If you enjoy solving complex problems and want to gain a better understanding of how the world works, a chemistry degree may offer an opportunity to pursue your passions.
Chemistry majors learn how to analyze data, conduct experiments, and communicate their findings. These skills are very desirable to many employers and, as a result, may open doors to a wide range of career paths.
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Earning an online chemistry degree may be your first step toward a fulfilling career that allows you to take part in resolving some of humanity’s most pressing problems.
Online Chemistry Degrees
The study of chemistry involves exploring the ways that different kinds of matter interact with, affect, and transform one another. Chemists answer fundamental questions about how and why organic and inorganic materials behave in the ways that they do.
During a chemistry program, you will likely take many high-level mathematics and science courses, including:
- Organic chemistry
- Physical chemistry
- Inorganic chemistry
- Analytical Chemistry
As a chemistry major, you may choose to pursue a concentration, which allows you to focus your coursework on a specific area of interest. For example, you might choose to specialize in biochemistry, which combines the study of biology and chemistry.
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Chemistry students not only develop strong skills in math and science but also become adept at gathering and interpreting data and communicating information. This combination of skills makes this a flexible major since it can help prepare you for a number of career paths.
After earning a chemistry bachelor degree, you may be well-suited to a position with a broad pool of employers, including:
- Agricultural companies
- Healthcare facilities
- Law enforcement agencies
- Pharmaceutical firms
- Colleges and universities
- Scientific journals
Within these organizations, graduates might work as a chemist or similar scientists, or they may choose to use their technical and scientific skills for different purposes. For instance, a chemistry degree provides a solid foundation for a career as a scientific writer who writes for blogs and journals.
If you are interested in a career in education, a chemistry degree may also be a first step toward becoming a science teacher. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry is a popular option for students who want to pursue an advanced degree. A chemistry bachelor may strengthen your application for a chemistry graduate program or a master’s degree in a related area, like chemical engineering.
Chemistry Careers & Salaries
A bachelor’s degree in chemistry may serve as preparation for a variety of in-demand careers. These include positions with private businesses, government agencies, academic institutions, and healthcare facilities.
The analytical and practical skills that chemistry majors can develop are applicable to a variety of fields, including food science, education, forensic science, and laboratory technology. Many chemistry professionals in these types of positions earn above-average salaries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some popular chemistry career paths, along with their median salaries.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Chemists and Materials Scientists||$79,760|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||$76,530|
|Agricultural and Food Scientists||$74,160|
|Forensic Science Technicians||$61,930|
|High School Teachers||$61,820|
|Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians||$57,800|
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects strong growth for several chemistry career paths over the next ten years. For example, employment for forensic science technicians (11% job growth) and agricultural and food scientists (8%) is expected to grow at faster than average rates.
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In addition, many other positions, such as chemical technicians, chemists, and materials scientists, are expected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations.
BS in Chemistry Curriculum & Courses
The curriculum of a chemistry bachelor’s program begins with general education courses before shifting to the study of advanced mathematics and science. Each school has its own course sequence, but these are some common classes:
- Organic Chemistry: In this course, you’ll learn about the structure, reactions, and synthesis of organic compounds, including alkanes, alcohols, and ethers.
- Calculus: Students in this class study mathematical principles like transcendental functions, integration techniques, and parametric equations.
- Physics: This class incorporates scientific principles and the study of calculus into topics like vectors, laws of motion, and gravitation.
- Chemistry Communication: In this class, you’ll explore oral, written, and digital forms of communication in the scientific community.
- Physical Chemistry: This course centers on the study of thermodynamics and atomic and molecular structure from theoretical and experimental perspectives.
- Chemical Biology: You’ll learn about the chemical foundations of biological organisms.
- Inorganic Chemistry: The principles of inorganic chemistry—including periodic properties, bonding, and acid-base theory—are the focus of this class.
- Analytical Chemistry: Students in this course receive an overview of analytical chemistry, including volumetric, potentiometric, and photometric chemical analysis.
- Instrumental Analysis: You’ll learn how to properly operate chemical instruments, including basic electronics, X-ray spectroscopies, and radiochemistry.
- Computational Chemistry: In this course, you’ll learn the principles of computational chemistry, including molecular mechanics and quantum mechanical calculations.
Many programs also require students pursuing chemistry degrees to complete courses on how to conduct research, which is an essential component of many careers in the field.
Schools evaluate several different factors when deciding whether to admit students to a chemistry bachelor’s program. The criteria often include:
- Transcripts. Some schools look for a minimum high school GPA.
- Test scores. Some schools—but not all—require minimum ACT or SAT scores for admission.
- Personal statement. Your statement or essay can describe your interests and goals.
- References. You may ask teachers with knowledge of your skills and abilities to write letters of recommendation.
Because of the nature of a chemistry program, some schools also prefer students to have completed advanced mathematics and science courses in high school.
It’s especially beneficial to earn a degree from a regionally accredited school, as schools with regional accreditation status have met a high bar for excellence.
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Regional accrediting bodies have extremely high standards. A postsecondary school that has undergone and passed its assessments is likely to offer a valuable academic experience for students. Credits from regionally accredited schools are often more likely to transfer, which is critical if you choose to change schools or pursue an advanced degree in the future.
American Chemical Society (ACS) Accreditation
Many of the strongest chemistry bachelor’s degree programs also have accreditation from the American Chemical Society (ACS). To receive ACS approval, a program must offer a rigorous curriculum that helps prepare students to become professionals in the field.
