Students majoring in chemistry typically go on to graduate study in chemistry, to medical school, to a job in the chemical industry, or to teaching at the secondary school level. Because of chemistry's wide application throughout modern technology, jobs in chemistry are often available even when the economy is down. The employment record of Seattle University chemistry graduates has been very good over a period of many years. Two excellent career resources, linked below, are the American Chemical Society and Seattle University Career Services.
Several scholarships exist for undergraduate students who are majoring in chemistry or biochemistry. Most of these offer funding for tuition based mainly on academic performance, but other criteria are sometimes relevant, such as financial need, career objective, leadership skills, and involvement in school activities and community service.
The term “graduate school” refers to advanced study that leads to a Master’s (M.S.) degree or a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree. There are many graduate programs available to you in chemistry, biochemistry, or related disciplines (e.g., materials science). Master’s degree programs typically are 1-2 years long, and require some coursework and some research. Doctoral (Ph.D.) programs usually require some coursework, but are more research intensive; they are usually 4-6 years long. Chemistry or biochemistry majors can apply to most Ph.D. programs without first earning a M.S. degree. The best resources for students who are considering graduate study are at the American Chemical Society. Ph.D. students in chemistry, biochemistry and related fields in the U.S. generally include tuition waivers (i.e., are free!), pay students a monthly stipend (approximately $1500–$2000 per month), and also include health insurance. M.S. students usually pay tuition and do not get paid a monthly stipend. Despite the fact that Ph.D. programs are generally free, earning a scholarship for graduate school is a very prestigious honor. Links to such opportunities are listed below.
The term “professional school” refers to programs that prepare students for specific professions. Examples of health-related professional schools include medical school, naturopathic medical school, podiatric medical school, dental school, optometry school, pharmacy school, nursing school, and veterinary school. Generally speaking, these programs do not offer scholarships or stipends. The Seattle University Pre-Health Advising Center is an excellent resource for students who are interested in professional school.
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