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Major Areas of Study: CHEMISTRY

The Muskingum University chemistry department’s laboratory intensive instructional program has been certified by the American Chemical Society since 1966. The program facilitates an understanding of the materials around us and the changes they undergo by providing students with the knowledge they need for an understanding of everyday experience and environmental and economic concerns.

Student Opportunities


Most chemistry majors apply for NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates, as well as for other research internships at various universities around the country.  All of these internships involve original research into a chemical problem.  A couple of examples of universities where students have worked in the past couple of years are Bowling Green State University and the University of Oregon.


All students who major in chemistry must complete a capstone requirement in chemistry research.  In addition, students have the opportunity to work on research projects in the department beginning as early as their freshman year.  The projects that the students work on can be research ideas that the students themselves have proposed, or they can work on a research project proposed by the faculty members in the department.  Students can also work on joint research projects that involve other programs such as biology, geology, psychology, environmental science and molecular biology. 

Some examples of research projects conducted by students within the chemistry department in the past year are the following:

  • Polymer/Catalyst Composites for the Removal of Organic Pollutants in Wastewater
  • Investigation of Oxidase-Associated Reactions by an Enzyme-Coupling Fluorescent method
  • Removal of Heavy Metals from Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Lumber via Chelating Ligand Extraction
  • Preparation of Anhydrous Lanthanide Complexes as Precursors for the Synthesis of new Homoleptic M-Cyanide Complexes
  • The Muskie Summer Fellows Program also provides opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty members.  Students receive a stipend as well as free housing for the twelve-week fellowship


The Muskingum University Chapter of the Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has been active on campus for many years.  Students may join this group as early as their first year.  This group sponsors many activities, including field trips, chemical demonstrations, and fund-raising projects, and coordinates social activities at the beginning and end of the academic year and occasionally over holiday breaks.


The department typically employs 10-12 students each semester to work as tutors and graders for the introductory chemistry classes, and as assistants in the chemistry preparation laboratory, preparing solutions for various lab courses and setting up equipment for these labs.

Professional Activities

Students periodically accompany faculty to regional and national professional meetings to present their research in the form of posters or papers.  In addition, the department faculty arrange several opportunities throughout the year for students to attend seminars held by chemistry programs at nearby institutions.

After Graduation

Career Possibilities for Chemistry Major

Many graduates have found employment as chemists at various chemical companies.  Some of these companies have paid for these individuals to pursue advanced or professional degrees such as an MBA or a law degree.  The following are examples of recent employers of our graduates:

  • Procter & Gamble
  • Rohm & Haas
  • Eli Lilly

A few students have also found employment as chemists in governmental organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Others have gone on to immediately pursue professional degrees in law and business upon graduation with their chemistry degree from Muskingum.  A few students have moved on to earn professional qualifications in Pharmacy, and a few others have earned secondary licensure to teach chemistry at the high school level.

Student Stories:


Emily BayEmily Bay ('14), a chemistry major from Cumberland, Ohio, spent her summer interning at Akron Children’s Hospital, where she did clinical research in neonatology.

“As a Summer Pediatric Research Intern, I worked under two attending neonatologists,” she explained, one of whom was the Director of Neonatology. “I am doing a retrospective review for [some of their previous] research (on past patients) but am working with the entire NICU in the daily running as well, mainly shadowing.”

Emily puts her chemistry coursework to good use on campus as a tutor in the Student Success Center, a Chemistry Lab Mentor for freshmen classes and president of the American Chemistry Society. She is also secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa, an academic honorary, and a member of Beta Beta Beta, the biology honorary. She ran cross country for her first three years as a student.

Emily plans to continue her education with graduate study after leaving Muskingum, although she isn’t sure exactly how that will look. “The research experiences I have had at Muskingum… lead me to believe that a career in research is definitely a possibility. Our advanced lab class simulated what research in the ‘real world’ is like and being exposed to those types of situations has influenced what I think I want to do with my life,” she states.

When asked what part of her Muskingum education she is most thankful for, Emily responded: “The chemistry department faculty is incredibly demanding in their expectations of the quality of work I turn in. Through struggling and being forced to work harder than I ever have before, I think it has made me a better student and shown me that I can handle more than I ever felt possible.”

More Stories:

  • As an undergrad, Seth Barrett (2011) majored in Chemistry and Art at Muskingum. As a Ph.D. candidate (Inorganic Chemistry) at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, won the Albert R. Ledoux Teaching Award for outstanding teaching and contributions to the UNC teaching program, and published “Oxygen sensing via phosphorescence quenching of doped metal-organic frameworks”, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, DOI: 10.1039/C2JM15549D http://xlink.rsc.org/?doi=C2JM15549D. After earning his Ph.D., and serving as a visiting professor at Holy Cross (MA), he joins our faculty this fall ('17) as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry.

  • Troy Gessner (2010) is attending OSU College of Dentistry, and is also an officer (2nd Lieutenant) in the US Army.

  • Craig Miller (2008) graduated with his MD from Ohio State University, and will be starting an ophthalmology residency at OSU in 2013.  In the meantime, until July 2013, Craig will be working as a resident at Mount Carmel Hospitals.

  • Erica Booth (2006) completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the OSU College of Dentistry, and is now practicing near her hometown of Bellaire, OH.

  • Nicole Dickson (2004) completed her Ph.D. in Analytical & Physical Chemistry at Ohio State University in 2011, and is now in a tenure-track faculty position in chemistry at Ohio Northern University (Ada, OH).

  • Sarah McBeth (2004) did a Fellowship with the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) right after graduation from MU. She received her MD & MPH from Wright State University in 2010, and has since been doing residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).  As part of her Public Health training, Sarah has worked with the Native American population in Alaska, and also spent a couple of months in Mozambique.


Advanced Degrees

Recent Chemistry graduates have enrolled in the following:

Graduate Schools

  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Oregon
  • Yale University
  • Purdue University

Professional Schools (Medical, Dental, Veterinary)

  • The Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • West Virginia University
  • Case Western Reserve University


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Courses; Major/Minor Requirements


Dept. Web Site

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