Attending an ACS-accredited school can help ensure that you are getting the most value out of your academic program. It may also be beneficial to your future career. Employers often look more favorably on job candidates with degrees from chemistry programs with ACS accreditation.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Many students pursue financial aid to help reduce the cost of tuition and additional school fees. You could begin the financial aid process by filing a FAFSA, which determines whether you are eligible for federal aid. The state where you live may also offer aid programs like grants.
Scholarships are another source of funding. You can search an online database or speak to your school’s financial aid office about programs that match your major or personal circumstances. If you are currently working, you can inquire with your employer about the potential for tuition reimbursement or assistance.
What Is a Chemistry Degree?
A chemistry degree is focused on the study of scientific and mathematical concepts. Students typically take introductory and general education courses before moving on to specialized subjects, including physical, biological, and organic chemistry.
In these classes, you will learn about the fundamental elements and composition of matter as well as the ways in which chemical reactions transform it. Many bachelor’s programs also allow you to select a concentration, such as molecular pharmacology.
Chemistry degrees involve lectures and laboratory courses, which allow you to become knowledgeable in the field and adept at conducting experiments and clearly communicating your findings.
What Can You Do with a Chemistry Degree?
Students often wonder what you can do with a chemistry degree. Over the course of a chemistry program, you could develop critical thinking, analytical, and research skills that lend themselves well to a variety of careers. Some chemistry majors become chemists, materials scientists, chemical engineers, or chemical technicians.
You may also choose to use your chemistry degree for a related scientific field, such as environmental or agricultural science. This type of degree is also well-suited to a career as a technical writer or high school science teacher. Public schools require state licensure for teachers, though.
Is Chemistry a Hard Major?
It’s beneficial for chemistry majors to have strong math and science skills. The study of chemistry involves looking at the elements and compounds that make the world what it is, and that requires a thorough understanding of advanced scientific principles.
Students enrolled in chemistry bachelor’s programs generally take courses that involve advanced mathematics, particularly calculus, and physics. They also learn about several different types of chemistry, such as organic, inorganic, and analytical chemistry.
The courses that make up a chemistry curriculum generally involve lectures and hands-on lab work. Many require extensive testing to ensure that you have mastered the material.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelors in Chemistry Online?
The amount of time it takes to graduate with a bachelors degree in chemistry depends on the program’s required credit hours and your other obligations.
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Students who are enrolled full-time and follow a traditional, 16-week semester generally graduate in 4 years. If you have dual enrollment credits from high school, take classes year-round, or enroll in an accelerated program, you may be able to graduate in a shorter period of time. Students who attend school part-time often take longer to earn their degrees.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor in Chemistry vs. Chemical Engineering Degree?
Chemistry and chemical engineering programs often have overlapping coursework, but there are distinctions between these majors.
|Bachelor in Chemistry||Bachelor in Chemical Engineering|
Both chemistry and chemical engineering can lead to lucrative careers.
What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor of Chemistry vs. Biology Degree?
Biology and chemistry are two of the most popular scientific degrees. Here are some of the most important distinctions between them.
|Bachelor of Chemistry||Bachelor of Biology|
Biochemistry courses allow students to study both subjects in combination.
Is a Chemistry Degree Worth It?
Yes, a chemistry degree is worth it for many students. A variety of employers—including universities, research labs, government agencies, and healthcare facilities—hire professionals with chemistry expertise.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this field will likely be steady or faster than average over the next ten years. This includes chemists and chemical engineers, who have projected growth rates of 6% and 14%, respectively.
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Chemistry degrees are also quite flexible. You might use this degree to pursue a career as a specialized scientist, or you might use your knowledge and experience to pursue work as a writer, educator, or consultant.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Chemistry Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona State University offers a BA in Chemistry that can be earned online. Each course is just 7.5 weeks long. Potential courses include Elementary Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and General Organic Chemistry I and II. Labs are conducted in person. The program can help prepare students for a wide range of career paths.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Georgia Gwinnett College offers a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in Chemistry. The program is designed to lead to teacher certification to teach science at the middle and high school levels in the state of Georgia. It offers the opportunity to participate in a year-long student teaching experience.
Georgia Gwinnett College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of North Dakota offers a BS in Chemistry that can be earned on campus. The program’s accelerated track allows students to start work on their master’s degree early and potentially graduate with both a bachelor’s and a master’s in 5 years. UND provides small class sizes and hands-on learning experiences. There are activities and student clubs offered for chemistry majors.
UND is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of West Georgia offers a Bachelor of Science with a major in Chemistry that can be earned on campus. Optional tracks are available in Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry. Potential courses include Introductory Chemistry, Calculus I and II, and Principles of Chemistry I and Lab.
UWG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Western Governors University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Science Education (Secondary Chemistry) that is designed to lead to teacher licensure. There are start dates on the first of every month, and most students can graduate within 32 months. Potential courses include Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Organic Chemistry
Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry Online
A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is ideal for students who love experimenting, problem-solving, and analyzing in-depth. This degree program may create opportunities to pursue a career within your preferred field.
To earn a chemistry degree, it’s necessary to complete many advanced science courses as well as build skills in communication, research, and analysis. If you are ready to pursue a future in chemistry, you can begin by researching online programs at accredited colleges and universities.
The sooner you find the chemistry program and concentration that’s right for you, the sooner you may be on your way to obtaining a personally and professionally rewarding degree.