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The undergraduate chemistry program at Northwestern University consists of a variety of courses designed to meet the needs of students with diverse career objectives, including professional chemistry, medicine, and teaching. Students who wish to continue past the basic general chemistry and organic chemistry courses required for pre-medical programs and some science or engineering major programs have the option of completing a major or minor program in chemistry.
Our ACS-certified chemistry major curriculum will open many doors for our undergraduate students. As chemistry is an experimental science, the primary strengths of our chemistry major program come from the strong lab component of many of the courses, the exposure to research grade chemical instrumentation from a very early point in the program, and the opportunity to participate in research projects with faculty of the Department of Chemistry who are conducting research at the forefront of many areas of chemistry and in collaboration with other areas of science. This experience ensures graduates of this program are much in demand for careers in chemistry, medicine, and other areas.
In recent years about 40% of our chemistry major graduates have continued their studies in graduate school, primarily, but not exclusively, in chemistry doctoral programs. Most of these students eventually find research positions in the chemical industry or government or academic institutions. Another 40% of graduates from this program enter medical school or dentistry school after graduation. The remaining 20% of our graduates take positions as chemists in industrial or governmental laboratories without further study or pursue other applications of their chemistry knowledge such as teaching, consulting, or patent law.