What can I do with a chemistry degree from The College of Wooster?

The access to lab facilities, early research opportunities with faculty members and small classes at The College of Wooster give chemistry majors lots of choices after graduation. Wooster is a national leader among private four-year undergraduate institutions when it comes to the number of graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. About 50 percent of our graduates go on to Ph.D. programs. Another 20 percent of graduates attend medical or dental school. Other graduates are employed as teachers or work in labs for companies such as Merck, Eli Lilly & Co., Agilent and more.

Chemistry at  The College of Wooster

In addition to core courses, all students at The College of Wooster complete independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. This focused research project (of the student’s design) gives chemistry majors several semesters to develop research and presentation skills, culminating in a presentation to a faculty panel. Chemistry majors build professional skills for careers in the sciences, while also building critical thinking skills and expanding their perspectives through the variety of courses available at a small, private liberal arts college.


Faculty & Staff

Kaitlynn Arnholt

Kaitlynn Arnholt

Visiting Instructor of Chemistry


Brett Baker

Brett Baker

Laboratory Coordinator, Chemistry; Instructor, Chemistry


Paul Bonvallet

Paul A. Bonvallet

Professor of Chemistry


Mary Cornelius

Mary Cornelius

Administrative Coordinator - Chemistry, BCMB


Paul Edmiston

Paul L. Edmiston

Theron L. Peterson and Dorothy R. Peterson Professor of Chemistry; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Jennifer Faust

Jennifer A. Faust

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Karl Feierabend

Karl J. Feierabend

Associate Professor and Department Chair of Chemistry


Kristin Feierabend

Kristin Feierabend

Stockroom Manager - Chemistry


Rebekah Gray

Rebekah Gray

Postdoctoral Scholar, Faust Lab


Sara Martin

Sara E. S. Martin

Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Jhony Mera

Electronics & Instrument Technician - Biology, Chemistry, Physics


Lilliana Morris

Lilliana S. Morris

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Carrie Salmon

Carrie R. Salmon

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Timothy Siegenthaler

Timothy Siegenthaler

Instrument and Lab Tech/Machinist - Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics


Mark Snider

Mark J. Snider

Robert E. Wilson Professor of Chemistry; Program Co-Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Sarah Sobeck

Sarah J. Sobeck (Schmidtke)

Professor of Chemistry, Associate Dean for Experiential Learning


James West

James West

Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry


Latest Chemistry News

Head shot of Claire Hefner

Chemistry senior earns graduate research fellowship from National Science Foundation

Claire Hefner ’22, a chemistry major at The College of Wooster, recently received a National Science Foundation (NSF) five-year fellowship that includes three years […]

Emma Schell ’23

Wooster student recognized for expanding coverage of Latin American topics on Wikipedia

College of Wooster junior Emma Schell ’23 recently received recognition from Wiki Education for her work to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of Latin American topics […]

Students participate in B-wiser Science Camp in 2019.

B-WISER Summer Science Camp runs June 12-17

The Buckeye Women in Science, Engineering, and Research (B-WISER), an educational partnership of The College of Wooster and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, will […]

Dr. Diane Brown-Young ’87

Chemistry alumna combats high infant mortality rates as OB-GYN Physician

In 2020, of the 13,204 babies born in Cuyahoga County, 101 didn’t make it to their first birthday. The majority (73%) of these babies […]

More Chemistry Articles


Chemistry majors follow a curriculum guided by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training and is comprised of courses across the major sub-disciplines of chemistry.

The major requires completion of 15 credits with room for electives and foundational courses in the liberal arts. Three semesters’ worth of work on independent study are factored into the major course of study.

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A minor in chemistry requires completion of six courses:

  • CHEM 11100 – General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 11200 – General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 21100 – Organic Chemistry I
  • One of the following courses: CHEM 21500 – Analytical Chemistry, CHEM 31800 – Physical Chemistry I, CHEM 31900 – Physical Chemistry II
  • Two Chemistry courses at the 200-level or above

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Independent Study

The College of Wooster is nationally recognized for its program of Independent Study, and for more than 50 years the College has required that every graduate complete a significant Independent Study project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Chemistry majors begin identifying the project that will be the subject of their Independent Study thesis early in their junior year. Seniors set aside both semesters of their senior year to work on and deliver their projects.


