church; Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the UK.
The average starting salary for a graduate with a bachelor's degree in Chemistry, General is $45,700