Karen Brewer has done extensive research with retired Hamilton Physics Professor Ann Silversmith and Professor Dan Boye of Davidson College.
Even first-year students may get the chance to do research during the academic year or over the summer. Many students pursue summer research on campus, at other colleges and in government labs.
About the Major
At Hamilton, you and your peers won’t just study chemistry – you’ll help break new ground as members of a scientific community. Your studies will provide you with a strong background for a wide range of health-related professions or for graduate work in many specialized science fields. Half the College's chemistry alumni go on to do graduate study.
If you just talk to the professors, you can just learn so much from them. And they’re all super-interested in their own research, and if you get to know them, they’ll absolutely let you work with them, which I think you don’t actually get at a lot of places.
Andrew Fletcher — chemistry major
Small classes and labs foster mentoring relationships and one-on-one dialogue. Faculty members encourage students to pursue independent projects, collaborating with them on original research.
Students whose primary interest lies elsewhere find that a basic grounding in chemistry provides a wealth of important knowledge about the everyday world. Chemistry is called the central science, and for good reason: The inquiry into how matter is composed and combined is a foundation of all fields of scientific knowledge.
Careers After Hamilton
- 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
Principles of Chemistry 120F
Exploration of the central principles and theories of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and molecular structure and bonding. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.View All Courses
Organic Chemistry I 190S
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 four hours of laboratory.View All Courses
Inorganic Chemistry and Materials 265S
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.View All Courses
Biological Chemistry 270S
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. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.View All Courses
Physical Chemistry I 321F
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of quantum chemistry. Topics include the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics, the nature of the chemical bond, and applications of molecular quantum mechanics including spectroscopy and computational electronic structure methods. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.View All Courses
Organic Synthesis Toward Improved Human Health 360F
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. Writing-intensive.View All Courses
Connections and Careers
Richardson ’21 Working in Analytical Chemistry at National Cancer Institute
Research and Discovery
Finding Direction to Chemistry Research
Janice Kang '20 knew she wanted to pursue graduate school ever since coming to Hamilton, and four years of chemistry classes and a number of research opportunities — including one that led her to co-authoring a paper — only confirmed that desire. After graduation, she will begin work toward her Ph.D. in chemistry at Northwestern University.
Research and Discovery
Students Dive Deep in Half-Credit Chemistry Courses
Chemistry major Will Richardson ’21 never had a science course like it: Instead of doing lab work and problem-solving, the 11 students pored over scientific literature and then presented about what they’d read. Much of it was newly published work on COVID-19.