What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?
Students in Chemistry learn theory and laboratory techniques to ensure their safety and success in the lab. Students learn to use instruments such as the infrared spectrometer, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and atomic absorption spectrophotometer to identify and characterize chemicals.
Most of Western's Chemistry courses include lab components, so students gain hands-on experience with the topics discussed in lectures and texts.
Beyond the Classroom
Students in Chemistry take field trips to facilities such as the Crested Butte wastewater treatment plant, where they collect water samples for metal analysis. Classes have also visited the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) lab to see crime data analyzed.
Students attend a variety of conferences and work with faculty members on original research. Western students have also participated in summer research at Vanderbilt University, Montana State University, the University of Wyoming and other institutions offering Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Stipends for these summer research positions range from $3,500 to $4,500, with housing included.
With a degree in chemistry from Western, students can follow several career paths, such as teaching, working in industry and conducting research.
Many Western Chemistry graduates have gone on to pharmacy and graduate schools. Others are teaching, or working in labs as quality control or environmental analysts.