Earn Your Chemistry Degree on the Coast of Maine
If you’re excited at the prospect of studying chemistry at a major research university but want the personal attention offered at a small college, UNE’s Bachelor of Science in Chemistry gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll learn important chemical principles of analytical, biological, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry, integrating theory with experimentation through labs and an uncommon breadth of undergraduate research opportunities. Our hands-on emphasis builds confidence in classic and state-of-the-art instrumental techniques while developing the problem-solving and communications skills you’ll need in the workplace.
Why UNE for your B.S. in Chemistry
The first institution in Northern New England to adopt the Green Chemistry Commitment, UNE integrates green chemistry theory and practice into our Chemistry curriculum. We provide hands-on laboratory experiments, lectures from experts, and an emphasis on mentored chemical research – all in an effort to prepare our students for a 21st century workforce that will be focused on chemical solutions to societal problems.
- Suite of modern instrumentation
- Large and active Chemistry Club, an award-winning chapter of the American Chemical Society
- Teaching assistantships
- Abundant local internship opportunities
What will you study? Chemistry Degree Curriculum Overview
Your core courses will cover the foundations of chemistry and all of its subfields, while you can select areas of modern chemistry to study intensively as elective courses and through research. You’ll also cover lab techniques, experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, scientific literacy, and scientific communication.
B.S. in Chemistry Courses
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Instrumental Analysis
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Computational Chemistry
- Qualitative Analysis
- Advanced Laboratory
|CAS Core Requirements
|Total Core Requirements
|Program Required Courses
|CHE 150/150L – University General Chemistry I*
|CHE 151/151L – University General Chemistry II*
|CHE 250/250L/250S – University Organic Chemistry I*
|CHE 251/251L/251S – University Organic Chemistry II*
|CHE 280/280L – Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
|CHE 307/307L – Quantitative Analysis
|CHE 350/350L – Biochemistry I: Proteins
|CHE 370/370L – Physical Chemistry I
|CHE 371 – Physical Chemistry II
|CHE 375 – Advanced Laboratory
|CHE 401 – Seminar
|CHE 417/417L – Instrumental Methods of Analysis
|MAT 190 – Calculus I (credits included in core requirements)
|MAT 195 – Calculus II
|MAT 200 – Calculus III
|PHY 210 – University Physics I*
|PHY 211 – University Physics II*
|Minimum one course from the following for a total of three (3) credits
|CHE 320 – Mechanistic Organic Chemistry
|CHE 380 – Inorganic Chemistry
|CHE 405 – Medicinal Chemistry
|CHE 410 – Research I
|CHE 411 – Research II
|CHE 420 – Spectroscopic Methods of Structural Analysis
|CHE 450 – Advanced Biochemistry Lab
|Minimum Program Credits
|Open elective credits (as needed to reach 120 credits)
|Minimum Required Total Credits
*Matriculated majors are expected to enroll in the University course sequences for general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. The following substitutions may be made with program permission: CHE 110 for CHE 150; CHE 111 for CHE 151; CHE 210 or CHE 210G for CHE 250; CHE 211 or 211G for CHE 251; PHY 110 for PHY 210; and/or PHY 111 for PHY 211.
Students wishing to pursue teacher certification in Physical Science can complete a double major with Chemistry and Secondary Education, or a major in Secondary Education and a concentration in Chemistry. For more information, see the Secondary Education catalog page.
To learn more about the program visit the Academic Catalog.
Chemistry with Secondary Education Certification
If you are interested in using your Chemistry degree to teach high school Physical Science, you can complete a double major with Secondary Education or a major in Secondary Education and a concentration in Chemistry.
We offer qualified students the option of graduating with Honors. This includes significant research, scholarship or creative activity under the direction of a faculty member. Interested students should consult with their major advisor.
