Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of the transformation of matter under conditions where molecules are of critical importance. It is often called the “central science” because it directly connects with most of the other natural sciences such as physics, biology, environmental and materials science. Students find that a background in chemistry provides a broad foundation in modern science where the old divisions are rapidly changing. This is illustrated by the essential need for strong chemistry experience in major research initiatives such as nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, medicinal chemistry, biotechnology, environmental science, neuroscience, and materials.

The West Virginia Wesleyan Department of Chemistry provides an appropriate curriculum for your specific career plans. Students who complete a bachelor of science chemistry major will (1) demonstrate foundational knowledge in the major fields of chemistry: inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry; (2) possess in-depth knowledge in particular aspect of chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, chemical hygiene, and/or pharmaceutical science; (3) design and execute experiments, utilize modern instrumentation for chemical and biochemical analysis, analyze data, and present conclusions; (4) become a more confident scientific thinker and apply knowledge to solve chemical, physical, and/or biochemical problems; (5) search, comprehend, and communicate findings from scientific literature and present scientific material orally and in professionally prepared scientific report format; (6) obtain skills and formal lab safety training for employment or for professional or graduate school.  Our program provides undergraduates with a unique set of curricular options and work experiences, personal attention from dedicated faculty, and the challenge of an independent research project.

Below are brief descriptions of the various majors offered by The Department of Chemistry:

  • The B.S. Chemistry major provides an intensive and versatile chemistry background for graduate work in chemistry, for immediate employment in chemical industry, and for health-related fields. This major has been designed according to the curricular recommendations set by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and is consistent with approved programs at many strong colleges and universities.
  • The B.S. Biochemistry major is a solid, rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum for students interested in areas of medicine, pharmaceuticals, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, agriculture, toxicology and biotechnology. The major was designed according to the curricular recommendations of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and is particularly appropriate for those going on to medical school or graduate work in biochemistry/molecular biology. It also prepares one for immediate employment.
  • The B.S. Materials Chemistry major is a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum for students interested in the discovery, design and synthesis of novel materials with an emphasis on the chemistry and chemical control of structure and collective properties.  Offered in collaboration with The Department of Physics and Engineering, it provides an intensive background for graduate study in nanoscience and materials engineering. It also prepares one for immediate employment in materials industries.
  • The B.S. Pharmaceutical Science major is a collaborative program offered by Wesleyan and the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy (WV SOP). This rigorous pre-pharmacy option is specially designed for students interested in matriculating to WVU for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree or its pharmaceutical science graduate program, and may be completed at Wesleyan in as little as three years followed by a year of coursework at WVU SOP. 
  • The B.S. Chemical Hygiene and Safety major emphasizes laboratory and experiential coursework to develop skills needed to be a professional chemical hygiene officer.  This unique program includes introductory, foundational and in-depth course work, both in chemistry and the chemical hygiene field, and is intended to address future national shortages for occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals. This program may also be pursued concurrently with our other B.S. majors or by those seeking post-baccalaureate training.
  • The B.A. Chemistry major prepares students for future studies in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy optometry, and law, and is often pursued in combination with a major in biology, environmental science or physics.
  • In addition to the above offerings, students may pursue the Chemistry Secondary Education major in collaboration with The School of Education, or a minor in chemistry.

West Virginia Wesleyan College has long been recognized for its exceptional academic programs, particularly in the sciences.  The Department of Chemistry has strived to meet the needs of its students by providing the most rigorous academic curriculum and strongest undergraduate research program of any private college in the state of West Virginia. Students completing a Wesleyan chemistry or biochemistry major have not only demonstrated knowledge in the discipline, but they have gained essential skills in problem solving, scientific experimentation, safe laboratory practice, chemical literature interpretation and collaboration.  Wesleyan faculty and staff actively seek external grants, and have extensive experience advising, educating, and training students for variety of career paths.  The chemistry program has done an outstanding job preparing students for graduate and professional careers.  In the past five years, it has seen close to 100% placement into pharmacy, medical and graduate schools.  Most students seeking direct employment have success within six months of graduation. 

Learning Outcomes

Chemistry / Biochemistry

West Virginia
Wesleyan College

59 College Avenue
Buckhannon, WV 26201
(304) 473-8000

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