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.
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.
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
Explore Hamilton Stories
National and regional news organizations regularly interview Hamilton faculty, staff, alumni, and students for their expertise and perspectives on current events, and to feature programs and activities on campus. November’s news highlights ranged from challenges faced in higher education to Dolly Parton to heart disease.
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