Career Paths for Chemistry Majors
Our students have landed jobs with Shell Oil, IDEXX, and the U.S. Office of Naval Research. With a solid foundation in all chemistry sub-fields, knowledge of laboratory techniques, the critical thinking skills you develop as a researcher, and the interpersonal skills you gain through internships and collaborative work with peers and faculty, you too will be poised to begin your successful career in a number of professions, including:
- Industrial Chemist
- Environmental Consultant
- Pharmaceutical Researcher
- Clinical Chemist
- Forensic Scientist
- Scientific Laboratory Technician
- Science Writer
- Science Teacher
Career Advising for B.S. in Chemistry Students
Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.
Green Chemistry Commitment
UNE is the first institution in Northern New England to adopt the Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) — joining a consortium of approximately 40 other institutions of higher education nationwide which will share resources toward meeting common student learning objectives that are endorsed by leaders in the chemical industry.
Experiential Learning in the Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry Program
Many Chemistry majors at UNE consider their close work with faculty on research projects to be the highlight of their college education. Beyond the lab, we provide opportunities for hands-on learning through internships as well as Chemistry Club events and demonstrations — because at UNE, we believe in learning by doing.
From synthesizing small molecule drugs and designing catalysts for chemical reactions to imaging biomaterials and exploring environmental toxicology the ability to work closely with a faculty member on a research project is one of the highlights of our undergraduate program.
Listed below you will find descriptions of the research being carried out by our faculty.
There are three ongoing research projects in Amy Deveau's (Dr. D) lab:
- The design and synthesis of naltrexol derivatives for use as pain and addiction therapies
- The synthesis and biological characterization of tryptophan-based DNA intercalators
- The synthesis of medicinally active, nitrogen-containing compounds using green Suzuki Coupling methodology, and the extension of these experiments to the undergraduate organic lab curriculum.
Overall, Dr. D is passionate about finding ways to interest students in science and in learning new ways to integrate teaching and research in the classroom (i.e. chemical pedagogy).
Along with interested UNE students and scholars, Stephen Fox, Ph.D., plans to:
- Continue to characterize the physical and structural properties of the dicopper(I) model and its derivatives
- Further customize the naphthyridine with electron-donating groups to enhance the reactivity of the dicopper(I) center; selectively remove/replace the bridging groups to investigate the utility of the dicopper(I) center as a catalyst for reactions such as aziridination
- Investigate factors influencing the metal-metal separation through theoretical computational studies.
Research in Amy Keirstead's (Dr. K) group covers a wide variety of traditional areas, from synthetic organic chemistry to photochemistry, spectroscopy, materials science, and green chemistry, and undergraduate students will gain experience in all of these areas. Two major pieces of equipment are used for this research: a photochemical reaction chamber, which is a steady-state instrument, and a nanosecond laser flash photolysis system, which uses a nanosecond laser and fast detection system to monitor reactions as they happen on the nanosecond to millisecond time scale.
Several areas of research are being explored in Jerome Mullin's, Ph.D., laboratory. One area is focused on the determination of heavy metal distributions in sediments from the Gulf of Maine, local rivers, and the Bering Sea, in an attempt to evaluate current levels of heavy metal pollution and identify degrees and sources of anthropogenic inputs of these elements. Of particular interest are the baseline heavy metal distributions in the Bering Sea, a relatively sparsely populated area of high primary productivity still considered to be largely unpolluted. Metals that have been determined to date, using atomic absorption spectroscopy and anodic stripping voltammetry, include cadmium, lead, and chromium.
Another area of research involves the spectroscopic and electrochemical characterization of a series of Group-14 and 15 metallacyclopentadienes (metalloles). These interesting compounds, which have unusual photoluminescence properties, show promise as monomeric units for the design of conducting polymers, for use in energy-transfer applications, as emitting species in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and as components of chemical sensors. Luminescence quantum yields for the compounds recently have been determined and luminescence quenching studies are ongoing. Of special interest is the dramatic aggregation-induced emission (AIE) exhibited by many of these compounds, in which luminescence yields are increased by over two orders of magnitude compared to the unaggregated compounds. Current directions in this research also include the development of substituted metalloles designed for increased water solubility, improved luminescence yields, and for use as luminescent probes.
