About The Program
NSU chemistry majors are encouraged to explore their individual interests and work closely with professors on research projects. Students may be able to present the results of their research at national or regional meetings - even to publish their works in scientific journals.
As part of NSU's preprofessional programs, the study of chemistry provides excellent preparation for medical, dental, veterinary, or chiropractic school admission. It also prepares students to attend graduate school or work in the chemical industry.
In our program, you'll learn to operate a wide range of modern instruments, including:
- Ultraviolet visible and infrared (UV and IR) spectrophotometers
- Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
- High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and
- A nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrophotometer
NSU chemistry students pursuing the chemistry major have the option of taking courses in analytical, biochemistry, organic, chemical education, environmental, and physical chemistry or material science.
Chemistry-Forensic Science Specialization
If you're patient, detail-oriented and like to solve crime puzzles, you can specialize in chemistry-forensic science at NSU to prepare for a career as a forensic chemist. Forensic chemists analyze physical evidence and samples for clues to solve crimes.
If you'd like to work with trace evidence, such as glass, hairs, and gunshot residue, focus on instrumentation skills and take courses in geology, soil chemistry, and materials science.
If you prefer forensic biology, such as DNA analysis, take microbiology, genetics, and biochemistry courses.
If you're interested in obtaining and interpreting toxicology reports, you should study physiology, biochemistry, and chemistry.
Chemist: Potential careers include analytical, inorganic, medicinal, organic, physical or theoretical chemist; biochemist, teacher, professor, materials scientist.
Forensic chemist: Forensic chemists usually work in labs associated with a federal, state, or local police department, medical examiner's office, forensic services lab, or branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
More career opportunities may be found in other fields of forensic science, education, or administration.
Chemists often work for private, for-profit businesses such as pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms and the chemical manufacturing industry; others are consultants or independent business owners. The education sector employs chemists, and many work in government.
Many chemistry majors go on to earn advanced degrees and enter the health care industry: medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry or veterinary.
Northern's placement rate the past five years was 82 percent for medical school and 83 percent for dental school - see what our graduates have to say about the advantages of earning their undergraduate degree at Northern!
For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.
Northern offers extraordinary hands-on opportunities undergraduate research or internships in chemistry. Here, students work closely in the lab with professors and equipment in a way not often available in other classrooms and labs.
Northern students also have the chance to perform original chemistry research on their own, under faculty mentorship. Many students find that a summer undergraduate research project or internship helps crystallize their career goals.
“In high school, I attended a couple of different basketball camps at Northern, and I really fell in love with the campus there. Then when I toured, I was really impressed by the faculty that I met. I do really well when I get to know the people that I am interacting with closely, and that is especially important when it comes to your professors. At Northern, there is so much opportunity to lead and try new things. I am currently working on my third independent research project at Northern, and I don’t think I would have gotten that opportunity at any other university. Northern does a really good job at giving students hands-on experience, which has been extremely impactful in my time here. The new science center has also been really helpful with my research. In the old science center, I would have to walk all the way across the building while I was doing my research, but the new science center is set up really well. Now I go straight from my lab bench to the classroom, and it’s like 20 feet away. Overall, it makes the research process much smoother.” – Parker Heger, New Underwood, N.D. #beNORTHERN #unleashYOURpotential #NorthernStateU #WhyNSU
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz
B.Sc. Mills College
Dr. Susan Citrak joined the faculty at Northern in 2020. She grew up in the northern California Bay area and spent 26 years in San Francisco before moving to Aberdeen. She earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and then went on to the University of California, Santa Cruz, for doctoral work. At Mills College, she conducted undergraduate research in physical organic chemistry studying unimolecular solvolysis reactions involving carbocationic intermediates in ionic liquid solvent systems. During her tenure at UCSC, she moved into inorganic materials chemistry and studied the exchange capabilities, structure, stability and anion properties of metal-organic coordination polymers, as well as ionothermal synthesis of metal-substituted aluminophosphate molecular…