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The Chemistry major at Lenoir-Rhyne University offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide undergraduate students with creative and analytical insight into the importance of chemistry in our world. Chemistry is sometimes called the central science because it bridges other natural sciences including physics, geology and biology. Students electing to pursue a degree in Chemistry have the opportunity to become a part of one of the largest scientific professions in the United States.

Students can select from one of three tracks within the Chemistry major, each leading to a Bachelor of Science degree:

The Classical Chemistry track is a more traditional chemistry program, focusing on curriculum that provides students with a broad knowledge of the many different fields of chemistry.

The Environmental Chemistry track is a more specialized route designed for students who are interested in learning about the ways in which chemicals affect the soil, water, and air around us. This track is an option for students interested in a career or graduate work focused on environmental studies.

The Biochemistry track is specialized for students particularly interested in the biological applications of chemistry. This track is ideal for students who wish to pursue further education in medical, pharmaceutical, or other health-related professional programs.

The required coursework for each track includes extensive laboratory experience in organic chemistry.

Chemistry is also an essential component (as major or as appropriate coursework) in preparation for a number of graduate professional programs.


Pre-Professional Opportunities


The Chemistry major is rigorous yet rewarding and offers many opportunities to gain invaluable experience in and out of the classroom. LR works in partnership with local industries to provide internships through which students can work alongside professionals in the field. Students are also required to complete a year-long research project. With the assistance of faculty mentors, they can select and focus on an area of study that they are passionate about while developing vital skills in research methodology.

The School of Natural Science hosts the Steelman Lecture Series through which renowned scientists and scientific writers are invited to speak to the campus and surrounding community. Career and graduates school nights are also held annually. These events feature former students and respected professionals in the field who speak with current students, offering information and guidance about various career options.


A degree in Chemistry will provide the student with the background and critical thinking skills to be successful in a variety of post-graduate situations. It is an option for students planning to pursue graduate study (M.S. or Ph.D.), to become a health professional, work in the chemical or pharmaceutical industries, or teach at the K-12 or collegiate level. Students interested in applying to medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, or physical therapy school can major in Chemistry (usually in the Biochemistry track).


The Chemistry major earns a BS degree. Students may also select a minor in Chemistry.

Chemistry Major Requirements

Program Contact

Dr. Andrew Steele

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Hickory Campus