Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry
Page menu

Explore life’s interactions.

From the environment to space science to soap, aspirin, and aluminum—chemistry is everywhere around us and has a profound impact on how we live. Chemists study matter and energy, interactions and reactions. They study the interaction between atoms, molecules, and subatomic particles to better understand the processes that surround us.

As a chemistry student at Walla Walla University, you will:

  1. Explore the major fields of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry)
  2. Develop the skills you need and receive encouragement to conduct original research

You will enter a world of research and experimentation, studying with professors actively involved in research. The chemistry faculty is committed to providing all chemistry majors with hands-on experience using modern laboratory instrumentation. With chemistry, your possibilities are endless. Come discover your options!

  • Small classes and personalized attention: Learning from distinguished faculty means you’ll have unparalleled access to expertise in specialties such as medicinal chemistry, rocket thermodynamics, kinetics, metabolism, and more.
  • Hands-on learning in chemical laboratories and instrumentation: Put your knowledge to work in laboratory settings that prompt you to think critically and creatively. Discover mass spectrometers, nuclear magnetic resonance, and surface or thermal analysis techniques in a curriculum designed to prepare students for advanced study. 
  • Research and integrated teamwork: whether you’re investigating a chemical research problem or conducting chemical research for a professional laboratory, you’ll work in teams designed to approximate a graduate or medical school experience.
  • Excellent education: Walla Walla University chemistry students consistently rank higher across the board on standardized success measures, and are routinely accepted for post-graduate studies at institutions such as Loma Linda University, the University of Utah, and the University of Washington. WWU chemistry professors hail from nationally recognized graduate schools, and are active in nationwide professional development.

Careers WWU chemistry graduates enter:

  • Medicine: Students who earn a biochemistry degree are among the best prepared for medical school.
  • Pharmacy: Chemistry students are very successful in this field. Pharmacists are now working more behind the scenes in hospitals to look at drug interactions and with pharmaceutical companies to reformulate existing drugs. Our students have a high acceptance rate to pharmacy schools.
  • Chemist: Many students choose careers at chemists, which allow them to study the composition and properties of chemicals and the way chemicals interact with each other.
  • Pharmaceuticals: An education in chemistry could lead to jobs that involve pharmaceutical development, study, or sales. 
  • Food chemist: As a food chemist, you could work closely with agricultural scientists, who work directly with food crops to refine them and improve their desirable characteristics.
  • Chemical engineer: Chemical engineers employ math, physics, and economics to solve practical problems. Having a degree in chemistry would set you apart from other engineers, as you would have both scientific and technical mastery.

Bachelor Degrees

  • Chemistry (B.A. and B.S.)
  • Biochemistry (B.S.)

Minor

  • Chemistry minor

Graduates from a WWU chemistry-related program continue their education at graduate institutions, begin postdoctoral work beyond the valley, or jump straight into fulfilling careers. Our grads go on to a variety of positions including:

  • Professor of pharmacy at Loma Linda University
  • Graduate school student
  • Postdoctoral work
  • Chemistry and mathematics professors
  • Work in biotech laboratories
  • Work in epidemiology for Adventist Health

"My chemistry education set me up for success through medical school following graduation. To succeed as a chemistry/biochemistry major in undergrad you have to be disciplined to study and put in the time. This gave me good study habits and a very strong knowledge base and foundation to do well in medical school. The chemistry department also pushed me to learn how to think and problem solve in many different ways because of the variety provided in the coursework and lab that have translated into my life beyond chemistry." 


"You’ll have to work hard and study, but it’s worth it. You’ll come out of the program with so much knowledge and great mentors in the field that you’ll be able to pursue any career choice whether it’s teaching, medicine, pharmacy, research, etc. The department is small so it’s a close knit group and you get a lot of time to get to know your professors in the upper division courses. I still stay in touch with many of them."

Last update on February 6, 2019