Careers in Chemistry
Majoring in chemistry offers students an array of career paths—the one you choose will depend on your personality and interests.
There is no one career path that all individuals who enjoy chemistry pursue. Our major is designed to expose you to a variety of the different sub-fields of chemistry (organic, biochemistry, inorganic, physical, and analytical), and there are many occupations associated with each. Many specialties require graduate education, and you will need to understand the educational prerequisites for your occupation of choice. You should begin by becoming familiar with the process of preparing for and applying to graduate school.
What Can I Do With a Degree in Chemistry?
The Rollins chemistry department offers the American Chemical Society-certified degree program for a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that prepares students to become effective scientific professionals and competitive applicants to jobs and graduate schools.
Get a Great Job
Chemists are employable in a huge variety of careers, from food science to environmental protection and pharmacology to forensics. Chemists become writers, managers, consultants, laboratory technicians—the list is long and diverse. Chemists and chemical engineers earn competitive salaries while solving problems or developing new products. Explore the American Chemical Society's website for additional information on careers for college graduates in chemistry.
Go to Medical School
Majoring in chemistry is excellent preparation for medical school. The Rollins chemistry major covers nearly all of the required science courses for medical school including math, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, general biology, and writing requirements. A strong foundation in chemistry will also be of benefit throughout medical school, most directly in problem solving/critical thinking skills and the study of topics such as drugs and metabolism.
Go to Graduate School
Do you enjoy conducting experiments in the lab? Many students choose to develop their abilities further by going to graduate school in chemistry, chemical engineering, or law. In addition to specializing in a chemical subdiscipline such as biochemistry or inorganic chemistry, median salaries for chemists greatly increase with a graduate education. A PhD opens the door to careers in both industry and academics. As an added bonus, grad school will likely be paid for! Graduate students typically hold research and/or teaching assistantships, so the school waives tuition and pays the graduate student a stipend. The starting salary for inexperienced PhD graduates is significantly more than for those who have a bachelor's degree alone. You can prepare yourself for graduate school by performing undergraduate research with a faculty member at Rollins or in the summer at a National Science Foundation-funded Research for Undergraduates program at one of many other schools.
Careers for Chemistry Majors
Chemistry majors end up in a surprisingly diverse array of occupations. Here are eight of the career fields that Rollins chemistry graduates most frequently work in.
• Pharmaceutical Industry
• Healthcare Services
Where Our Chemistry Grads Go
Get a sneak peek at your bright future by exploring the career paths of Rollins chemistry graduates.
Shalini Allam ’13 MDCardiology Fellow, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Julian Grundler ’18Yale University, Graduate Researcher
Carri Geer '13 PhDSenior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Novan, Inc.
Michael Kitchin ’17MD Candidate, NYU School of Medicine
Meagan Amick Tippens ’08Technical Lead-Chemistry Engineer, Lockheed Martin
Kevin Tucker ’05Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Southern Illinois University
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A Competitive Advantage
Rollins’ Department of Chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society. Approved departments are staffed by accomplished faculty, contain a modern and well-maintained infrastructure, and provide a coherent chemistry curriculum. As a result, employers find graduates of approved programs like Rollins to be better prepared for technical employment.