Photoluminescence is also the subject of research involving compounds containing a rare earth ion, e.g., Tb(III), Eu(III), or Dy(III) and the dicyanoaurate or dicyanoargentate ions. These compounds appear to have energy transfer characteristics that lead to "tunable" excitation of rare earth photoluminescence.
Other areas of interest include the development of fiber-optic probes based on fluorescence and/or chemiluminescence and the development of a chemiluminescence-based immunoassay system for the determination of trace amounts of dioxins.
Recent Grant Support: National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EOSAT Corporation, Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National Grants Program, American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), University of New England.
One major research area in Deena Small’s, Ph.D., laboratory is the investigation of how proteins belonging to the Jagged1/Notch and Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) families interact and regulate adipocyte differentiation in response to hormones such as insulin. Since adipose tissue development and function is also dependent on the ability of the mature fat cells to secure a vascular system that will support its metabolic requirements, the study also includes analysis of Jagged1/Notch and FGF interactions as a regulator of angiogenesis- the formation of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature.
The second research project in The Small Laboratory is a toxicology study that characterizes the effects that Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as flame retardants in a variety of household goods, have on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. In particular, research is focused on analyzing the effects that these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have on mesenchymal stem cell growth dynamics and their ability to differentiate into adipocytes and osteoblasts. These studies also document the impact that early PBDE exposure has on the formation of adipose and bone. The ultimate goal of both projects is to understand the connection that these signaling mediators have on human health and disease. Both research projects use a combination of cell culture and in vivo biomedical models such as the mouse and zebrafish. Techniques include standard biochemical/molecular biology methods including quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblot, and ELISA. In addition, Dr. Small employs molecular techniques such as cloning to produce transgenic mice and zebrafish for the studies. These projects involve collaborations with scientists from UNE, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, SUNY Geneseo, University of Maine, Bates College and University of Quebec, Montreal.
The first area of Jon Stubbs's research is focused on DNA sensor microarray technology, which is composed of single-stranded DNA oligomers bound to a surface. The development of this technology relies on knowledge of DNA denaturation or "melting" and hybridization transitions, and their sensitivity to many variables has left several questions unanswered, such as the mechanism by which changes in physical environment between solution and bound DNA act to influence hybridization, or competitive adsorption of nearly identical sequences.
The second area attempts to improve upon separation technology using fairly innocuous materials such as supercritical carbon dioxide and polyethylene glycol to achieve what traditional processes do with more detrimental materials. Molecular simulations allow the modeling of such systems with the goal of optimizing solvation conditions and is done by carrying out calculations with varying thermodynamic (e.g. temperature and/or pressure) conditions and compositions.
James Vesenka, Ph.D. (Dr. V) conducts research in the self-assembly process of four-stranded “G-wire” DNA using scanning probe microscopy (SPM). He is interested in understanding the kinetics of the self-assembly process and the interaction of the G-wire DNA with substrates and double-stranded DNA. G-wires make exciting candidates for possible nano-electronic devices, so he is interested in their electronic properties and the ability to manipulate the self-assembled structures at the microscopic level with the SPM. With the advent of fast local area networks he has safely connected the sensitive SPM to the noisy environment of the introductory physics lab using virtual network computing.
Dr. V also conducts research in the area of physics pedagogy. He is developing more effective means for teaching introductory physics through the use of multiple representation learning tools, also called “modeling,” which includes better student evaluation procedures. He has organized two workshops to train pre-service and in-service science teachers in Maine and California for the summer of 2000.
Grant support: Research Corporation, National Science Foundation, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.
