About Us

Chemistry is a fascinating and important subject and is crucial to understanding the world around us. It is used to understand why atoms and molecules react and how the structure of a material determines its properties. Chemistry helps us learn about diseases, develop of new medicines, increase food production, explore alternative energy technologies and catalysts, study the environment, address climate change, innovate new materials for clothing and construction, and create new sensors. This is why chemistry is often called the central science.

The Department

The Department of Chemistry at PLU is well-equipped to help you understand the many facets of chemistry in our lives. Our curriculum and advising will prepare you for your future career or for graduate school. Over the past decade, a majority of our alumni have gone on to pursue an advanced degree. Whether you are interested in forensic science, attending medical school, working in the chemical industry, teaching, or attending graduate school in chemistry or a related science, earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry from PLU provides you with valuable skills. Details about our courses and degree options can be found in the PLU Course Catalog.

The PLU Chemistry Department delivers a high-quality curriculum and provides students with opportunities to use state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation in courses and research. Our faculty use active learning strategies and inclusive pedagogy to support student learning, and we incorporate real-world examples into lessons and experiments so that students can make connections to their own lives and interests. The PLU Chemistry Department is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to provide certified degrees, which is a mark of excellence in chemical education. We have had this distinction for over 50 years!

Chemistry students are encouraged and supported in the pursuit all of their interests during their time at PLU. It is common for chemistry majors to earn an additional major or minor, to participate in athletics and music programs, to study away, or to be involved in a variety of co-curricular activities. PLU is a great place for any student who is interested in chemistry and in pursuing additional interests.

ACS Approved Chemistry Seal
Opportunities for Chemistry Majors at PLU

The PLU Chemistry Department provides undergraduate students with a variety of opportunities to pursue their interests and to support their career goals.

Research: The PLU Chemistry Department has a long history of doing research with undergraduate students and provides research opportunities during the summer and the academic year. Our faculty believe that research experiences are transformative and encourage student researchers to present at professional conferences. If you are interested in conducting research, we recommend applying to the Natural Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program or meeting with the faculty member whose research is of interest to you. The PLU Chemistry Department has funding to support summer research that has been provided by generous donors.

Chem Club: The PLU Chem Club is a student run club that organizes social and outreach events each year. The Chem Club is an ACS Student Affiliate Chapter, so Chem Club membersĀ  attend the Spring ACS Meeting each year to represent PLU.

Employment: The Chemistry Department provides on-campus jobs for students to work as teaching assistants and in the chemistry stockroom.

Opportunity Blog: The Chemistry Department posts opportunities for students on our Opportunity Blog. The posts include information about scholarships, internships, external research programs, jobs, career fairs, information sessions about Ph.D. and health science programs.

Pre-health Sciences Advising: Students who are interested in a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or other related fields are encouraged to work with a pre-health sciences advisor.

We invite you to explore chemistry at PLU. Get to know the faculty, facilities, and curriculum. Start to probe the marvels of chemistry that undergird all of the world around you. If you have any questions about our program, please don’t hesitate to contact the Chair at chair@chem.plu.edu.