For all students, whether through coursework or research, the Chemistry Department fosters the development of creativity, rigor, and flexibility in problem solving along with the ability to communicate ideas and processes with clarity and precision in the context of chemistry.
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
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. One-half credit seminar. Maximum enrollment, 12. Prerequisite, 225, 265, or 270. Next offered in Spring 2021. Kramer.
Explore these select courses:
Meet Our Faculty
Associate Professor of Instruction in Chemistry
structure-function biochemistry, RNA enzymes, biochemistry lecture and laboratory development and pedagogy, ocean microplastics, microplastics as microbiological habitats
Silas D. Childs Professor of Chemistry Emeritus (retired)
isolation and structure elucidation of natural products and natural products chemistry; NMR spectroscopy; separations technology; liquid chromatography/ESI mass spectrometry; organic synthesis, peptide and peptidomimetic chemistry; medium ring chemistry; chemical defense and antimicrobial compounds
Explore Hamilton Stories
On the hikes to obtain water samples, Phelan has spent plenty of time with his two professors. He highlighted this opportunity as one unique to a small college, remarking that “that’s what the Hamilton staff is all about.” The willingness to drive up into the mountains to help with his project, Phelan said, is amazing.
Long interested in clean energy and renewable energy, Claudia Morse ’19 designed her own major at Hamilton to focus on environmental chemistry. For her thesis she studied perovskite solar cells. She went directly from the Hill to Solid Power — she did her first interview with the company during commencement rehearsal.
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