Chemistry and Biochemistry at Providence College

Why Study Chemistry and Biochemistry at Providence College?
Close mentoring from faculty experts. Hands-on research experiences. State-of-the-art instrumentation. Active-learning pedagogies. And in a supportive, inclusive environment that all students can call home.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is committed to providing our students with a life-changing experience in their chosen degree program. Our curriculum emphasizes active-learning and technology-enhanced teaching pedagogies, foundational laboratory instruction in each subdiscipline, and independent and/or collaborative undergraduate research experiences as early as the first year. You will be supported at every turn by faculty mentors and your fellow majors, you will be able to think critically and reflectively about the natural and physical world, you will be able to communicate scientific work through peer-reviewed publication or presentation at national meetings, and you will graduate ready to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

Our department is accredited by the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Department Website

What you'll study

Chemistry
The Bachelor of Science program in chemistry is designed to provide in-depth training in all areas of chemistry, including opportunities to conduct undergraduate research. This program is for students who are interested in advanced graduate degrees or employment as a chemist in the chemical/pharma industry immediately upon graduation. The Bachelor of Arts program in chemistry is more flexible, allowing students to tailor their degree with other interests.
The Bachelor of Arts program in chemistry/secondary education is designed to provide training in all areas of chemistry for those seeking careers as high school chemistry teachers. The combination of chemistry and education courses has been approved by the Interstate Certification Compact and allows the student to meet the certification requirements of the State of Rhode Island and most other states.

Biochemistry 
The Bachelor of Science program in biochemistry provides in-depth training in the chemistry of biological macromolecules, including opportunities to conduct undergraduate research. The program is excellent preparation for students interested in research or advanced study, employment in industry, and for those interested in the health professions.

Selected Courses

  • Billion Dollar Molecules
  • You Are What You Eat
  • The New, New Thing
  • The Science of Food
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Chemistry of Materials

Features of our Curriculum

  • 400 hours of laboratory training
  • Direct mentoring by Ph.D.-level scientists (no TAs)
  • Small, majors-only sections of chemistry courses
  • Vibrant seminar (“Cheminar”) program
  • Opportunities for undergraduate research

Faculty

Our faculty members are experts in their fields, but they have chosen to teach at PC because they enjoy mentoring the next generation of scientists. Our faculty don’t just impart knowledge; they mentor and partner with students in the pursuit of new discoveries. Research projects involving undergraduate students have been or are currently funded by the National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society, National Institutes of Health, the Dreyfus Foundation, Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and other prestigious organizations. In addition, our faculty:

  • come from diverse backgrounds and hold degrees from some of the finest institutions in the country, including Penn State, Wisconsin, Virginia, UPenn, Illinois, UCSD, Texas, Cornell, and Michigan;
  • are actively engaged in research across a wide variety of subject areas, including analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry/chemical biology, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry; and
  • have their work published in leading scientific journals and nationally recognized publications, including: Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chemical Physics LettersBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Organic Letters, Tetrahedron Letters, ACS Omega, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Journal of Chemical Education, and The Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry.

ENGAGED LEARNING

 

Our program offers students a multitude of opportunities to put knowledge learned in the classroom into action. Our students:

  • take part in independent, group, and faculty-led research projects; students can also write proposals to the Undergraduate Research Committee to earn funding to support such projects;
  • present research with faculty members at local and national meetings and conferences, including the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Gordon Research Conferences, National Organic Symposium, and the National Meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; many students also co-publish their work with faculty members in scholarly journals;
  • are eligible for a paid summer research experience under the direction of a faculty mentor; these experiences include a lower rate for on-campus summer housing.
  • are eligible to participate in unique programs, such as the Walsh Student Research Fellowship program, Women in STEM speaker series, National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs, NASA Student Airborne Research Program, and the Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Scholarships in Chemistry, Applied Physics, Mathematics, or Computer Science for exceptional senior female students.

Outcomes

97%

of 2017-2021 chemistry and biochemistry graduates are employed and/or attending graduate school


  • 66% are employed only
  • 20% are attending school only
  • 11% are employed and attending school

Selected Places of Employment/Service

  • Pfizer
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • MEDITECH
  • Twin Cities Pain Clinic
  • Emergent BioSolutions
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Charm Sciences
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Nardone Medical Associates

Selected Graduate Schools

  • Colorado State University
  • Georgetown University
  • New York University
  • Providence College
  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Rochester

Selected Professional Schools (medical, dental, business MBA)

  • Drexel University
  • Rush University
  • University of Notre Dame