More about Chemistry

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Chemistry is the study of the principles that govern matter and the chemical transformations of matter. This fundamental discipline plays a pivotal role in all of the sciences. In fact, life itself is essentially a complicated system of interrelated chemical processes. In the study of Chemistry, the student is exposed to atomic and molecular structure, properties of matter, chemical reactions, and spectroscopy.

A student who successfully completes the Chemistry Major gains basic theoretical knowledge and practical experimental skills in areas of inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry. Courses in the supporting areas provide a basic foundation in calculus, physics, and subjects necessary to understanding modern chemical concepts. Coordinated laboratory experiences reinforce concepts presented in lecture classes. Students also benefit from “hands- on” use of modern chemical instrumentation and from student research, a requirement of every student majoring in chemistry.

Knowledge of chemistry is necessary for all health and allied health professional programs, geochemistry, environmental science, and molecular biology. Students seeking entrance into professional and graduate programs in these areas are

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well prepared as Chemistry majors. Employment opportunities (academic and research laboratories, governmental agencies, hazardous materials management, sales, environmental testing, and remediation) remain good for students possessing undergraduate degrees in Chemistry. Opportunities expand exponentially for those students who continue their training for a masters or doctoral degree. Chemistry graduates from Western Colorado University have been successful in their careers because of the theoretical and practical training received in their areas of emphasis.

The Chemistry Major at Western Colorado University consists of a comprehensive program offering four areas of emphasis selected according to the interests and career goals of the student. These emphases are: General Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Secondary Education Licensure.

The Secondary Education Licensure in Chemistry qualifies students for the State of Colorado License in Science Education. Other Chemistry emphases may also be used for licensure but may require additional classes. In addition, the student must fulfill the requirements of the Secondary Licensure Program (see description under Education).