W&J offers a rigorous Chemistry program, certified by the American Chemical Society and housed in the LEED-certified Swanson Science Center, that fosters passion for the science while showing how it connects to the fields of biology, physics, medicine, environmental sciences, neuroscience, and engineering.
Our Chemistry Department faculty take pride in the robust classroom instruction they provide, and strive to engage and challenge students to apply what they learn in our state-of-the-art campus laboratories. Students conduct one-on-one research with faculty members, develop their leadership skills, serve as laboratory assistants and participate in community outreach events like STEMFest in the City of Washington.
Beyond the Classroom
W&J’s Chemistry students regularly present their work at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting & Exposition, have been recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF), received Fulbright scholarships, and have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Physical Chemistry or the Journal of Chemical Education. With this national exposure, students have ample opportunities to network and find internship experiences, helping them become competitive as they pursue diverse post-secondary goals in a variety of fields such as law, education, brewing, public health, and medicine.
Our faculty works individually with students to refine their applications for internships, which are often supported with funding from the College. Our students have interned at organizations such as the Department of Justice Kinex Pharmaceuticals, and Mylan, and have conducted research in laboratories at Pitt, NYU, and UCLA. The College has also funded student research in England, the Netherlands, France, Ecuador, Spain, Costa Rica, and China.
W&J Chemistry alumni – who regularly return to campus to mentor and network with students – are employed at Merck, DuPont, PPG, Intel, L’Oréal, UPMC, the FBI and Siemens Engineering as surgeons, chemists, physical therapists, hospitalists, and lawyers, among other occupations. Students have earned graduate or medical degrees from major university programs including Columbia, Princeton, Penn, Cornell, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, to name a few.
Notable young alumni include Jordan Hosfelt ’18, who were recently selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as recipients of graduate research fellowships. Stevens also received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study to support diversity and inclusion in science.
Instrumentation & Resources
The chemistry faculty recognizes the power of modern instrumentation in dealing with the problems fundamental to the study of chemistry both in the academic and industrial setting. Today any student graduating without proper training in and access to modern instrumentation is at a decided disadvantage. The department possesses a wide range of instrumental equipment for use by our students in laboratory courses and research projects. Major pieces of instrumental equipment are listed below.
In addition, the department is well stocked with standard laboratory equipment including analytical balances, pH meters, Mel-Temps, Bausch and Lomb Spectronic 20's, rotary evaporators, refrigerators, vacuum pumps, drying ovens, calorimeters, osmometer, and a magnetic susceptibility balance.
The department has a Varian Inova 400 MHz Widebore Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrophotometer equipped with autosampler. This technique is critical in chemistry, allowing us to identify the structural backbone of molecules. Students first encounter the NMR in Organic Chemistry I (CHM 160). They use it in a variety of courses including Organic Chemistry II (CHM 170), Intermediate Organic (CHM 320), Advanced Synthesis Laboratory (CHM 380), Chemical Measurements (CHM 385), and Independent Study (CHM 500/501).
The NMR was purchased through a Major Research Instrumentation Grant from the National Science Foundation (CHE-0535656) with more recent support provided by a generous donation from the Anderson Family.