Search the I.S. Database

Student Year I.S. Title Major 1 Major 2 Advisor
Please search to view results

Related Articles

Using Computational Methods to Study Changes in the Fundamental and Overtone NH Stretches due to Solvent Effects

Name: Sarah Mullen Major: Chemistry Minor: Mathematics Advisors: Dr. Karl Feierabend, Dr. Sarah Sobeck (second reader) Computational chemistry uses computer simulations to solve chemical […]

What’s in the Air: Characterization of Particulate Matter in Wooster, Ohio

Name: David DiGena-Segal Major: Chemistry Advisors: Jennifer A. Faust, Rebekah E. Gray, and Paul L. Edmiston Pesticides are commonly found environmental contaminants and health […]

Holly McAnlis head shot

Synthesis and Photophysical Evaluation of Porphyrin-Natural Product Hybrids for Use in Photodynamic Therapy

Name: Holly McAnlis Major: Chemistry Advisor: Dr. Paul Bonvallet Photodynamic therapy is a cancer treatment that involves dosing a patient with a drug molecule called a photosensitizer, […]

Megan E. Zims Head shot

The Fading of Intention: Photodegradation Studies of Carmine Colorants and Their Implications in Art Conservation

Name: Megan E. Zins Major: Chemistry Minor: Art History Advisors: Dr. Sarah J. Sobeck Cultural heritage objects are irreplaceable objects that have artistic, historical, and/or cultural […]


Approximately 50 percent of Wooster chemistry graduates enter Ph.D. programs in areas including chemistry, environmental science, biochemistry and epidemiology. Another 18 percent have gone on to health professional schools. Graduates in chemistry have won Fulbright Awards and have gone on to earn advanced degrees at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities.

Related Articles

Dr. Diane Brown-Young ’87

Chemistry alumna combats high infant mortality rates as OB-GYN Physician

In 2020, of the 13,204 babies born in Cuyahoga County, 101 didn’t make it to their first birthday. The majority (73%) of these babies […]

Helen Murray Free attends the lecture of Madeleine Jacobs, president of Strategic Science and former executive director and chief executive officer of the American Chemical Society who spoke for the Helen Murray Free Endowed Lecture Series in 2016.

Alumna and renowned chemist Helen Murray Free dies at 98

Lecture, endowment honor legacy of Helen Murray Free at Wooster

Megan Cooper ’95

Chemistry alumna researches genetic sequencing of COVID-19 patients

Megan Cooper ’95 leads a research laboratory that is part of the international COVID Human Genetic Effort

Diane Gorgas ’86

Chemistry alumna fights coronavirus in Ohio and globally

Diane Gorgas ’86 draws on Wooster experience in all facets of her career


The Helen Murray Free Endowed Lecture Series

Helen Murray FreeHelen Murray Free, a 1945 College of Wooster graduate and a pioneering scientist who was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2000, was honored with the inaugural Helen Murray Free Endowed Lecture, featuring Dr. Mary Lowe Good.

The lecture series was established by Helen’s children and endowed through the Al and Helen Free Foundation. Each year, this endowed fund brings a renowned chemical scientist to campus to interact with chemistry students at a technical level and present an all-college convocation on the contributions of science to the quality of life.

Free, whose research in clinical chemistry not only revolutionized diagnostic testing in the laboratory, but also in the home, developed the “dip-and-read” glucose tests for diabetics. She was awarded seven patents for her clinical diagnostic test inventions, and also helped to develop a product for diagnosing Hepatitis ‘A’ while working for Miles Laboratories. In addition, she provided invaluable leadership in the testing of newborn infants for genetic or metabolic disorders that might lead to mental retardation.

Throughout her career, Free has been an active advocate of science education. From 1987 to 1992, she chaired the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) National Chemistry Week Task Force. In 1980, she was chosen as one of Wooster’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners; in 1992 she received an honorary degree from Wooster; and in 1993 she was elected president of the American Chemical Society.

Free has authored more than 150 professional articles, and co-authored two widely used textbooks in the field. Her accomplishments have been recognized in a number of ways, including the awarding of the ACS Garvan Medal and the Professional Achievement Award in Nuclear Medicine from the American Society for Medical Technology, as well as the establishment of the ACS Helen M. Free Public Outreach Award.

