Chemistry plays a central role in the most exciting and critical areas of modern scientific exploration.
And Wilkes' chemistry majors receive a solid foundation in chemical theories and laboratory techniques, preparing them for a range of career opportunities in chemical or pharmaceutical industries, government laboratories and academia.
Degree options include:
- Bachelor of arts (B.A.)
- Bachelor of science (B.S.)
- Chemistry minor
- Chemistry education (secondary education minor)
Our Department of Chemistry has well-equipped laboratory facilities and exceptional chemical instrumentation. Students begin using chemical instruments beginning in the freshman year and have the opportunity to conduct research side by side with professors who know them by name. The department possesses a wide range of modern spectroscopic and separations instruments, thermal analysis facilities, and routine equipment for synthesis and analysis.
Cohen Science Center
The 72,500-square-foot Cohen Science Center opened in August 2013. It features state-of-the-art equipment and related laboratory space for hands-on, experiential learning – a hallmark of the Wilkes experience. The third floor is dedicated to research laboratories for biology, chemistry and environmental research, encouraging interdisciplinary connections and faculty-student interactions on teams.
“Green” features include:
- polished concrete floors,
- energy-efficient lighting and energy-saving windows,
- partially vegetated roof,
- and responsibly harvested wood.
The building qualifies for silver-level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a program of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry maintains a wide variety of chemical instrumentation and facilities:
- 400-megahertz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
- Microwave reactor
- Infrared spectrometer
- High-pressure liquid chromatography
- Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer
- Electrospray mass spectrometer
- Capillary electrophoresis
- Circular dichromism spectrometer
- Ultraviolet/visable spectrometer
- Stopped flow fast kinetics instrumentation
- Ozone generator
- Parr hydrogenator
The department houses computer equipment for online access to the American Chemistry Society Archives and many other scientific online journals. Additional library resources are available in the main campus library, the Farley Library.
The Department maintains a large inventory of routinely used chemical items.
Chemistry majors find ample opportunity to participate in research, and majors are
required to complete a capstone senior research project. However, students can begin
their involvement in an original research project as early as the freshman year. Students
can become involved as volunteers, paid technicians, interns or through enrollment
in independent studies.
Recent research projects conducted by students include:
- “Computationa; Study of the Energetics Governing the Regiochemistry of a 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition Reaction”
- “Incorporation of 19F-labelled unnatural amino acids to probe protein structure and dynamics”
- “Role of the metal and ligand environment in designing catalysts for water-gas shift reactions”
- “Wetting and Tribological Properties of Complex Liquids”
Independent study allows students to collaborate in novel projects with many related disciplines, such as biology, pharmacy, computer science, and others. A wide range of research topics is currently being explored within the department. Ongoing and planned projects include organic synthesis, biochemical investigations (enzymology and pharmaceutical applications), materials science (amorphous alloy production and characterization), analytical chemistry, and computational chemistry.
Beyond class, chemistry majors can participate in numerous activities related to the major:
- Active, award-winning Chemistry Club
- Outreach programs with local schools
- Travel to present research around the country
- Travel to interesting science-related places (Corning Museum, Priestley House)
Recent graduates are working at:
- DuPont Chemicals
- Kirby Health Center
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Air Products
Others are pursuing graduate or professional studies at:]
- Texas A&M
- Lehigh University
- Drexel College of Medicine
- Salus School of Optometry
- American University
Alison Duda and Amy Bradley, Ph.D. | Chemistry