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A B.S. degree in chemistry provides a number of opportunities, which could include a real job, or going back to school for additional study. Below is some information related to these paths, and how chemistry can prepare you.
Graduate Study in Chemistry:
Many careers in chemistry require, or offer more opportunity, with advanced degrees (M.S. or Ph.D.). Students who complete the B.S. degree in chemistry or biochemistry are prepared for admission to graduate programs in chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, and other related fields. Because of the shortage of American students pursuing advanced degrees in science, there are numerous opportunities for students to attend graduate school. The best part is that graduate students in the sciences typically receive a stipend, which will range from $15,000-25,000 a year. In addition, most departments will waive tuition and most fees to graduate students. The stipends and tuition remissions are offered in exchange for students working as teaching assistants or research assistants.
Students considering graduate studies in chemistry should be aware that it is a demanding endeavor that can take 5 or more years. Graduate study is very different from your undergraduate degree. While you will take some classes during your graduate study, usually in the first 1-2 years, the bulk of your effort will be devoted to carrying out individual research under the direction of a faculty mentor. Graduate students are typically expected to work at least 40 hours per week in the lab, and many advisors will expect more than 40 hours. In addition, students are expected to work year round, including over traditional student holidays, such as spring break and summer. Because of the strong research focus of graduate degrees, students considering this option should have a strong interest in doing research. Doing undergraduate research, particularly full time during the summer, is a good way to determine if this is a path you are interested in taking.
Health Professional Schools
A large number of chemistry majors are interested in health professions careers, and thus choose to go on to various health professional schools. Any of the chemistry major tracks will provide all of the necessary prerequisites for nearly any health professional program. In addition, the chemistry major provides critical thinking skills that are valued by admissions officers at these schools. Some examples of health professional schools that students from our program have attended include:
For more information on health professional careers, see the UA Pre-Health web site.
Graduate Study in Other Areas:
While many chemistry majors will go on to graduate school in chemistry, some may seek out other fields in order to prepare themselves for careers in fields related to chemistry. A B.S. in chemistry will prepare you for a wide variety of graduate programs. A few examples are listed below:
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