Chemistry

As a Chemistry student at Roanoke, you'll have incredible freedom to study the essence of the world in a supportive, open-door environment.

You'll experience chemistry firsthand through research, internships, independent studies and department trips to medical schools and chemical firms. If you're interested in chemistry or health-related careers, we offer individual mentoring as well as help with the graduate and medical school admissions process.

Our students have gone on to grad programs at schools such as Boston University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. Recent graduates now work in a wide range of jobs from heading up research and development at PepsiCo, to acting as a forensic document examiner for the U.S. Secret Service.

We offer both a B.A. and a B.S. major as well as a minor in Chemistry, a major in Biochemistry and a concentration in medicinal chemistry.

Chemistry majors

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“Knowing I’d have the opportunity to do research as a freshman is what really pulled me in.” Casey Wojtera ‘14

Chemistry majors are doing serious research

Kate Yakuboff worked with Dr. Gary Hollis on developing a kinetics experiment for an introductory organic chemistry laboratory.

Danielle Allen is working with Dr. Catherine Sarisky as a Summer Scholar, and she started working in the lab as part of the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program. They are researching expressing the protein PurF in the Archeal species Sulfolobus solfataricus.

Colin Blye presented his research at Pittcon, a conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., that covers research on analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. "Working one-on-one with a professor is a really good learning experience," he said. "Doing research, you are able to learn so much about a topic that you would not normally get the opportunity to do in a classroom."

At Roanoke, freshmen use instruments that are available only to seniors or graduate students at many other schools. Alumni tell us that their experiences with instrumentation here distinguish them from the norm when they enter graduate school or the workforce.

Roanoke Chemistry majors intern at world-class organizations

Chemistry and French? | Kate combines two interests to create a career she will love.

Goldwater Scholar now working on Ph.D. and medical degree

Jeremy Johnson '13 is pursuing both a medical degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. As a student at Roanoke, he was a chemistry major with a math minor. He earned   the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, as well. Johnson worked closely with Dr. Vernon Miller, his undergraduate research advisor and describes him as "a huge influence."

Inspired by his mother's fight with cancer, Johnson's research is on cancer metabolomics. "The type of research I'll be doing will combine biochemistry and organic chemistry, two of my favorite courses at Roanoke," Johnson said. "In these courses, I learned from Drs. Hollis, Johann, Sarisky, and Miller. They are excellent instructors who have provided me with a great foundation in both of these disciplines."

Action in the lab