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Chemistry, BS & Chemical Science, BS

Seattle University's Chemistry Department provides three degree options in chemistry and biochemistry, preparing students for careers in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medicine.

About this Program

Prepare for a Meaningful Career in a Supportive Scientific Environment

At Seattle University’s Chemistry Department, you’ll learn to think, conduct experiments, and write like a scientist. When you major in chemistry, you’re joining a diverse community of students and faculty who are passionate about sharing and expanding what we know about our molecular world. You’ll find the support and opportunities you need to thrive as a chemistry major, such as innovative instruction, small class sizes, paid summer research positions and research opportunities embedded throughout the curriculum.

Hands-on, Real-World Learning

Our focus on undergraduate education means you get high-quality instruction in every course.

For example, Dr. Whidbey was awarded the College of Science and Engineering 2022 Outstanding Teacher Award in recognition of his teaching innovations in ‘Theory and Methods of DNA Analysis.'

Thanks to our nationally recognized faculty, you’ll have the scientific skill and professional support to succeed in a career in the chemical sciences, medicine, forensics, environmental protection, biotechnology or public health.

Chemistry at a Glance

Learn how this degree from the Department of Chemistry will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University degree can be.

Our Bachelor of Science in Chemical Sciences is specifically designed to provide flexibility to students. Students select this degree to enable significant activities such as study abroad or multiple majors/minors.

This is also an excellent degree for students intending to pursue professional school. If you want to attend medical school, dental school or pharmacy school, which have many additional requirements, this degree could work for you.

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is excellent preparation if you aspire to complete a graduate degree (M.S. or Ph.D.), teach, or use chemistry in industrial applications. This degree has the option for certification by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Add a minor in chemistry to broaden your knowledge and build your resumé. To earn a minor, you’ll complete at least 30 credits in chemistry.

Learning Outcomes

SU’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Learning Outcomes are focused on your success. On successful completion of chemistry degree programs, you will be able to:

  • Chemistry fundamentals. Master fundamental knowledge and principles from general, organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry.
  • Experimentation. Plan, safely conduct, troubleshoot, and document lab experiments that answer chemical questions.
  • Problem solving. Devise and implement approaches that effectively address complex problems.
  • Critical thinking. Analyze data, results, theories, explanations, and hypotheses by applying chemical knowledge and intuition.
  • Communication. Communicate effectively and persuasively with technical audiences in written and oral forms; develop strategies to understand the technical communications of others.
  • Collaboration. Build on individual strengths to work collectively towards a goal; articulate ideas clearly; play various roles that help the group progress.
  • Professional behavior. Demonstrate timeliness, earnestness, honesty, self-awareness, self-regulation, and ethical responsibility in communications and collaborations.
  • Reflection. Develop the habit of reconsidering ideas or experiences to gain new insights, to discover deeper meaning, or to improve over time.

American Chemical Society Certified

The Chemistry Department offers American Chemical Society (ACS) certified degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.

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Top 25% in Science & Engineering

Seattle University ranks #40 in the nation —U.S. News & World Report, 2023


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Small classes led by talented faculty to foster active learning, an SU hallmark.



Our average of women STEM students nearly doubles the national average of only 23%.

Academic and Professional Skills to Thrive

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Research with Innovative Faculty

Research is woven throughout our curriculum, and you will have research opportunities every year. As a junior and/or senior, you will work one-on-one with a faculty member on publication-quality research using sophisticated instrumentation. This real-world research prepares you for the best jobs in chemistry and biotechnology as well as the top graduate and professional programs at internationally recognized institutions.

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Inclusive, Global Education

Our Jesuit values mean we see the world through a global, justice-focused lens. Our strong commitment to diversity and small class sizes help create a forward-thinking, close-knit community where everyone can feel at home—and go on to thrive in a global workforce.

If the career you want requires an advanced degree, you can be confident that your Seattle University chemistry degree and research experience will make you super-competitive for top graduate programs. You’ll find Seattle University chemistry graduates at:

  • UC Berkeley
  • MIT
  • Harvard
  • Stanford
  • Caltech
  • University of Washington
  • ETH in Zurich, Switzerland

Students graduating with a degree in chemistry typically pursue graduate study in chemistry (M.S. or Ph.D.), attend medical/dental/pharmacy school, or start their career in the chemical industry.

Lots of chemists work in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, but because of chemistry's wide application throughout STEM, jobs for chemists are available in a wide variety of industries. Our location in the heart of Seattle means you’ll have lots of opportunities right here in the city.

From Our Alumni

Jeannette M. Garcia, PhD, '06

“My undergraduate research at Seattle U gave me the science 'bug.' After working in Dr. Alaimo’s lab and doing real research, I knew that I wanted to continue down that path. My research experience at Seattle U cemented my decision to get my PhD and ultimately to pursue a career in chemistry."

Research Staff Member

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Get in Touch

We’re here to help. For information about chemistry degrees at Seattle University, contact: