Major in Chemistry
Chemistry provides the background for understanding and affecting many exciting events in our world, of which the continual development of medical imaging methods, scientific research on preserving the environment, and investment banking capital for biotechnology companies are just a few examples. Beloit College is the home of Chemlinks (chemlinks.beloit.edu), a national consortium of colleges and universities sponsored by the National Science Foundation to develop the chemistry curriculum for the 21st century.
Beloit has a variety of options within the department for students to tailor their major to prepare for the exciting careers of the future. The department itself is certified by the American Chemical Society and students may choose a regular chemistry major, a biochemistry major, an applied major in chemistry combined with another discipline, a biological chemistry major, or a chemistry major to certify the student to the American Chemical Society.
What is unique about studying chemistry at Beloit is the atmosphere among students and faculty in the department. Students have an unusually cooperative, rather than competitive, attitude that makes education enjoyable as well as stimulating. Chemistry majors have their own office space in the Sanger Science Center as well as lab space for research. With student and faculty offices nearby, informal contact between professors and students is maximized.
Our majors usually choose chemistry to prepare for a career, but those careers vary widely. The majority of our majors go on to graduate schools, such as those at the universities of California-Berkeley, Harvard, Rice, Minnesota, MIT, and Columbia. Another large group goes on to medical schools such as Johns Hopkins University, the University of Illinois, and Rush University in Chicago.
Because a liberal arts chemistry major helps you maximize future choices, some students go on to earn advanced degrees in law, business administration, and public health. Some of our graduates go directly into careers at places like Aldrich Chemical Company, Milwaukee; S.C. Johnson Wax, Racine; Abbott Labs, Chicago; or BioGen, San Francisco.
Professional Exploration and Skills
Another distinctive aspect of Beloit's chemistry program is the emphasis placed on professional skills. Beginning in our introductory chemistry course, students learn to keep an accurate lab notebook and to use important computer software. Later, students take a sophomore scientific literature seminar where they learn how to conduct computer literature searches, how to prepare a resume, and apply for summer internships. Students learn how to make connections through alumni and other professionals to seek opportunities they want for their futures. Most students obtain summer internships as a result of this course. In the senior seminar, students learn to give professional-quality presentations; in the senior thesis, a critical analysis of scientific literature is completed. These and many other unique Beloit features prepare our students with practical, professional skills needed for success in their careers.