• Two students talking to each other in a lab
Schmid College of Science and Technology

BS in Chemistry

» Chemistry

Inventing new medicines. Creating innovative and environmentally friendly materials and catalysts. Improving the world’s food supply and nutrition. Addressing climate change and environmental degradation. None of these is easy, but chemists are up to the challenge.

As a Chemistry student at Chapman, you’ll get hands-on experience facing today’s challenges in science and technology. Along the way, you’ll do real research in the lab and in the field.

By the time you graduate, you’ll be ready for a career in materials, pharmaceuticals, analytics, biotech, forensics, law, medicine, food science and much more.

A student wearing gloves works intently in a lab

In this program, you will:

  • Conduct lab, field and computational research.
  • Meet industry leaders and discover your career options.
  • Join a passionate community of future chemists, food scientists, pharmacists, doctors, educators and more.
Two students work in a lab

By the time you graduate, you'll be prepared to:

  • Get involved in development in most any industry.
  • Take part in engaging, cutting-edge research.
  • Take your studies further with a graduate or professional degree.
Emma Kocik
Emma Kocik
When Emma first came to Chapman, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. Studying marine ecosystems wasn't even on her radar. But with the help of her professors and peers, she found her path — oceanography — and became Chapman's first Beckman scholar.
Test tubes filled with a clear liquid.


Explore the Five Main Areas of Chemistry

Did you know that there are five main areas of chemistry? At Chapman, you'll explore all of them: inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry and physical chemistry.

Grand Challenges Initiative

Chapman STEM students are making the world a better place one challenge at a time. As a Chemistry student, you’ll join the Grand Challenges Initiative (GCI) and start researching in your first semester. 

As part of GCI, you’ll join a two-year project with other STEM students to tackle a pressing challenge of your of your choosing, like:

  • Developing renewable fuels.
  • Creating biodegradable plastic.
  • Designing new medical agents.
  • Treating heart arrhythmia.
  • 3D printing affordable insulin pumps.

Share Your Research

At Chapman, you’ll get to:

  • Do hands-on research in the lab and in the field with your peers and faculty.
  • Gain analytical experience on cutting-edge instrumentation.
  • Share your findings in scientific journals and at national and international conferences.

Along the way, you’ll gain strong research skills, making yourself competitive for programs in top companies and research agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

You’ll get the chance to do research in areas like:

  • Nanomaterials
  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Fuel production
  • Catalysis
  • Chemical processes
  • Characterization of heavy metals in mine waste
  • Experimental cancer therapeutics
  • And more

At the end of the program, you’ll complete a capstone research project as a culmination of your independent research and present it at our Student Scholar Symposium.

Daniel Chang
Alumnus Daniel Chang found his passion for organic chemistry at Chapman. Now he's paying it forward at CalTech, earning his Ph.D. to become a professor and help others discover their love of chemistry just like he did — and he's even earned funding from the National Science Foundation.


Chapman is located at the heart of Orange County’s thriving medical and scientific community. That makes us a great place to find internships with organizations like:

  • NASA
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Medtronic
  • AbbVie Allergan
  • Beckman Coulter
  • Irvine Ranch Water District
  • Children's Hospital of Orange County
  • City of Hope
  • Souther California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP)

Plus, you'll be able to get career guidance for life at our Career Center. We have all the resources you need to network and explore your career options in Chemistry, and you can stop by any time.

Join the Beckman Scholars Program

The Beckman Scholars Program is a three-year-long research experience and scholarship that gives you the chance to hone your skills as a scientist, attend networking events, train with state-of-the-art tools, attend workshops and much more.

Interested in becoming a Beckman Scholar yourself? You can check out all the details on our Beckman Scholars Program page.

A student uses lab equipment

Accelerated Programs

Earn your master's degree with just one additional year of study in our accelerated (4+1) programs:


Our faculty are all experienced teachers, researchers and scholars who are dedicated to your education and success.

How dedicated? Enough to make you an integral part of their scholarly research projects and work with you personally on achieving your post-graduation goals. They even made sure all chem students had access to take-home lab kits during remote instruction in 2020!

Meet Your Professors

Toggle Section
A student wearing a tie-dye lab coat performing an experiment outside

Clubs and Organizations

Chapman is home to a community of supportive, passionate Chemistry students. You can join in with Schmid College student organizations such as:

  • American Chemical Society: Network with professors, professionals and your fellow Panthers in our student-run chapter of organization of the world’s largest scientific society.
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB): Since Chapman is accredited by this national biochemistry and molecular biology organization, you'll have the chance to get ASBMB certified and demonstrate your skills as a scientist.
  • Be KYnd to Your Heart Foundation: Help local athletes get crucial heart screenings and work to promote heart health awareness.
  • Women in Science and Technology: Get involved with this group of students and faculty who provide professional development and mentoring to women in STEM fields.
  • STEMtors: Lead outreach events and inspire a passion for the sciences within young scientists in the local community.
  • Schmid Student Leadership Council: Become an ambassador for Chapman's Shcmid College of Science and Technology and promote the sciences on campus and in the larger community.

Our Schmid College of Science and Technology has lots more STEM clubs. You can find some of the most popular options on our student organizations page. Plus, we hold plenty of events throughout the year, like when we get together to tie-dye lab coats and make nitrogen ice cream (as pictured!).

Study Abroad

Take your passion for science abroad in one of our many study abroad programs. We'll work closely with you to find one that aligns with your schedule and goals so that you can go abroad and still graduate on time. Our programs range from a full year living and studying abroad to international internships over summer/winter break, and everything in between.

Admission and Tours

Interested in taking the next step? Learn how to apply or check out our transfer prerequisites.

Want to learn more about Chapman? We are always available for tours of campus and tours of our Keck Center for Science and Engineering. We’d love to meet you!

Related Majors

You can explore all of Chapman's undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.

Contact Us

Program Questions
Jerry LaRue, Ph.D.
Chemistry Program Director


Admission Questions
(714) 997-6711

Grand Challenges Initiative

Students working on their GCI project with a professor

GCI is a unique two-year research project that lets you get involved in research your first year at Chapman.

Keck Center for Science and Engineering

The Keck Center at sunset

With over 25 collaborative labs and cutting-edge research instrumentation, our Keck Center for Science and Engineering has the tools you need to succeed.

Become a Beckman Scholar at Chapman

We're one of 12 institutions in the United States to offer the Beckman Scholars Program, a research experience and scholarship for aspiring scientists.

ACS Accreditation

ACS logo

Our accreditation from ACS validates the quality of Chapman’s chemistry education and distinguishes graduates with employers and graduate programs.