Chemistry Major

NSU chemistry majors benefit from small class sizes and personal attention from NSU's highly qualified faculty.

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About The Program
College of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry Major

NSU chemistry majors are encouraged to explore their individual interests and work closely with professors on research projects. Students may be able to present the results of their research at national or regional meetings - even to publish their works in scientific journals.


As part of NSU's preprofessional programs, the study of chemistry provides excellent preparation for medical, dental, veterinary, or chiropractic school admission. It also prepares students to attend graduate school or work in the chemical industry.


In our program, you'll learn to operate a wide range of modern instruments, including:


  • Ultraviolet visible and infrared (UV and IR) spectrophotometers
  • Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and
  • A nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrophotometer


NSU chemistry students pursuing the chemistry major have the option of taking courses in analytical, biochemistry, organic, chemical education, environmental, and physical chemistry or material science.


Chemistry-Forensic Science Specialization

If you're patient, detail-oriented and like to solve crime puzzles, you can specialize in chemistry-forensic science at NSU to prepare for a career as a forensic chemist. Forensic chemists analyze physical evidence and samples for clues to solve crimes.


If you'd like to work with trace evidence, such as glass, hairs, and gunshot residue, focus on instrumentation skills and take courses in geology, soil chemistry, and materials science.


If you prefer forensic biology, such as DNA analysis, take microbiology, genetics, and biochemistry courses.


If you're interested in obtaining and interpreting toxicology reports, you should study physiology, biochemistry, and chemistry.



Chemist: Potential careers include analytical, inorganic, medicinal, organic, physical or theoretical chemist; biochemist, teacher, professor, materials scientist.


Forensic chemist: Forensic chemists usually work in labs associated with a federal, state, or local police department, medical examiner's office, forensic services lab, or branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


More career opportunities may be found in other fields of forensic science, education, or administration.


Chemists often work for private, for-profit businesses such as pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms and the chemical manufacturing industry; others are consultants or independent business owners. The education sector employs chemists, and many work in government.


Many chemistry majors go on to earn advanced degrees and enter the health care industry: medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry or veterinary. 


Northern's placement rate the past five years was 82 percent for medical school and 83 percent for dental school - see what our graduates have to say about the advantages of earning their undergraduate degree at Northern!


For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact NSU Career Services.


NSU offers extraordinary hands-on opportunities undergraduate research or internships in chemistry. At NSU, students work closely in the lab with professors and equipment in a way not often available in other classrooms and labs. NSU students also have the chance to perform original chemistry research on their own, under faculty mentorship. Many students find that a summer undergraduate research project or internship helps crystallize their career goals.

NSU College of Arts and Sciences Internships

Contact Information 

For more information about this degree, contact Jessica Ness, or call 605-626-2272 or 605-626-7900. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or

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