Why Study Chemistry?
Chemistry plays a role in everyone’s lives. Chemists study the structure and interactions of basic molecules that form all matter. They are at the forefront of designing new coatings to allow aircraft to avoid detection, or protect buildings and bridges from corrosion, among other technological advances of our time. They use their knowledge to analyze crime scene evidence, or aid in the diagnosis of disease. Advances in chemistry are vital for food and fuel production, new and more effective medicines, and development of new and improved materials such as adhesives, fuels, cosmetics, paints, lubricants, ceramics, and thousands of other products. As a Chemistry major, you will learn about the basic molecules that form the earth, living creatures, and man‐made products. The study of chemistry opens an entire world of careers where graduates can use their skills in problem‐ solving and critical thinking to turn imagination into reality.
Why choose Purdue Northwest?
Studying chemistry at PNW means being part of a program that is accredited by the internationally recognized American Chemical Society (ACS) and earning an internationally respected Purdue University degree. Options available within the chemistry major are a concentration in materials science and a track in chemistry secondary education.
Since Chemists play a predominant role in materials science, this concentration is particularly appropriate for students who have an interest in using their knowledge to develop new and better materials for the next generation. Students graduating with this concentration on their ACS Certified Chemistry degree will find increased career opportunities. The chemistry secondary education degree is appropriate for students who have an interest in supporting STEM education, enjoy making an impact, and become a lifelong learner. By pursuing a career in high school or middle school chemistry teaching, you can help advance STEM education and make a difference in the lives of young people.
At PNW, smaller class sizes offer an opportunity for individual attention, undergraduate research opportunities, and hands-on access to modern instrumentation. Faculty in the Chemistry and Physics Department have a wide breadth of experience in a wide range of sub-disciplines within chemistry and physics, and many are actively engaged in research projects with students and collaborators at other universities and laboratories, including Fermilab and Argonne.
Dr. Gizachew is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University Northwest. He earned his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Before he joined PNW, he worked as a research associate at Cornell University, and obtained the Howard-Temin National Cancer Institute research award. He also worked as a scientist and Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University Health Science Center and Scott & White Health Care System. His research is in the area of food safety and biomarkers based on analytical and bioanalytical techniques, in collaboration with faculties in both the Biological Sciences and the Chemistry and Physics Departments, and graduate and undergraduate students from both departments.
Career paths include jobs in chemical industries (from plastics and paints to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and petroleum); academic institutions (ranging from high school to the university level after graduate work); government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other law enforcement agencies; and business and health-related fields. Materials scientists are generally employed by companies who make products from metals, ceramics, rubber, paint, polymers, composites, graphite materials, fuel cells, and materials for the biomedical industries (that are compatible with human tissues for prosthetics and implants).
Possible Career Choices:
- Analytical chemist
- Chemical engineer
- Forensic scientist
- Research scientist (physical sciences)
- Chemical Health and Safety
- Hazardous Waste Management
- Quality Assurance and Control
- Laboratory Management
- Chemistry in the Arts
- Environmental Protection
PNW Application for Admission
Courses of interest
The core courses in the Chemistry major span several sub-fields of chemistry including organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, and inorganic chemistry. The Chemistry degree program at PNW offers electives in such exciting areas as polymer chemistry, medicinal chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, catalysis, and environmental chemistry are also available. With ample classroom and laboratory experience and ability to perform research with experienced faculty, our Chemistry graduates have the knowledge and confidence to succeed in the workplace.