Western Carolina University offers one of only 17 American Chemical Society-approved Bachelor of Science in Chemistry programs in North Carolina. With its broad-based and rigorous curriculum, the program prepares students for careers in industry or government including chemical technology, laboratory management, chemical health and safety, chemical manufacturing, biotechnology and much more. Some students pursue graduate studies through WCU’s 4+1 program or enroll in medical or pharmacy school.
Students build a firm foundation for their futures through coursework and scientific training research experience. Small class sizes allow students to work with expert faculty and staff in a collaborative learning environment, and spend more time using state-of-the-art instrumentation such as a DNA sequencer or an ion-trap mass spectrometer. The core curriculum features chemistry, mathematics and physics courses, including General Chemistry I, Calculus I, and General Physics I and II. The American Chemical Society-approved concentration focuses on chemistry and mathematics courses such as Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry Laboratory, and Calculus II and III. Outside of the lab and classroom, students may choose to get involved in the SAACS Chemistry Club and the WCU Environmental Health Club to gain additional education and experience.
A chemistry degree from WCU prepares students for immediate employment or further graduate study. Whether working in the lab, classroom or corner office, graduates are able to demonstrate to employers and mentors their knowledge, research abilities and familiarity with instrumentation. Jobs can be focused on field study and research, environmental chemistry, biotechnology, product development, industrial quality control, technical sales, analysis and testing, teaching, and technical writing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical science occupations are expected to increase approximately 10 percent by 2022, while healthcare practitioner, technical and support occupations are expected to increase between 20 and 30 percent in the same time period.