Internships for Chemistry Majors
You may intern at sites including hospitals, private or government labs, educational institutions, or science centers. We partner with several prestigious employers that provide internships, including:
- Shell Oil
- Katahdin Laboratories
- State of New Hampshire Pubic Health – Water Analysis Lab
Chemistry Program Facilities
Our Chemistry program is housed in Peter and Cecile Morgane Hall, with additional teaching and research laboratories in the Harold Alfond Center for Health Sciences and biochemistry research laboratories in the Pickus Center for Biomedical Research. All of the facilities are located on our beautiful seaside campus in Biddeford.
Morgane Hall houses the general chemistry, general physics, and biochemistry teaching labs as well as some small research labs. The advanced chemistry teaching and research labs are located on the third floor of the Alfond Center and the first floor of the Pickus Center. Pickus has flexible biochemistry research space, where you work with faculty using a wide range of modern chemical and biochemical instrumentation in facilities designed to be conducive to learning and research productivity.
- BAS CV-50W Multi-purpose Electrochemical Analyzer (1997)
- Misc. ISEs; computer-interfaced pH/ion mV meters
- Eberbach Electrogravimetric Analyzer
- Hewlett-Packard 5890 capillary GC with FID and TCD
- Agilent 7280 capillary GC with FID and TCD (2012)
- Shimadzu HPLC with diode array detector (2010)
- Waters 501 HPLC + Varian 2050 Variable Wavelength UV Detector
- Beckman 330 HPLC + 110A pump + Waters 430 Conductivity Detector (Ion Chromatography)
- GC-MSD with FID, TCD, and CI options and autosampler ( 2012)
- Odyssey CLx Infrared Imaging System (LI-COR)
- Spectramax M2 spectrofluorometer
- Scanning Laser Confocal Microscope (Leica TCS SP5, 2011)
- Atomic Force Microscope (Digital Instruments Nanoscope IIIA, 2004)
- Access to numerous fluorescence and digital microscopes through UNE core imaging facility
- Polarimeters, Refractometers
- Electronic Balances
- Planer Electrophoresis
- Photochemical Reaction Chamber (Luzchem, 2009)
- Computational Cluster (purchased 2007)
- Karl-Fischer Titrator (Mettler Toledo, 2010)
- Glove Box (Vacuum Atmospheres Single Omni System, 2010)
- Perkin-Elmer Lambda-20 double beam UV-Vis spectrophotometer (1997)
- Beckman DU-2 UV-Vis with Gilson upgrades
- Shimadzu UV-2450 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer (2009)
- Aminco-Bowman Series 2 Spectrofluorometer (1993)
- Varian Eclipse Spectrofluorometer (2011)
- Jobin-Yvon Horiba Fluorolog MF2 Steady-state and Frequency-domain Picosecond-scale Fluorescence Lifetime Fluorometer (2010)
- Olis DM-45 Photon-counting Spectrofluorometer (2013)
- Turner Model 111 Filter Fluorometer
- GBC 932B AA Spectrometer; Flame and Graphite Furnace (2003)
- Olis DSM-20 CD Circular Dichroism spectrometer with CLARiTY Upgrade (2013)
- Thermo-Nicolet IR-200 FT-IR (2007)
- Thermo-Nicolet IR-300 FT-IR (2002)
- JEOL ECX-300 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer (2003)
- Raman Spectrometer (delta Nu; 2009)
- High resolution UV-Vis Spectrophotometer (Ocean Optics; 2009)
- Ocean Optics UV-Vis Spectrophotometers
Ready to begin your future at UNE’s B.S. in Chemistry degree program?
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry FAQ
What is a chemistry degree?
A chemistry degree stresses the fundamental aspects of chemistry as a discipline, including analytical chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry. With a degree in chemistry, students can contribute to a range of work, from developing antibiotics to working on criminal investigations. Majoring in chemistry can lead to careers in medicine, research, the chemical industry, and more.
UNE in Maine offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in chemistry through our School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Our balanced curriculum assures that each student will achieve a substantial foundation in the other major chemical subdisciplines, including analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry. This major is a good choice for students who are especially interested in studying the applications of chemistry in biological systems.
