Alyssa Smale discusses her research on the forensic analysis of nail polish at crime scenes.
Analyze, solve, create.
If you enjoy investigating how the world works, open the door to exciting careers in the hard sciences with a bachelor's degree in chemistry from LVC. We'll prepare you to become a bench chemist who analyzes data in a lab setting or a researcher who can design and build experiments that tackle questions big and small.
In addition to building a foundation in the principles of chemistry, you'll learn how to think creatively, solve complex problems, and analyze your findings. Our bachelor's degree in chemistry takes you from textbook to lab as you learn how to conduct hands-on experiments and develop an analytical framework for your research questions. In your first semester, you'll put theory into practice by using advanced instrumentation in our advanced Neidig-Garber Science Center.
Planning for graduate school?
Work with some of the best practicing chemists in your field of interest by applying for a student-faculty research project or carrying out an extended research project of your own. You may even want to specialize further by earning your degree in a related program, like biochemistry & molecular biology or physics.
Discover Your Degree Pathway
- Apply to our Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry for first-year undergraduates.
- For advanced preparation for graduate study, apply to our American Chemical Society-Certified Degree.
- Tailor your degree to your interests and career goals by pursuing a related program, like biochemistry & molecular biology, physics, or our career-oriented track for students interested in pre-medicine and health professions.
- Master your degree requirements, from organic to analytical chemistry.
Work Side-By-Side with Practicing Chemists
Every faculty member in the chemistry department at LVC is an active professional in their field, which means you'll have plenty of opportunities to work side-by-side with practicing chemists who know how to teach effectively.
Our chemistry faculty investigates topics including renewable energy sources, new techniques for pharmaceutical applications, and enzymes that power chemotherapy drugs.
The department has received more than $1 million in grant funding from organizations like the National Science Foundation and Merck/AAAS—and you can be part of projects like these.
What Makes Studying Chemistry at LVC Special?
- Learn in our state-of-the-art facility, the Neidig-Garber Science Center, complete with teaching and student research laboratories and advanced instrumentation including mass and infrared spectrometers.
- Conduct research with our award-winning faculty, who specialize in areas like energy production and pharmaceutical application.
- Live with other student researchers on campus in LVC's STEM House for first-year students.
- According to College Factual, Lebanon Valley College’s chemistry major is among the top 15% in the nation for most focused.
In-Depth Research and On-the-Job Experience
We want you to choose upper-level courses based on your interests and pursue the self-directed research opportunities that will be most meaningful to your life-long career in chemistry or the hard sciences.
Our alumni do well in their careers with a chemistry degree because they collaborate extensively with LVC faculty on research projects. With support from your mentors, you can conduct independent research on areas like forensic science, biofuel, and early iron deficiency. Present your findings at regional, national, and international scientific meetings, and published in scientific journals like the Journal of Organic Chemistry and Journal of Chemical Education.
Gain additional hands-on experience in chemistry-related careers with our for-credit internship program. Find out what it means to be a bench scientist for a pharmaceutical company, or how chemists develop independent projects and methods of inquiry. You'll leave with a clear set of career goals and real-world experience on your resumé.
- Apply to our Research First for incoming freshmen, which pairs newly admitted students with faculty-led research teams.
- Join a student-faculty research project, design one of your own, or take your career plan for a test drive with an internship.
What You Can Do with a Chemistry Degree
- Our bachelor's degree in chemistry prepares you to pursue independent research at the graduate level, or launch your career as a bench chemist in an industry that fascinates you. Work in the medical sciences, pharmacology, animal science, or nutrition—or, like many of our graduates, pursue graduate studies that might lead to a career as a professor, surgeon, or cancer researcher.
- Recent LVC graduates work as analysts, researchers, and scientists for organizations including the National Institutes of Health, Hershey Medical Center, and Eurofins Laboratories. Others have pursued advanced degrees at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California at Berkeley.
- LVC's Chemistry Department received the 2016 Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation—and we were the only institution in the U.S. to earn this distinction that year.
- The department has a longstanding history of using national benchmarking exams such as the ETS-Major Field Exam in Chemistry and the ACS Subject Exams to assess student learning.
- Alumni from the past 10 years of our programs have scored in the top quartile nationally on the ETS Exam.
- Faculty members have received grants from the National Science Foundation, Petroleum Research Fund, Merck/AAAS, and Research Corporation. These third-party endorsements speak to the quality of our program.
LVC has fantastic science professors—they all came from competitive Ph.D. programs, and they pushed me to succeed. It was the one-on-one mentoring and dedication I received from my professors that helped me stand out.
Median pay for chemists and material scientists (2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
of LVC chemistry majors go on to graduate or professional study
Expected job growth, 2018-2028 (as fast as average, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)