About Chemistry

Chemistry is an interdisciplinary science that intersects with many facets of modern life, from the newest life-saving drugs to the materials that are used to construct the fastest computer processors.

The chemistry department at Whittier prepares students for a wide variety of careers by giving them a firm foundation in the theory of the many sub-disciplines of chemistry and extensive experience in applying this theory in the laboratory to solve real problems.

Our department offers three Bachelor of Arts degree options that are designed to suit a wide variety of interests.

  • The American Chemical Society (ACS) certified chemistry degree program gives greatest depth of experience in the chemical sciences. 
  • The chemistry degree program allows a student to obtain a firm foundation in chemistry and explore others sciences as dictated by an individual’s interests.
  • The biochemistry degree program involves students in the study of the chemistry of biological processes.

Students who earn any of these degrees are well prepared to pursue advanced degrees in chemistry or medicine. Upon graduation, 25 percent of our graduates attend medical school, 25 percent attend graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry, slightly more than 25 percent enroll in programs in pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, public health, or law, and the remaining students enter industry or become secondary education teachers.

It is our chemistry alumni who offer the best testimonial about the quality educational experience that the department offers:

"Knowledgeable, friendly, and approachable faculty members are the best part of [Whittier’s] chemistry department. They have encouraged and motivated me throughout my undergraduate career and beyond. I would not have continued as a biochemistry graduate student if it was not for the passion and dedication they instilled in me.”
- Santosh Shah ‘07, Biochemistry

"My experience in the department of chemistry at Whittier gave me the opportunity to do undergraduate research, prepared me for summer internships and provided me with a formidable set of skills for my graduate work. The academic atmosphere is great and the mentorship from the faculty members is invaluable.”
- Dr. Nadine Wong Shi Kam ’01, ACS Chemistry

“The best thing about being a chemistry major at Whittier is the personal attention you receive and the very ‘one-on-one’ interaction between students and faculty. The atmosphere is very conducive to the student's academic and personal success. Also, the opportunities available for ‘hands-on’ lab experience are important for a developing scientist."
- Janette Contreras ‘02, Biochemistry

Our chemistry professors are curious to learn about the contributions You can make to our learning community. We invite you to learn more about us, and look forward to welcoming you to our program in person.