Students in Lab

Program Description 

The chemistry department is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS). We offer a broad spectrum of courses designed to meet the specific needs of students and a variety of vocational objectives. Our faculty work closely with each chemistry student in both the class and lab setting as well as during independent research in order to provide practical, real-world exposure to important scientific questions. We are proud that our graduates have very high success rates in continuing their chemistry education in graduate and professional schools as well as direct placement in regional industries.

We offer the following tracks in Chemistry:

  • BS in chemistry, General track
  • BS in chemistry, ACS-approved track

Both degrees provide access to modern instrumentation and rigorous chemistry education that give our students the intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective professionals. The department maintains seven high-standard instructional laboratories, including two laboratories devoted entirely to advanced instrumentation, and two student-faculty research laboratories. Access to multiple interdisciplinary research opportunities is also provided, along with shared instrumentation across the Science Division.

Our Chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS), which certifies that we meet or exceed national and international standards in the quality of chemical education that we offer. Employers typically find graduates of ACS-approved programs to be better prepared for technical employment. Our Department is the only one within the College of Arts and Sciences that is accredited by an external national professional organization. We have an ACS-affiliated student chapter and a chapter of PLU national chemistry honor society.

Learning Outcomes 

  • Become proficient in laboratory skills and communicating results
  • Analyze chemical problems and develop solutions to those problems
  • Predict how matter interacts with itself and with energy using basic chemical principles
  • Use, critically evaluate, and present scientific literature
  • Demonstrate and understand the importance of ethics in scientific work

Prospective Students 

Current Students 


  • Service-learning opportunities in the community
  • Field trips to local pharmaceutical companies
  • Student-faculty summer undergraduate research


Graduates of the chemistry program go on to pursue careers in a diverse range of areas including: 

  • Industry: chemical, pharmaceutical, food, beverages, cosmetics, petroleum, agriculture, environmental, consumer products
  • Medicine and health care
  • Government research/national laboratories: FDA, EPA, USDA, NIH, NIST, DOE
  • Research: medical, pharmacological, material design, environmental
  • Chemical manufacturing, product and process development
  • Quality assurance/ quality control
  • Pharmacy and pharmaceutical sales
  • Occupational and environmental safety and health, industrial hygiene.
  • Forensic chemistry
  • Chemical education