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021
Rachelle Burks






Raychelle Burks, associate professor of chemistry at American University and a popular science communicator who has appeared on TV, in podcasts, and at large genre cons such as DragonCon and GreekGirlCon

  • Scientific Talk: llicit indications: colorimetric and fluorometric visualizations for forensic science at 11 a.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.)

This talk will focus on her team’s use of colorimetric and fluorometric sensors or sensor arrays, paired with image analysis, to detect and/or visualize targets of forensic interest such as illicit drugs, explosives, chemical weapons, and latent prints.

  • Public lecture: Monsters, Murder, and Marvel at 7:30 p.m. in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.)

This talk will explore what pop culture/fandoms teaches Burks about science, teaching, and learning. It’s a bit of a personal journey with some education and sci-comm research, science, and lots of pop culture references.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Mask are required to be worn in all campus buildings.

Biography: After working in a crime lab, Burks returned to academia, teaching, and research. Her research team is focused on the development of colorimetric and luminescent sensor arrays for the detection of analytes of mainly forensic and national security interest.

In addition to writing a science-meets-true crime column called “Trace Analysis” for Chemistry World in 2020, she was awarded the James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public by the American Chemical Society. Committed to making STEM accessible and equitable for all, Burks is a member of local, national, and international working groups focused on social justice and STEM.

News Release

Past Lecturers


Malika Jeffries-EL, Ph.D. associate dean, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, associate professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering, Boston University

  • Scientific Talk: Design and synthesis of organic electronic materials
  • Public lecture: Taking the Road Less Travelled: My Journey to the Ivory Tower


Geraldine (Geri) Richmond, Presidential Chair of Science and professor of chemistry, University of Oregon

  • Technical Lecture: Surf, Sink or Swim: Understanding Environmentally Important Processes at Water Surfaces
  • Public Lecture: The Importance of Global Scientific Engagement


Joseph S. Francisco, President’s Distinguished Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania

  • Technical Lecture: From Atmospheric Complexes to Aerosols: New Insights into Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Public Lecture: How We Can Rebuild Trust in Science— And Why We Must


Bassam Z. Shakhashiri,The William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea, Department of Chemistry; Director, Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison; President, the American Chemical Society, 2012.

  • Technical Lecture: Science and Society: Our Opportunities and Responsibilities
  • Public Lecture: Science Is Fun and The Joy of Learning


Madeleine Jacobs,President & CEO, Council of Scientific Society Presidents, Former Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Chemical Society.

  • Morning Lecture: Ten Lessons of a Lifetime of Science
  • Evening Lecture: The Two Cultures, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


Ned Heindel, H.S. Bunn Chair Professor of Chemistry at Lehigh University and a consultant on drug development for Azevan Pharmaceuticals.


Paul Anderson, Retired Senior Vice President of chemical and physical sciences for the DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals Company.


Susan Solomon, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2012 Fall:

Sam Niedbala, Professor of practice in the Chemistry Department at Lehigh University and CEO of DeTect Biosciences LLC.

2012  Spring:

Catherine Hunt, R&D Director of Innovation Sourcing and Sustainable Technologies at The Dow Chemical Company.


Lab Facilities

The Department of Chemistry has a wide array of state-of-the-art instrumentation. All of the instruments are intended for use by students in teaching labs and Senior Independent Study.

Two recent acquisitions include a high-resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer and a 400-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Both instruments were obtained via grants from the National Science Foundation.

Read more about the NMR grant

Some of our instrumentation includes the following:

  • High resolution Q-TOF mass spectrometer
  • NMR spectrometer (400 MHz)
  • LC-MS/MS QQQ mass spectrometer
  • GC-mass spectrometer
  • High pressure liquid chromatographs
  • Isothermal titration calorimeter
  • IR spectrophotometers, including ATR + microscope attachment
  • UV-VIS spectrophotometers
  • Time-resolved fluorescence spectrophotometer
  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometer
  • Schlenk lines, dry glove box, high vacuum systems
  • Imaging microscopy (inverted microscopy)
  • Automated flash chromatography system
  • And more…