Chemistry, B.S.

Program Overview

Do you like the idea of testing out your ideas in the lab, with hands-on experiments? Do you find it rewarding to discover solutions to complex problems? If you want to study the structure of matter, chemical reactions, and molecules and their applications in the world, consider a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.

Chemistry is vital to solving many of today’s most challenging problems, from generating renewable energy to treating and preventing disease or remediating environmental damage. A Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from PLNU is designed to equip you for a variety of career paths. Whether you are interested in graduate school, industry, teaching, health professions, or other science-related fields, a foundational knowledge of chemistry and its relation to modern society is an important asset. The Chemistry Department’s lab-rich curriculum will give you hands-on experience to prepare you for a successful transition into your career. You will take initial courses in general, organic, and analytical chemistry that will serve as your foundation for all future chemistry courses. Advanced courses like physical chemistry, biochemistry, instrumental analysis, and advanced inorganic chemistry will deepen your knowledge and understanding while further developing skills and practices that translate to a real-world setting.

Student Profile

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Ryan Weiss

Ryan Weiss is just working on curing cancer, no big deal. He graduated from PLNU in 2008 with a degree in chemistry, and then received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Read more


Chemistry Department students also have the opportunity to participate as partners with their professors in nationally funded and reported research projects. Our research students are assigned active roles in faculty research projects, sharing in the failures and triumphs of original research. This experience will teach you how to think like a scientist as you tackle your research projects, giving you the hands-on and practical skills that will prepare you for aspects of industry, graduate school, or health professions schools. You also will have access to sophisticated instrumentation and computational tools for use in courses and labs, all housed within our new state-of-the-art science center.

If you are interested in medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, public health, or veterinary medicine, PLNU has a robust pre-health program to train and equip you. Since 2004, over 90 percent of PLNU students who have applied to health professions schools have been admitted. Similarly, the acceptance rate for chemistry students applying to graduate school programs (M.A., M.S., and Ph.D.) is over 90 percent. By offering rigorous courses alongside individualized support and guidance in the form of summer research opportunities, academic advising and mentorships, laboratory classes, and more, you can be confident and prepared moving onto graduate and health professions schools.

The Chemistry Department aims to provide a space to support you and your passions – academically and personally. This not only means challenging and preparing you intellectually, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Our commitment to your whole person development and success takes shape in many ways. Faculty who are experts in their field will guide you on your way – providing the academic foundation and tools you need to make the next step, while also taking the time to get to know you as a person. In addition to our faculty and staff, our network of science alumni and professionals provide a valuable resource for mentorship and guidance. 

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

With large recent private and government investment in science and technology, employment for chemistry graduates is in a period of unprecedented growth. PLNU chemistry students are able to leverage their knowledge of how material is structured, changes, and reacts to make an impact on important real-world problems. Alumni are also sought after for the ways they are able to confidently combine and apply their passion for science and strong academic foundation within a range of research sectors, including industry, academia, government, nonprofit, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.

Student Profile

Amber Heidbrink

Amber (Gillett) Heidbrink (2013) is a part-time faculty member at Long Beach City College and Golden West College in the Los Angeles area, teaching students introductory chemistry and lab courses. As a professor, she prepares and gives lectures, leads students in the lab and grades tests and assignments. Read more

A Bachelor of Science in Chemistry can lead to the following careers:

  • Lab Technician
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Science Educator
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist
  • Biochemist
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Research Scientist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Toxicologist
  • Management Consultant
  • Patent Lawyer
  • Food Scientist
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Healthcare Professional (Physician, Dentist, Veterinarian, Pharmacist)