Chemistry Major

Chemistry majors at George Fox study at one of the West Coast's top Christian colleges.

Interested in pursuing a career in the sciences? Consider the many options open to you with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from George Fox University. Our graduates are chemists, medical students, pharmacists, teachers, dental students and more.

Chemistry majors are prepared to enter the fields of education, research, forensic science and medicine, while many go on to graduate school to further their studies. You’ll take a wide range of courses that cover the theory and practice of modern chemistry, while a number of elective courses allow you to customize your course schedule to meet your unique educational and career goals. You will also study in a Christian college environment that recognizes God as Creator.

The quality of our program is reflected by the track record of our graduates, many of whom have achieved success at some of the nation’s top graduate and professional schools and in the job market.


Request more information about the chemistry major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

Chemistry majors at George Fox study at one of the West Coast's top Christian colleges.

The job outlook for chemists is expected to hold relatively steady in the coming years, with prospects often dependent on the level of education achieved. The best job opportunities in the next few years will likely go to students who complete an advanced degree (MD, MS or PhD). Pharmaceutical and biotechnical firms will continue to be a primary source of chemistry jobs. However, there are many other options, such as education, environmental chemistry and medicine.

  • Professor of Chemistry, Bethel University
  • Professor of Chemistry, Montana State University Northern
  • Senior Research Chemist, Pacific Northwest National Lab
  • Chemistry Teacher, Aloha High School
  • Pharmacist, OHSU
  • CEO, Portland General Electric
  • Forensic Scientist, Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • Chemical Engineer, Hewlett-Packard
  • Physical Therapist, Newberg Physical Therapy
  • Family Physician, private practice
  • Orthopedic Surgeon, private practice
  • Stanford University
  • U.C. Berkeley
  • University of Texas
  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Ohio State University
  • Cornell University
  • Emory University
  • U.C. Davis
  • University of Nevada
  • University of Florida
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis
  • University of Washington, School of Medicine
  • Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
  • University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
  • University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
  • Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore.
  • Bend Research, Bend, Ore.
  • University of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Pacific Northwest National Lab, Kirkland, Wash.

In the News

Asteria Yiu

Chemistry Student Earns NASA Scholarship

While she doesn’t plan on taking a trip to space anytime soon, George Fox junior chemistry major Asteria Yiu is conducting research that got the attention of the Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium, which awarded her a $5,000 scholarship for the 2017-18 school year.

Yiu was one of only 10 recipients in the state of Oregon to receive the funds, which go to undergraduate students who “demonstrate a commitment to their academic pursuit of a STEM-related degree,” according to NASA. The awardees also demonstrated how their field of study relates to the NASA vision and the activities of one or more of the NASA mission directorates. Read more …

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Major Requirements

Core requirements

Complete the following:

This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: A math SAT score of at least 500 (test taken prior to March 2016) or a math SAT score of at least 530 (test taken March 2016 or later), or successful completion of MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics (or equivalent).
This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I.
An introduction to the principles and techniques of quantitative chemical analysis. Subject matter includes volumetric and complexometric analysis; neutralization, precipitation, and oxidation-reduction titrations; solubility; statistical methods of data analysis; UV/Vis and atomic absorption spectroscopy; fluorescence spectroscopy; and chromatographic methods. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A survey of topics in inorganic chemistry, including atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodic trends of structure, physical properties and reactivities of the elements, group theory as applied to molecular structure, and nonmetal and transition metal chemistry. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.
An introduction to modern theoretical chemistry, emphasizing the fundamental physical principles of chemical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. The study of thermodynamics will apply mathematical models of energy relationships to the understanding of chemical equilibrium. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry; MATH 202 Calculus II; Corequisites: PHYS 202 General Physics II or PHYS 212 General Physics with Calculus II.
An introduction to the quantum mechanical description of matter. Emphasis on the development of fundamental principles of quantum theory and applications to atomic and molecular structure and spectroscopy. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry; MATH 202 Calculus II; Corequisites: PHYS 202 General Physics II or PHYS 212 General Physics with Calculus II; MATH 301 Calculus III
An advanced, senior-level course that will focus on reading and searching the chemical literature for the purpose of designing an independent research project. One lecture per week. Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission.
An advanced, senior-level laboratory course integrating synthetic techniques, instrumental methods, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, spectroscopy and an original research project. The purpose is to build on and consolidate the student’s previous experiences in experiment design and execution, data acquisition and analysis, problem solution, and oral and written communication of results. Two laboratory sessions per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 461.

