“Attending a chemistry program at a small liberal arts school…gave me post-graduation opportunities! I was able to do research at PLU, research through an REU program at an R1 school, and had multiple post-graduation options months before I graduated. Thank you for preparing me for a life of inquiry in the sciences!” – Caleb Chandler ’17

Research By Area

Analytical and Environmental Chemistry

Angie Boysen, Ph.D.

Brian Naasz, Ph.D.


Tina Saxowsky, Ph.D.

Organic Synthesis

Dean Waldow, Ph.D.

Neal Yakelis, Ph.D.

Chemistry students at PLU get hands-on experience using our suite of modern research-grade instruments, including:

  • 500 MHz Fourier-transform nuclear magnetic resonance (FT NMR) spectrometer
  • atomic force microscope (AFM)
  • gas chromatography / mass spectroscometer (GC/MS)
  • high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC)
  • Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR)
  • Raman spectrometer
  • UV-visible spectrometer
  • inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS)
  • gel permeation chromatograph (GPC)
  • nitrogen glovebox
  • potentiostats for electrochemical measurements
  • a variety of computational chemistry software

Our students choose which areas of Chemistry interest them and which of our award-winning, talented faculty to work with in small research groups.

PLU chemistry majors share their research findings each year through poster presentations and oral presentations at regional and national scientific conferences, including the Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in major cities across the U.S., and some of our students even publish their work in peer-reviewed journals.

These research experiences open up doors to professional opportunities in the sciences, and quite a few of our students are accepted to research internships around the nation, top-tier graduate schools of Chemistry, and professional health schools, including medical, dental, and pharmacy schools.

Check the Natural Sciences website and click on the slideshow below for more information about the Undergraduate Research summer program.