About Chemistry at Bucknell
"I came to Bucknell to do science, but I wasn't sure what to choose as a major. The professors here ignited a passion for chemistry that I didn't know I had. I started out not knowing much about chemistry, but by the summer of my freshman year I was working in a professor's lab on something that has never been done before. It's cool to have the opportunity to do research that could end up being published."
- Andy Voter, chemistry major, Class of 2012
Bucknell's chemistry program emphasizes a solid foundation in the field of chemistry, small classes, one-to-one learning with faculty members and undergraduate research opportunities.
Undergraduate research opportunities
Students can get involved in research with faculty mentors as early as their first year. Each summer, 25-30 students conduct research full-time for 10 weeks, often becoming co-authors on published research papers. From 2006 to 2010, Bucknell chemistry professors have published 48 papers that have included 60 undergraduate co-authors.
Bucknell's chemistry faculty members are dedicated teachers who maintain rigorous research programs in their labs. Their areas of expertise include organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, biophysical, biological, environmental and polymer chemistry. In the past five years, the chemistry department faculty members have secured in excess of $1.6 million in external funding to support their scholarly efforts.
A solid foundation
The centerpiece of the chemistry curriculum at Bucknell is collaborative faculty-student research; learning chemistry by doing chemistry. To prepare students to productively participate in research as early as possible, chemistry students begin with organic chemistry, where they explore diverse chemical reactions after a brief review of general chemistry concepts. The early immersion in organic chemical reactivity sets the stage for deeper explorations of chemistry throughout the chemistry degree.
Access to major instruments
Majors instruments available to undergraduates include 400 and 600 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, an atomic force microscope, Akta Purifier FPLC systems, two research-grade mass spectrometers, X-ray diffractometer, and much more.
Accelerated M.S. program
Selected students can earn both a B.S. and an M.S. in four years. These students spend three 10-week summer sessions conducting research that forms the basis for their master's thesis. Students in the B.S./M.S. program earn the B.S. degree at the end of their senior year and the M.S. degree by successfully defending their independent thesis at the end of the summer. And they still obtain a liberal arts foundation in the humanities and social sciences.
Cell biology and biochemistry degree
Chemistry and biology collaborate to offer an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in cell biology and biochemistry. The program leverages the faculty's strengths in molecular and structural biology, and provides a curriculum tailored to best prepare students to pursue careers throughout the life sciences.
Nearly half of all chemistry majors continue on to professional or graduate programs after Bucknell. Others pursue careers such as research chemists, teachers, technologists and physicians - even attorneys, web developers, ministers and more. With their liberal arts foundation, mentoring from faculty and research experience, chemistry majors are well prepared for a broad range of opportunities.