Chemistry + Chemical Biology

Chemistry is the study of the basic structural units of matter—what things are made of, what their properties are, and how they act and interact.

Chemical biology applies logic and methods from chemistry to the study of complex and challenging questions in biology. To a significant extent, interest in chemical biology has been inspired by the growth of the biotechnology industry.

Learn more about our undergraduate degree programs.

Qualities and Skills of a Chemist

  • Creative, Methodical, Analytical And Precise
  • Careful, Patient and Detail-Oriented
  • Communication and Quantitative Skills (PUL*)
  • Excellent Observational Skills
  • Excellent Time Management Skills
  • Mechanically-Inclined
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (PUL*)
  • Professional Values and Ethics (PUL*)

*PUL = Principles of Undergraduate Learning define a set of abilities and skills that undergraduate students are expected to master. They reflect the expertise that graduate and professional schools and the workforce are seeking.

Why Study Chemistry?

Chemistry plays an integral role in today's scientific endeavors. As science has become increasingly interdisciplinary, fundamental scientific problems focus on the chemical nature of matter.

The habits developed through the study of chemistry and chemical biology are ones that will serve you for a lifetime. Scientific research requires not only evidence and logic, but also honesty, creativity, patience, and openness to new ideas. The problem-solving and reasoning skills you develop, as well as an increased understanding of science, will provide a great foundation for approaching any type of work and engaging your community.

Occupational Outlook + Average Salary

Employment for chemists is expected to grow by 3% for the 2008-2018 decade. Graduates with a master’s degree or a PhD will experience better opportunities, especially at larger pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. (2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

Salaries earned by chemists are dependent on degree level and whether they are employed by industry, government or academia. According to the most recent survey by the American Chemical Society, the overall median salaries by degree are the following:

  • BS: $72,600
  • MS: $82,000
  • PhD:$101,000

According to the May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Indiana, average salaries for biologists were as follows:

Science PREPs Office: Pre-Professional + Career Preparation for Science Majors

  • Explore career options and evaluate majors based on your interests, skills and values.
  • Plan for graduate or professional school.
  • Find jobs, internships and job-shadowing programs. 

Learn more at Science PREPs.