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A professor and two chemistry majors examine chemicals and lab equipment needed for learning.

As a chemistry major you will study the properties, composition and reactions of different substances within the framework of the four principal areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Undergraduate students at Michigan State University can choose to pursue a chemistry major for the completion of either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. 

The Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry is intended for those students desiring a less specialized background in chemistry compared to the Bachelor of Science degree. Students interested in teaching chemistry in high school normally complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry. 

The Bachelor of Science in chemistry is designed to provide a thorough foundation in the various fields of chemistry and related sciences. The program is for students planning careers in the chemical industries or governmental laboratories or who intend to do graduate work in chemistry. The degree satisfies requirements for professional recognition by the American Chemical Society and most students earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry continue with a doctoral program. 

Chemistry is also a popular major choice for students who plan to pursue professional school for human health careers like dentistry, medicine and optometry. You can learn more about the support offered to undergraduate students pursuing these prehealth careers by viewing the preprofessional resources provided by the College of Natural Science. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree can also choose to complete this major through Lyman Briggs College


Graduates pursue careers in a range of industries, excelling in jobs that demand deep knowledge of chemistry and related sciences. 

Alumni work at: 

  • Colleges and universities
  • Consulting firms
  • Forensic laboratories
  • High schools and middle schools
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Private research labs

Alumni work as: 

  • Biochemical engineers
  • Chemical patent lawyers
  • Food scientists and technologists
  • Forensic scientists
  • Educators
  • Technical editors
  • Scientists

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