At Elmhurst, we know that well-rounded scholars need varied environments to stimulate their minds and provide experience. That's why the Department of Chemistry offers so many opportunities to engage the outside world and expand your skills.
Once a week, junior and senior chemistry majors meet to "talk chemistry." We host outside speakers; students present papers or the results of their research; and we discuss topics of interest to us, such as graduate school or relevant issues involving chemistry. Students come to know each other well, developing valuable, collaborative study groups and close ties to their colleagues.
As a chemistry major, you'll be involved in independent study and research projects. Independent projects are designed in close collaboration with a faculty mentor to coincide with your particular interests and goals. Through this advanced theoretical or laboratory work, you'll be able to demonstrate the cumulative knowledge you will have gained in the course of your undergraduate studies. Many of our students present their research at local seminars and national conferences, gaining valuable experience and exposure to the scientific community.
Our chemistry majors are highly sought-after in the professional world, in large part because they jump-start their careers before graduation by taking advantage of supervised internship opportunities. Locally, organizations and corporations such as Abbott Laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, and McCrone Associates offer challenging and rewarding internship experiences to Elmhurst chemistry majors. These internships serve as an entree into professional life and often lead to full-time employment in desirable positions. Another plus: you may receive college credit for your work.
Elmhurst is home to a new chapter of the National Science Teachers Association and an active student chemistry club: the Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society. The ACS chapter offers a wide range of activities; for example, chemistry students can participate in local and national conferences, present their scholarly work in professional journals, attend seminars, and interact with working professionals, providing valuable connections and learning experiences—long before they graduate. The group also organizes local field trips to laboratories and schedules numerous social activities throughout the year, including the annual holiday party held at a faculty member's home.
Beginning with your first chemistry course, you'll use computers to collect and analyze scientific data, model molecules, carry out mathematical and graphical calculations, do computational research, and present data in classes and seminars. What's more, you'll get hands-on experience with chemical instruments in many courses. Our innovative Chemical Instrumentation modules provide concentrated theory and usage instruction on the instruments you'll encounter in your career.