The Chemistry Major
You may pursue a program leading to either a B.A. or B.S. degree. The major consists of 39 to 48 credits. The 39 hour sequence is often selected by double majors and pre-professional students. The longer sequence is strongly recommended for students contemplating a career as a professional chemist.
Chemistry is an exciting diverse field. The discipline of working in chemistry gives you habits of mind that serve you well throughout your life. There is real value in tackling a hard task capably. That is what we offer you. Our major has a core requirement that includes one semester of undergraduate research.
Choose one of several emphases, or paths of study.
- You might be interested in a career in research chemistry. You might follow the example of Steve Chamberlain, a Millikin BS chemist now working for Merck and Co. Or you might be like Ann Louise Sumner who earned a PhD in Analytical Chemistry while studying the chemistry of the atmosphere. Or you might like to work in the food industry. ADM and Tate & Lyle, large companies in Decatur, have many Millikin alumni as employees including Mark Matlock, group vice president at ADM. John Hoots, PhD, a chemist at Nalco who has many patents in the field of corrosion chemistry, might inspire you.
- You might be interested in the field of biochemistry. Millikin alumna Emilie Porter Huck received her PhD from Wisconsin in that field (2003) and now works as a patent attorney.
- You might be interested in teaching. Angie Sparks Lawrence teaches high school chemistry in Bloomington, IL, while Nancy Carter Dopke teaches college chemistry at Alma College in Michigan.
- You might be interested in business. Some of our students have started their own companies including Tricia Cox, founder and president of The Culinary Palette. Karen Green owns a chain of children's clothing stores.
- You might be interested in a professional career in medicine or dentistry. Rebecca Klepzig Pederson, practicing in Freeport, IL, Bob Kraus, neurosurgeon in Decatur, or Gary Simms, Decatur dentist, were among many Millikin chemistry grads who chose medical careers.
- You might be interested in pharmacy. Norm Hoback, class of '78, owns a pharmacy consulting business called "Norm the Pharmacist".
Most of our majors complete an internship during their junior or senior years. To learn more about the university's requirements for internships, take a look at the registrar's internship website. To find out about specific opportunities, talk to a chemistry faculty member and visit this page that the ACS chapter maintains. The ACS also maintains a site of summer research and internship opportunities.
When you are ready to include CH470-Chemistry Internship in your schedule, you will need to complete an Internship Learning Contract and attach it to your Individual Study Contract. You will need to get several chemistry department signatures on the contract form before getting the dean's signature (209 Shilling Hall).
International Educational Opportunities
The Chemistry Department encourages students to study abroad and periodically offers opportunities to do so. Check out our International Educational Opportunities page to see what is coming up in the near future.
If you decide you want to go to graduate school in chemistry, you should begin your search no later than fall semester of your senior year. The student ACS chapter maintains a list of links to various graduate departments.