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Chemistry programs teach people about the structure, composition, and nature of matter.

Chemistry programs include topics such as:


In chemistry programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Many community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in chemistry. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. Students may work as a lab technician with an associate degree, or transfer to a college or university for further study.

Most colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in chemistry. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. A bachelor's degree prepares students for an entry-level position in many chemical industries.

Most universities offer graduate degrees in chemistry. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, or a related science, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

No matter where you go to school, you're likely to take a set of "core" courses similar to the list above. Once you've completed those courses, you can take advanced courses that focus on a specific area of chemistry.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate students usually focus on one branch - organic, inorganic, physical, or analytical chemistry, or a particular application. Typical courses vary by specialty. All require original research and expertise in use of computers. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

Things to Know

Most chemistry programs require you to operate sophisticated lab instruments such as mass spectrometers. You also use computers to create models that simulate chemical processes.

Many jobs in this field require writing and clear communication. Taking writing and other humanities courses will develop your communication skills.

Internships can introduce you to the many practical applications of chemistry. For example, you may learn how chemistry can impact agriculture and research ways to improve crop production for farmers.


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