Bachelor of Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry is the study of how substances behave and how their properties are changed. Understanding chemistry is essential to many other fields of science such as biology, geology and medicine. Chemistry includes many subspecializations including analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry. Other more specialized areas are spectroscopy, photochemistry, forensic chemistry and biomedical aspects of biochemistry.

Career Opportunities

Careers in chemistry are numerous and varied. Graduates have exciting employment opportunities at many different levels. Chemists work on environmental problems; develop new processes, products and materials; develop new drugs and therapies; study biochemical processes in living systems; and discover the molecular basis for diseases such as cancer. They also assist law enforcement agencies through analysis of blood, fibers and other forensic evidence. Some chemists study air pollution and reactions in the upper atmosphere. Others teach at the college level. There is a continuous need for chemistry graduates. While many graduates obtain employment upon graduation, many others pursue advanced degrees in chemistry or medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy.


The chemistry major requires courses in general, analytical, organic and physical chemistry, and offers inorganic and biochemistry electives. Chemistry students have a choice of several programs of study depending on their career goals. Students planning professional science careers may choose additional electives leading to a broad and rigorous program eligible for certification by the American Chemical Society.

Chemistry offers several areas of specialization that provide a unique focus. Departmental advisors assist students in careful planning of the courses suited to individual career goals. Biochemistry integrates chemistry and biology to open numerous career choices.

Forensic chemistry is a recently approved specialization designed for students interested in analyzing evidence in the crime lab to determine its identity and/or to compare it to evidence of known origin. Typically, forensic chemists work with drug, firearm, arson, explosive, ink, paint, fiber, paper and polymer evidence. The specialization includes a strong background in general laboratory practice and provides experience with analytical techniques applicable to forensic evidence. An additional course in statistics along with one in law, evidence and procedure are also included in the specialization.

BGSU students benefit from the new Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation crime lab on the Bowling Green campus. This new partnership between the State of Ohio and BGSU advances forensic sciences in Ohio; helps prepare the next generation of Ohio scientists, investigators and public safety professionals; and establishes BGSU as being among a select group of universities nationally with an on-campus crime lab.

Program Features

At BGSU, undergraduate chemistry students have the opportunity to work with faculty members and graduate students on research problems. This work often leads to publications in professional journals and presentations at regional or national meetings. Students have opportunities to work with highly sophisticated equipment such as NMR spectrometers, mass spectrometers, gas and liquid chromatographs, ultracentrifuges, and laser systems. With a photochemical sciences emphasis at the graduate level, undergraduates also have the opportunity for training in this area.

Preparation for College

Students planning to study chemistry or biochemistry should have taken a year of high school chemistry. They should also have a strong background in mathematics, including a year of calculus if possible. Courses in biology, physics, a foreign language and English composition are also valuable. Students who are not able to obtain this preparation through high school courses may take courses at BGSU that prepare them for advanced chemistry courses.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent for preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Chemistry, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: