Chemistry Department

Welcome to the Chemistry Department website.  You may also find the external website for chemistry or biochemistry useful.

Majors & Minor

The chemistry department offer both a B.A. in chemistry, a B.S. in chemistry, a B.A. in biochemistry, a B.S. in biochemistry, a concentration in medicinal chemistry, and a minor in chemistry.

What makes our department special?

Nationally accredited. As one of a handful of schools in Virginia accredited by the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Roanoke College offers an ACS-certified degree and an ASBMB-certified degree.  These certified degrees are recognized by employers and graduate schools alike as a mark of quality.  More information on certification is available here.

Real research. Students are encouraged to test their ideas through meaningful research from their very first course in chemistry-often using the type of advanced equipment that other schools reserve exclusively for graduate students.

Community matters. Students and faculty work together to provide the support, direction and opportunity that makes great science possible.  

Explore firsthand

Students experience chemistry firsthand through research, internships, independent studies and department trips to medical schools and chemical firms.

Research. Recent topics include gene studies in Archaea, synthesis of highly-fluorinated molecules, palladium-catalyzed synthesis of amino acid derivatives, enzyme pathways to combat Malaria, boron-nitrogen interactions and computer simulations of acid rain droplets. Learn more.

Internships. Recent students have worked at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Elizabeth Arden, Innotech, Inc., Merck Laboratories, NASA-Langley, Novozymes, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, ProChem and Western Regional Forensic Laboratory. Learn more.

What's next?

The department provides expansive pre-professional advising for students interested in chemistry or health-related careers-offering individual mentoring as well as graduate and medical school admission training.  

Grad schools. Recent graduates have gone on to graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, dentistry, and cancer research at such places as Boston University, Eastern Carolina University, Marshall University and Medical School, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University.

Jobs. Recent graduates now work in a wide range of jobs-from serving as the global program manager for MeadWestvaco, to heading up research and development at PepsiCo, to acting as a forensic document examiner for the United States Secret Service. Many graduates also work in health-related fields and as high school and university educators.

Chemistry and Biochemistry majors Wojtera, Perkins and Wright