UNE also offers a Minor in Chemistry which offers students the chance to apply chemistry principles to solve real-world problems in the natural and physical sciences. Students who minor in chemistry can enhance their marketability for laboratory-based jobs after graduation or to further develop their deductive reasoning and analytical skills to solve challenging real-world problems.
What can you do with a chemistry degree?
There is a common perception that a chemistry degree leads to a job in a laboratory where you wear goggles and a lab coat. That’s not always the case. Chemistry majors have diverse career options in fields like medicine, research, the chemical industry, and more. It also prepares you for graduate school in chemistry or related fields.
UNE students who graduate with a B.S. in Chemistry have landed jobs with Shell Oil, IDEXX, and the U.S. Office of Naval Research. With the knowledge, research skills, and internship experience you acquire at UNE, you can move on to have a career in many roles including industrial chemist, environmental consultant, pharmaceutical researcher, clinical chemist, forensic scientist, nanotechnologist, scientific laboratory technician, science writer, or science teacher.
UNE students can work with our Academic and Career Advising Center to find a path that speaks to them. It doesn’t matter if you have a clear career goal or just a general interest in a field.
Is chemistry a hard major?
Chemistry is considered a challenging college major because it involves a lot of exacting math and science courses. Chemistry majors encounter a demanding curriculum as they explore the fundamental building blocks of the world. If you're enthusiastic about learning about atoms, molecules, and ions and are up for intellectual challenges, chemistry could be the right major for you. Additionally, it can be beneficial for those aspiring to attend medical school and is also suitable for students interested in research, government, or academic careers.
UNE’s Student Academic Success Center (SASC) is here to help you develop and maintain the skills you need to meet the challenges of undergraduate and graduate academic demands.
At UNE, a minimum grade of C- must be achieved in all required science and mathematics courses used toward graduation in chemistry/secondary education, and a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average in the sciences is a requirement for graduation.
How much do chemistry majors make?
As of September 2023, the average salary for a chemistry major in the U.S. was about $56,438, as reported by Zippia. Common salary breakdowns by job* according to include:
- Anesthesiology: $409,213
- Medical Science Liaison: $145,718
- Clinical Scientist: $122,388
- Principal Scientist: $119,981
- Senior Software Engineer: $114,494
- Senior Scientist: $106,671
- Data Scientist: $106,104
- Scientist Senior, Research and Development: $103,295
- Field Applications Scientist: $101,705
- Senior Quality Engineer: $101,338
According to Indeed the top five entry-level jobs for chemistry majors in the U.S. include graduate assistant ($37,055 per year), chemical technician ($41,302 per year), water treatment plant operator ($42,355 per year), quality control inspector ($58,573 per year) and pharmaceutical sales representative ($68,695 per year).
What classes do chemistry majors take?
Chemistry majors complete core coursework with practical lab experiments that teach essential chemical principles and instrumental techniques. As a chemistry student at UNE in Maine, your core courses will cover the foundations of chemistry and its subfields.You can choose modern chemistry areas for in-depth study through electives and research. Additionally, you'll learn laboratory techniques, experimental design, data analysis, scientific literacy, and communication skills.The following are just some examples of the exciting chemistry courses that you can take:
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Instrumental Analysis
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Computational Chemistry
- Qualitative Analysis
- Advanced Laboratory
With an appropriate choice of courses, UNE students who graduate with a B.S. in Chemistry will be prepared for entry into graduate programs in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and many other fields that rely on chemistry as a fundamental science.
How long does a chemistry degree take?
The length of a chemistry degree depends on the type of degree you want to pursue. The types of chemistry degrees out there include:
- Associate's Degree: Typically a two-year program with general education and core science courses.
- Bachelor's Degree (B.S. or B.A.): A four-year program covering all chemistry areas, including organic and physical chemistry.
- Master's Degree: Typically an additional two years after a bachelor's degree.
- Doctorate Degree: Can take an additional five years but may be shorter when combined with a master's degree.
