Chemistry Department

Stonehill adeptly combines technical training with the liberal arts so that its graduating Chemistry majors are not only superb scientists but also well-rounded lifelong learners.


Bridget Belcher '19 Named Chemistry Department 2019 Student of the Year

The 2019 Chemistry Department Student of the Year is Bridget Belcher ’19.

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Our curriculum covers the traditional chemical disciplines as well as those disciplines that will have the strongest impact on society in the future. Students learn to think broadly, creatively and independently within the field and to communicate their scientific insight both in writing and orally.

It’s a foundation that serves our graduates well. About 50 percent of our Chemistry graduates continue their education in doctoral programs where all have been awarded full tuition fellowships and are paid stipends to cover living expenses.

World-Class Scholars, Dedicated Mentors

The chemistry faculty is dedicated to working with students and to maintaining themselves as some of the best educators and researchers in the field.

All of our professors are extremely accessible to students. Unless they are in class or a meeting, Chemistry faculty members are almost always in their offices at any given time on weekdays, and they are available to students at other times by text, email, phone and social media. Every student is known on a personal level by several professors, and each student’s interests, challenges and unique academic situation are always of concern.

Degree Options that Suit Specific Goals

Stonehill offers several outstanding, rigorous and comprehensive programs in Chemistry. Students can earn American Chemical Society certified Chemistry degrees when completing any of the majors offered by the Department.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

The Chemistry B.S. is designed for students desiring a thorough background in the field of chemistry in preparation for either graduate school or industrial employment in which the main focus of the work is in chemistry. A bachelor’s degree qualifies graduates for entry-level positions such as:

  • Research associate
  • Quality control chemist
  • Environmental and regulatory compliance chemist

A doctoral degree is required to oversee basic industry research, to supervise government laboratories and for college and university faculty positions.

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry

The Chemistry B.A. is appropriate for students interested in professional school, direct employment in industry, or entry into a non-traditional field combining the knowledge of chemistry with another discipline. This degree provides the flexibility to double major or minor in another field of study, for example Education. Professional schools attended by graduates include:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Optometry
  • Forensics
  • Nurse practitioner and physician assistant programs

Chemistry B.A./Chemical Engineering, B.S. Dual Degree

Stonehill College offers a 3+2 Engineering Program in collaboration with The University of Notre Dame. Students in the 3+2 Engineering Program receive a B.A. in Chemistry from Stonehill College and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Minor in Chemistry

The Chemistry minor provides a strong understanding of fundamental principles and techniques of chemistry as well as the application of those principles to biological, environmental and industrial processes.

The Flexibility to Pursue Other Interests

One aspect that sets Stonehill’s Chemistry programs apart from others is that students have a chance to do more than just science. If they are pursuing a second major or are involved in athletics, the Department does its best to adjust class schedules to try to accommodate students. Many schools only offer labs in the afternoon, which forces some students to choose between athletics and science. Stonehill offers labs in both the morning and the afternoon.

The Department also tailors each semester’s offerings to meet the scheduling needs of students in the Program. That means a student who wants to take two labs that would normally conflict can take them both. It also means students who want to study abroad for a semester can still keep up with their science requirements and graduate in four years.

This kind of flexibility helps make Stonehill more cost effective than other schools, which may be less expensive annually but where it’s more likely that it will take students more than four years to graduate, driving up tuition and boarding costs. At Stonehill, students are supported to graduate in four years.

Another indication of how studying science at a liberal arts college is unique, is the types of degree combinations we see here, from double majors pursuing Science and Communications degrees to others who combine Science with a minor in Dance.

The Resources You Need to Succeed

At Stonehill, science students get to use equipment that, at other schools, is often only available to faculty or graduate students. A High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer, for example, is a $230,000 instrument that our Chemistry majors are using the first semester of their first year.

By junior year, our students are using an Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer and other equipment that will play a central role as they advance into careers or further study in chemistry.

A Unique Program of Learning, Exploration & Research

Our curriculum has many unique features that enhance the learning experience of students and prepare graduates to be active, engaged and valuable members of the scientific community.

Theme-based General Chemistry

The first semester of chemistry is offered as a theme-based course focused on such topics as Forensics, Food and Nutrition or Environmental Chemistry. These courses are taught with lecture and lab integrated into a cohesive experience with one professor rather than as separate lecture and lab components.

Sequence of Introductory Courses

After one semester of General Chemistry, students begin the two-semester sequence of Organic Chemistry. With this arrangement of courses, students get a taste of more types of chemistry in their first year. In addition, students with an interest in the biological aspects of chemistry learn the chemistry that is more applicable to their biological interest sooner. After Organic Chemistry I and II, chemistry and biochemistry majors take Inorganic Chemistry while biology majors return to a second semester of General Chemistry, usually in the spring of their sophomore year.

Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL)

In addition to a complete week of lessons with a professor, all of our introductory chemistry courses involve weekly meetings of students in small groups with experienced teaching assistants for additional problem-solving in a team format.

Research Opportunities

Each chemistry major has the opportunity to participate in original experimental research with a faculty member in the science program. This research can lead the student to present his/her work at national scientific meetings, and in some cases to a publication in the scientific literature. Many students also opt to perform research through internships or summer fellowships at other institutions.

Seminar & Thesis

Juniors and seniors meet with the entire faculty every week for Seminar. In the fall semester, every student presents a seminar based on an article from chemical/biochemical literature. In the spring semester, seniors present and defend their theses, which are based on their original research projects.

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