Chemistry Class

Majors & Minors

Chemistry Degree

Program Overview

The Chemistry program is based on the five traditional sub-disciplines of chemistry - analytical, biological, inorganic, organic and physical. Chemistry 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.

At UW-River Falls, the chemistry experience is based on foundational coursework in the five traditional sub-disciplines, including engaging laboratory experiences. The program is enhanced through in-depth elective courses that allow you to tailor the Chemistry degree to meet your specific interests and goals. The program emphasizes hands-on experience with advanced instrumentation, beginning as early as the first semester.

Highlights of the Chemistry Major

  • The Chemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to award ACS certified degrees in chemistry. The biochemistry options are attractive for many pre-professional programs.
  • The Chemistry curriculum is built on foundational coursework that meets the certification requirements of the ACS. The program in enhanced with in-depth elective courses that allow a student to tailor the degree to his/her specific interests and aptitudes.
  • Chemistry students gain hands-on experience with advanced instrumentation, beginning as early as the first semester.
  • Chemistry faculty have a breadth of expertise in areas of chemistry, such as: analytical, biochemistry, computational, education, inorganic, medicinal, organic, pharmacology, physical and polymer.
  • Chemistry offers an innovative organic-first curriculum option that introduces students to advanced instrumentation in the first semester.
  • Chemistry majors participate in undergraduate research projects with faculty mentors, often presenting the results of their work at regional and national conferences.
  • UW-River Falls has two active student organizations, Chemistry Club and Chem Demons, which provide leadership, professional development and social opportunities for students.   
  • Students can pursue a dual-degree option in Chemical Engineering or Materials Science Engineering.

Skills and Learning Outcomes

As a student in this program, you will learn to:

  • Describe matter and chemical transformations in terms of atoms, molecules and ions.
  • Gain experience with modern chemical instrumentation and develop proficiency with interpreting data obtained from that instrumentation.
  • Develop skills retrieving and evaluating chemical and scientific information.
  • Develop skills in problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • Gain a foundational understanding of laboratory safety.
  • Sharpen skills in oral presentation and scientific writing.
  • Practice skills in teamwork and collaboration.

Career Opportunities

Chemists are in demand in industry, in academia, in government, and in non-profit and entrepreneurship sectors. Increasingly, opportunities are arising in areas where the sectors overlap: industrial–academic research partnerships, government contracts for product or process development, technology transfer programs that allow university professors to form start-up companies based on their discoveries, or consortia that involve three or four job sectors.

Potential Job Titles

  • Lab Analyst
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Method Developer
  • Process Chemist
  • Teacher
  • Quality Control Scientist
  • Research Chemist
  • Technical Sales Support
  • Lab Technician


  • Eurofins Biodiagnostics
  • Pace Analytical
  • CIMA labs
  • Biothera
  • Kock Industries
  • 3M
  • Cargill
  • Interplastic Corporation
  • Reckitt Benckiser
  • Mayo Clinic Health Systems
  • Zoetis
  • Sweet Harvest Foods
  • Apex International Manufacturing, Inc.

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The median annual salary of a chemist or material scientist is over


(Bureau of Labor Statistics)