UNE’s B.S. in Chemistry requires a minimum of 120 credit hours or four years of full-time study. This includes:
- 42-46 credits of College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) core curriculum
- 64 minimum program credits of program-required courses
- Open electives as needed to reach 120 credits
What colleges offer the best chemistry degree program for me?
There are many factors to consider when choosing which college or university has the best chemistry degree program for you.
When selecting a chemistry program, assess the faculty's qualifications and research interests. Make sure their expertise and research areas align with your passion for chemistry and are in sync with your academic and career aspirations.
One of the standout features of UNE’s undergraduate chemistry program is the opportunity to collaborate closely with a faculty member on a captivating research project. Below, you'll see a few descriptions of the research projects currently conducted by our faculty members:
- Amy M. Deveau, Ph.D. - Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
- Stephen Fox, Ph.D. - Inorganic Chemistry
- Amy E. Keirstead, Ph.D. - Physical Organic Chemistry and Photochemistry
- Jerome Mullin, Ph.D. - Analytical Chemistry
- Deena J. Small, Ph.D. - Biochemistry
- John M. Stubbs, Ph.D. - Physical Chemistry
- James Vesenka, Ph.D. - Physics
When considering a chemistry program as a prospective college student, it's crucial to assess the curriculum to ensure it matches your interests. Explore areas like general chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, or related subjects, and inquire about research opportunities and internships within the chemistry field.
UNE’s chemistry curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training. We are also the first institution in Northern New England to adopt the Green Chemistry Commitment. This means we integrate green chemistry theory and practice into our Chemistry curriculum.
Many Chemistry majors at UNE in Maine find working closely with faculty on research projects to be the best part of their college experience. In addition to lab work, we offer hands-on learning through internships and Chemistry Club events and demonstrations. At UNE, we believe in learning through practical experience.
If you want to use your chemistry degree to teach high school physical science, you can pursue a double major in secondary education or a major in secondary education with a concentration in chemistry.
Choose a chemistry program that aligns with your career aspirations and goals. Explore the available resources to help you plan your path forward.
UNE chemistry students are well-equipped to enter the workforce directly or pursue competitive graduate programs in physical sciences and related technology fields. Chemistry graduates are also well-prepared for professional programs like medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary schools.
UNE chemistry students may intern at sites including hospitals, private or government labs, educational institutions, or science centers. We partner with several prestigious employers that provide internships, including IDEXX, Shell Oil, Katahdin Laboratories, and the State of New Hampshire Public Health – Water Analysis Lab.
UNE students can work with our Academic and Career Advising Center to find a path that matches their passions. It doesn’t matter if you have a clear career goal or just a general interest in a field.
Decide whether you want to stay within your state or explore opportunities in another state. Evaluate whether the student and faculty community aligns with your desire for inspiration and intellectual stimulation.
UNE’s Chemistry program is situated in Morgane Hall, with additional labs in the Alfond Center for Health Sciences and the Pickus Center for Biomedical Research, all on our scenic seaside campus in Biddeford, Maine - one of three unique campuses that provide diverse learning opportunities.
Morgane Hall houses the general chemistry, general physics, and biochemistry teaching labs as well as some small research labs. The advanced chemistry teaching and research labs are located on the third floor of the Alfond Center and the first floor of the Pickus Center. Pickus has a flexible biochemistry research space where you work with faculty using a wide range of modern chemical and biochemical instrumentation in facilities designed to be conducive to learning and research productivity.
UNE’s Chemistry Club is a student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and it has won multiple awards
Does the school you are considering offer financial aid or scholarships to help you in your education?
A UNE education can be affordable. Our tuition is 16% below the average tuition for private universities in New England. All incoming full-time undergraduate students at UNE will receive Merit Scholarships in amounts from $5,000 to $22,000 per year.
UNE's Student Financial Services includes both Financial Aid and Student Accounts offices. Our program maximizes available institutional and federal funds. To discover ways to fund your education, reach out to email@example.com or call (207) 602-2342 during our Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–3 p.m. office hours.