Complete the following:

The class is a study of limits limits of functions, applications of derivatives, and an introduction to integration. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics or equivalent.
A study of differential and integral calculus for functions of one variable. Additional topics include polar coordinates, infinite series, and parametric equations. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
This course is an extension of MATH 201 and 202 Calculus I and II to functions of more than one variable. Topics include vectors, vector-valued functions, partial derivatives, and multiple integration. Prerequisite: MATH 202 Calculus II.

Choose one of the following sequences:

Sequence 1:
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 201 General Physics I.
Sequence 2:
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 211 General Physics with Calculus I.

Choose one of the following:

A systematic and theoretical study of the biochemical activities of living cells. Topics to be covered will include: the structure, properties, and molecular interactions of biomolecules, metabolic pathways, bioenergetics, and metabolism of biomolecules, and RNA, DNA, and protein synthesis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I and CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II.
An advanced study of organic reactions and structures including, reaction mechanisms, linear free energy relationships, isotope effects, pericyclic reactions, spectroscopy, and molecular modeling. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II.

Philosophy: The opportunity to pursue a chemistry thesis is an honor. Consequently, the thesis option will be noted on a student's transcript. The thesis is designed to enhance a student's preparation for graduate or professional school. The heart of the thesis is original research conducted under the guidance of a chemistry faculty member.

Eligibility: The thesis option may be pursued by any chemistry major in good academic standing. Students wishing to pursue a thesis must:

  1. Consult with their research advisor about an acceptable research project.
  2. In writing, notify the chemistry thesis committee (composed of the chemistry department faculty) of their intention to conduct research. The thesis committee must receive notification by the end of the fall semester of the student's junior year.

After the beginning of the spring semester of a student's junior year, students must petition the department thesis committee for permission to pursue thesis research. Students who pursue the thesis option must:

  1. Enroll in at least 1 hour of Chemical Research (CHEM 465) each semester, beginning the spring semester of their junior year, through the spring semester of their senior year.
  2. Submit the first copy of a written thesis to the thesis committee by April 1 of their senior year. The final, edited copy is due to the thesis committee the last day of classes during the spring semester.
  3. Prepare a poster and give an oral presentation of their research.

In some cases, students may apply research conducted off campus to the CHEM 465 requirement. Students who participate in off-campus research programs may petition the thesis committee for special consideration of the thesis option. The thesis committee must receive the petition by the beginning of the fall semester of the student's senior year. The thesis committee may elect to substitute the off-campus experience for a portion of the CHEM 465 requirement.

Student Experiences

Kia Nicholson, Surgical resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

"The Department of Chemistry provided a safe and supportive environment for me to explore my options in careers in science and medicine, both while I was a student at George Fox and after I had graduated. The faculty took the time to get to know me, and challenge and encourage me in exactly the ways that I needed in order to be successful."

- Kia Nicholson, Surgical resident, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Chris Kliewer, PhD, UC-Berkeley, Chemist at Sandia National Laboratories, Recipient of Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award

"I am grateful for the excellent preparation the George Fox chemistry department gave me for graduate studies. Small class sizes with knowledgeable faculty, summer research projects and TA opportunities were all available to me – opportunities which gave me an edge coming into graduate school."

- Chris Kliewer, PhD, UC-Berkeley, Chemist at Sandia National Laboratories, Recipient of Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award

Points of Distinction

  • Obtain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation.
  • Perform cutting-edge research with professors and present your findings at national conferences.
  • Participate in a research-based senior capstone laboratory course.
  • Learn to think critically and solve real-world problems.
  • Be mentored by caring and knowledgeable faculty who are actively involved in chemistry.
  • Choose from a variety of internship and research opportunities.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier national university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.

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