Pharmacy, Natural & Health Sciences

Chemistry and Physics

A Manchester University student measures carefully

The Department of Chemistry and Physics at Manchester University strives to equip students with the conceptual knowledge, laboratory proficiency, data analysis skills, critical thinking ability, and scientific communication competency that enable them to use chemistry and physics to enrich their workplaces and communities in principled, productive, and compassionate ways.

Program Opportunities

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry - For students pursuing careers in industry, professional school (medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, etc.), or graduate school
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry Secondary Education - For students pursuing a career teaching high school chemistry
  • Minor in Chemistry - For students wishing to enhance their major area of study with a deeper understanding of chemistry. (biology, environmental studies, psychology, and more)


Chemistry isn’t called “the central science” for nothing! In fact, because chemical concepts appear in many other fields, chemistry courses are required preparation for many careers, including laboratory work, research, nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, medicine or dentistry. Manchester chemistry majors enjoy an outstanding placement rate for their post-graduate goals, including bachelor’s level jobs and professional schools.

Manchester chemistry faculty will guide you through a hands-on chemistry education that fuses with our outstanding liberal arts curriculum. We graduate students who are effective scientists, communicators and problem solvers, ready to build successful careers in a rapidly changing world.

Careers for a Chemistry Major

Pursuing a chemistry major at Manchester positions you for a variety of jobs in growing fields. For example, by 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6 percent growth in chemist/materials scientists (2020 median pay $80,680/year), 9 percent growth in food scientists (2020 median pay $68,830/year) and 1 percent growth in forensic science technicians (2020 median pay $60,590/year). Chemistry faculty work with you to build your skills and resume to make you strong candidates for these and other positions.

Other careers in chemistry include:

  • Biochemist
  • Chemist
  • University Chemistry Professor
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Food Scientist
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • High School Chemistry Teacher
  • Materials Scientist
  • Technical writer
  • Science journalist

Program Success

Excellent graduate success rates: 

  • 92 percent of Chemistry majors graduating in 2011-2020 immediately went on to post-graduate positions.
  • 60 percent enrolled in PhD programs in chemistry or physics, pharmacy school, medical school, accelerated nursing programs or dental school
  • 32 percent began bachelor’s-level jobs in laboratories or high school teaching
Historical and Recent Graduate Successes:
  • JT Butler (2021) is teaching chemistry, physics, and integrated chemistry and physics at Rensselaer Central High School in Rensselaer, Indiana
  • Jacob Dittmer (2020) is pursuing a PhD in chemistry at Florida A&M University
  • Isabella Case (2020) is attending the Indiana University School of Dentistry
  • Eric Beard (2018) is attending the Manchester University College of Pharmacy
  • Alexis Figueroa (2018) is an MD/PhD student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Sarah Kurtz (1979) won the 2007 Dan David Prize for her contributions to solar energy
  • Paul Flory (1931) won the 1974 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • Roy Plunkett (1932) invented Teflon® for the Dupont corporation

Why Manchester?

Manchester science faculty believe that you learn science best by doing science. Small class sizes ensure close interaction with your professors, who guide you to gain new knowledge and skills. They will also challenge you to put your classroom knowledge into practice through hands-on laboratory experiences conducted in lab spaces that are equipped for you to simulate common tasks you’ll encounter in your post-college paths. Most importantly, every chemistry major completes a summer or semester research experience where they complete a one-on-one research project with a chemistry or physics professor. This is an important step in your development as a chemistry major, helping you to build valuable skills for your resume and post-graduation plans.