Western Carolina offers several paths for those interested in pursuing a B.S. in Chemistry, including a general chemistry track that allows flexibility for adding a minor of your choice and a pre-professional and biomedical sciences track that prepares students for careers and further study in the health sciences. Students intending to pursue work in scientific research and development or who plan to continue for WCU’s 4+1 Master of Science program are encouraged to take the American Chemical Society-approved track.
Whether pursuing the general or pre-medical concentration, 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 includes courses such as General Chemistry I, Organic Chemistry I, Principles of Biochemistry, and Chemical Dynamics. 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, but not limited to, 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.