Chemistry is the study of matter: its structure, composition, physical properties, and reactivity. Education in chemistry prepares our students for work as chemists in industrial or government laboratories, or for postgraduate training in a variety of fields such as chemistry, medicine, dentistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and veterinary medicine. The combination of a chemistry major and a computer science minor provides a strong background for work or further study in the new field of cheminformatics. A chemistry major also provides excellent preparation for becoming a science teacher in primary or secondary schools. Chemistry occupies such a central position among the natural sciences that it is essential training for many other disciplines. For example, it provides the foundation for biochemistry, molecular biology, material science, environmental science, and geology.
The study of chemistry is being extended to new levels of detail by the use of sophisticated instrumentation and computers. Successful study of chemistry requires access to this instrumentation, and Mills is very well equipped. Instruments available for student use include an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, a Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometers, electrochemistry apparatus, high-performance liquid chromatographs, gas-liquid chromatographs, and standard low-speed and high-speed ultracentrifuges, as well as numerous smaller instruments. The computer lab, located in the Betty Irene Moore Natural Sciences Building, supports our emphasis on the use of computers in chemistry.
Opportunities to carry out undergraduate research are available in the department during the academic year and in the summer. Employment and internships may also be arranged for the summer at local scientific laboratories.
Mills College’s innovative Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Programs allow you to earn a master’s degree in one additional year of study. Combining a master’s degree with a liberal arts undergraduate education prepares you for career success and increased options upon graduation. Mills students in this major should consider one of these options:
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