About the Major

At Hamilton, students don’t just study chemistry — they help break new ground as members of a scientific community while developing a strong background for a wide range of health-related professions or graduate work in specialized science fields. Small classes and labs foster mentoring relationships and one-on-one dialogue. Professors encourage students to pursue independent projects and collaborate with them on original research.

Students Will Learn To:

  • Apply scientific reasoning to explain chemical phenomena as evidenced by performance on a standardized exam (breadth of chemical reasoning)
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct a sustained research project (chemical research)
  • Communicate chemistry’s impact on society with attention to ethics and inequities in science from which science policy decisions are made (impact of chemistry)

A Sampling of Courses

Installing solar panels on KJ

Chemical Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion

An introduction to the fundamental electro- and photochemical processes that enable harvesting of solar energy. Topics to be addressed will include the theory and application of semiconductor materials as solar cells to capture light energy, as well as the electrochemical processes that enable the storage of that energy as solar fuels (artificial photosynthesis) or in grid scale batteries. The course will revolve around readings from the primary chemical literature.

Explore these select courses:

Structure and bonding of organic compounds and their acid-base properties, stereochemistry, introduction to reactions and reaction mechanisms of carbon compounds and the relationship of reactivity and structure. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory.

Topics in inorganic chemistry, including periodicity and descriptive chemistry of the elements, electrochemistry, transition metal coordination chemistry, and the structure and properties of solid state materials. Laboratories emphasize synthesis and characterization of inorganic coordination compounds, electrochemistry, and inorganic materials. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs.

A survey of the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; biochemistry of enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms. Principles and techniques of experimental biochemistry, focusing on isolation methods and techniques for analyzing structure and function. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs, however, this course might not also satisfy a Health Profession program’s requirement for a course in Biochemistry.

An integrated lecture-laboratory course in which students learn to design, build, and use instrumentation to study the physicochemical properties of atoms and molecules. Topics include the theory and practice of optical spectroscopy, thermochemical measurements of gases and condensed phases, and the measurement of reaction kinetics. Evaluations stress mastery of laboratory technique and communication of results with an emphasis on oral communication. Speaking-Intensive. One hour of lecture, three hours of laboratory.

An investigation into the concepts of organic synthesis as applied to small molecule drug and probe development for the treatment and understanding of human disease. Emphasis will be placed on modern organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology research aimed toward the realization of personalized therapeutics. The process of developing an original research proposal will be a primary mechanism to reinforce the concepts of this course.

Meet Our Faculty

Karen Brewer

Chair, the Silas D. Childs Professor of Chemistry


synthesis and luminescence properties of rare earth (lanthanide) sol-gel derived materials

Charles Borton

Assistant Professor of Instruction in Chemistry


Carolyn Hutchinson

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


analytical chemistry; environmental chemistry; mass spectrometry

Wesley Kramer

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Max Majireck

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Director of Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology


organic chemistry, natural products, medicinal chemistry and chemical biology

Ryan Martinie

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


biochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, enzymology, and natural product biosynthesis

Ian Rosenstein

Associate Professor of Chemistry


organic chemistry, free radical reactions, reaction stereochemistry, and development of new synthetic methodology

Sarah Rosenstein

Associate Professor of Instruction in Chemistry


structure-function biochemistry, RNA enzymes, biochemistry lecture and laboratory development and pedagogy, ocean microplastics, microplastics as microbiological habitats

Vanessa Song

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry

Adam Van Wynsberghe

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Associate Dean of Students for Academics


physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, and theoretical chemistry

Michael Welsh

Assistant Professor of Chemistry


biochemistry and chemical biology

Shawna O’Neil

Director of Laboratories and Lecturer in Chemistry


Greg Rahn

Instrumentation Specialist


Joseph Stanco

Lecturer in Chemistry


Explore Hamilton Stories

Students in Prof. Max Majireck's chemistry lab

Combating Heart Disease Through Chemistry

Life-threatening diseases could become easier to detect thanks to a Hamilton student-faculty research team and its partnership with an internationally recognized biomedical research institute here in Utica.

Ian Rosenstein

Rosenstein Publishes Invited Review Chapter

Associate Professor of Chemistry Ian Rosenstein recently published an extensive, book-length review chapter in Volume 110 of the Wiley monograph series Organic Reactions.

Caleb Phelan '22

Chemistry in the Mountains

One might not expect Caleb Phelan ’22, as a chemistry major, to spend a lot of time conducting academic research while camping in the mountains. But that’s exactly what he’s been doing this summer since part of his project is to measure and analyze the levels of two major pollutants in Adirondack water.

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in chemistry are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Professor of Neurology & Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Engineer, Lockheed Martin
  • Global Skincare Development Coordinator, Estee Lauder
  • Public Relations Director, AT&T
  • Clinical Research Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Senior Food Technologist, Rich Products
  • Patent Attorney, The Eclipse Group
  • Vice President, athenahealth


Department Name

Chemistry Department

Contact Name

Karen Brewer, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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