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Chemistry

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Why Study Chemistry?
What is the structure of a superconductor? How do we clean polluted water and remove fog from airports? These two questions illustrate how Chemistry affects our daily lives. Chemistry is the science of the elements, what they are made of, how they are built, what characteristics they have, and how they interact to form compounds with new properties. It is an ancient science, yet ever expanding, ever vital.

Chemists like to unravel mysteries. They enjoy the challenge of discovering the secrets behind life. Did you know that our ideas, thoughts, moods, and mental stability involve electrochemical processes? Studies at the molecular level are helping us to understand the brain and life itself.

Why Study Chemistry at Clarkson?
Nearly every college and university offers a major in Chemistry. Some prepare secondary school teachers, others researchers. You will discover that Clarkson's program in Chemistry is special and exciting. The unique position of Clarkson University is the major reason we feel so strongly about our Chemistry program. Clarkson is a relatively small institution, about 2,800 students. Yet, we are one of the major research institutions in the Northeast. Many of our professors are internationally recognized. Just as important as our faculty's scientific credentials, however, is the fact that they care about teaching. They give personal attention to each student.

Our classes are small, and even the most senior faculty teach undergraduate courses. You will have every opportunity not only to excel, but to excel in an environment of mentorship and support. The nature of our Chemistry curriculum is also unique. Chemistry at Clarkson is more than theory and classroom study. We "do" Chemistry. The applied nature of our program encourages you to really get involved in research, to discover that theory has real world applications, and, most importantly, that you are a scientist with much to contribute.

What kinds of facilities are available?
As a major research institution, we have instructional and research facilities that are state-of-the-art. At Clarkson, you will learn about technologies by using them, gaining hands-on experience in large-scale computing, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectrophotometry, relaxation spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, photometry, x-ray analysis, polarography, and many other exciting laboratory techniques.

The cornerstone of Clarkson's laboratory complex is the 190,000 square foot Center for Advanced Materials Processing, one of the largest and newest laboratory facilities in New York. In addition, Clarkson recently finished construction on a 8,000 square foot Biotechnology wing. These facilities provide Clarkson students with a unique edge in pursuing their studies. The technical and scientific skills you gain by actually utilizing state-of-the-art facilities significantly enhances your position in the job market and in applying to graduate schools.

What is the difference between a chemist and a chemical engineer?
In general, a chemist finds ways to make a chemical compound for which the chemical engineer later develops large-scale manufacturing processes. The chemist identifies the structure and other properties of a new compound, finds suitable solvents for it, and clarifies its interactions with other compounds. The chemist lays the foundation for the chemical engineer, who transforms the discoveries of the chemist into processes. Chemical engineers often work with huge equipment and large quantities of materials, chemists with small amounts in a laboratory environment.

What can you do with a degree in Chemistry from Clarkson?
Clarkson Chemistry graduates accept positions in industry, governmental agencies, and educational institutions. They apply their knowledge to products as varied as textiles, metals, and pharmaceuticals and in fields as diverse as medicine, national defense, environmental protection, and crime detection.

In addition, a Clarkson Chemistry degree provides flexibility. Many of our graduates have established excellent careers in teaching, government, journalism, law enforcement, scientific writing, patent law, and technical communications. Recently, selling chemicals or instruments has become popular among Clarkson graduates. Because a Chemistry degree is important for a large number of fields, a variety of jobs are available all the time, all over the country, all over the world!