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Our Program

A degree in chemistry will open many doors - it is the central science that connects physics, biology, engineering, and medicine. Chemists are at the forefront of exciting research in nanotechnology, medicine, and environmental technologies, such as fuel cells.

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls chemistry department offers an innovative organic-first curriculum that introduces students to advanced instrumentation, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, in the first semester of college. This is especially beneficial for incoming students who have had a solid preparation in chemistry prior to enrolling at River Falls. Our facilities include a computer lab maintained for chemistry students.

Hands-on learning and faculty interaction are important components of the chemistry program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Chemistry faculty have breadth of expertise in areas of chemistry such as analytical, biochemistry, computational, education, inorganic, medicinal, organic, pharmacology, physical and polymer. Students learn in small classes and have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on undergraduate research early in their college careers. Each chemistry student, for example, will have a faculty member to serve as a mentor for a research project in their area of interest.

For more information about Chemistry, please contact:

Karl P. Peterson - Chair
253 Centennial Science Hall


According to the American Chemical Society, 60 percent of chemists work in industry, 24 percent work in academic institutions, 9 percent work in government jobs, and the remainder are in non-traditional careers. Nearly 50 percent of all chemists do research, yet often they spend a considerable amount of their time outside of a laboratory; 10 percent are involved in chemical production.

Our chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society and offers a variety of degree tracks, including pre-professional programs.

Chemistry Education

Students interested in teaching have career flexibility through our Chemistry Education program. Through the program, students are eligible to teach junior and senior level high school chemistry, as well as middle school general science content. This dual option helps our graduates stand out within the teaching industry.

Global. Innovative. Excellent.

Students are encouraged to extend their learning beyond the classroom through student organizations. Students interested in chemistry get involved with the following organizations:

Chemistry Club

The purpose of this organization is to further the interest in chemistry of its members, help bring recognition to the field of chemistry, participate in school activities, support the policies of the university, and further the knowledge of opportunities in the field of chemistry.

Chem Demons

This group meets on a regular basis to learn various chemistry demonstrations and several times a year puts on shows for the campus or River Falls community.