Welcome to the Chemistry Department
What is Chemistry?
Chemistry investigates the composition, properties, and changes of properties in substances and various elementary forms of matter. The study of chemistry gives students an opportunity to explore the world and develop knowledge using modern techniques and instrumentation.
Chemistry is often referred to as the Central Science. It is hard to imagine how one could do physics, biology, geology or engineering without a solid foundation in chemistry. The chemistry program at Westmont prepares the students to think like a scientist by exposing them to modern instrumentation and methods. We also go beyond this by tackling the bigger issues of relating vocation and Christian Mission in the world. A degree in chemistry can lead to many interesting and challenging careers, including: biochemist, chemical engineer, industrial or clinical chemist, college instructor, dentist, dietician, high school teacher, marine scientist, pharmacologist, physician, radiologic technician, nuclear medicine technician, forensic serologist, toxicologist, technical writer, patent lawyer, industrial hygienist, and industrial management. Westmont chemistry majors have received advanced degrees recently from graduate and professional programs at UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, Stanford, Iowa State, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Harvard, Princeton, Loma Linda, and Oregon Health Sciences.
Chemistry students at Westmont have many opportunities to use
state-of-the-art instrumentation such as atomic absorption
spectrometers, Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance
spectrometers, FT infrared and ultraviolet-visible spectrometers, gas
and high performance liquid chromatographs and mass spectrometers (follow
this link to see some of our instrumentation). They learn
glassblowing, analytical chemical techniques (including microcomputer
applications), and advanced organic synthesis techniques. Chemistry at
Westmont involves computer programming, interfacing computers to
instruments, and computerized literature searches on current research
problems. Each student in the B.S. program is required to do
independent research with a faculty member and to complete a written
thesis or publishable journal article.