The chemistry major allows for flexibility in the type and number of chemistry and university-wide elective courses taken by the student. The program also provides students the option of planning an elective concentration in complementary fields such as imaging science, business, graphic arts, psychology, biology, criminal justice, computer science, engineering, environmental science, forensics, mathematics, packaging science, and physics.

To view a more detailed list of courses for this program, click here.
Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science

Through courses in general, analytical, physical, organic, and inorganic chemistry, you'll develop a thorough understanding of substances and their chemical properties, how they can be manipulated, and how they can be transformed into new materials. The major offers the chance to choose a concentration or minor in complementary fields such as imaging science, business, technical communication, biology, criminal justice, engineering, environmental science, physics, or mathematics.

RIT has a rich history of helping students to gain real world experience throughout their education. Undergraduate research experiences are available with professors throughout the School of Chemistry and Material Sciences and are highly encouraged. These opportunities enable students to practice real world lab application of the information they are currently studying. 

Cooperative Education is also highly recommended to gain experiences outside of RIT. though not required for graduation. Advisors and the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services are available to assist in finding and scheduling co-op positions.

Everything in our environment, whether naturally occurring or of human design, is composed of chemicals. Chemists search for and use new knowledge about chemicals. Chemical research has led to the discovery and development of new and improved synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants, and thousands of other products. Chemists also develop processes that save energy and reduce pollution, such as improved oil refining and petrochemical processing methods. Research on the chemistry of living things spurs advances in medicine, agriculture, food processing, and other fields. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) 


A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related discipline usually is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level chemist jobs. However, many research jobs require a master’s degree. Students planning careers as chemists and materials scientists should take courses in science and mathematics, should like working with their hands building scientific apparatus and performing laboratory experiments, and should like computer modeling. Perseverance, curiosity, and the ability to concentrate on detail and to work independently are essential. Because R&D chemists are increasingly expected to work on interdisciplinary teams, some understanding of other disciplines, including business and marketing or economics, is desirable, along with leadership ability and good oral and written communication skills. Graduate students typically specialize in a subfield of chemistry, such as analytical chemistry or polymer chemistry, depending on their interests and the kind of work they wish to do. 

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Employment of chemists is expected to grow more slowly than the average rate for all occupations through 2020. Job growth will be concentrated in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing and in professional, scientific, and technical services firms. Employment in the nonpharmaceutical segments of the chemical industry, a major employer of chemists, is expected to decline over the projection period. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree may find science-related jobs in sales, marketing, and middle management. Some become chemical technicians or technologists or high school chemistry teachers. In addition, bachelor’s degree holders are increasingly finding assistant research positions at smaller research organizations. Graduates with a master’s degree will enjoy better opportunities at larger pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. Within the chemical industry, job opportunities are expected to be most plentiful in pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. Stronger competition among drug companies and an aging population are contributing to the need for new drugs. Employment in the remaining segments of the chemical industry is expected to decline as companies downsize. Despite downsizing, some job openings will result from the need to replace chemists who retire or otherwise leave the labor force.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. Students can request a more flexible B.S. curriculum which is not ACS certified.

             Average               Range

Co-op:  $13.50            $8.57-$17.00

*BS:       $46,300          $35,200-$55,900


*Statistics from the Nat'l Assn. Of Colleges & Employers (NACE) for 2012-2013 graduates

Materials Scientist, Assistant/Associate Research & Development Scientist, Quality Control Specialist, Analytical Chemist, Organic Chemist, Inorganic Chemist, Physical Chemist, Medical Chemist, Lab Technician 


Amgen, AMRI, Bausch & Lomb, Caterpillar, Cerion Energies, Eli Lilly & CO., Entegris, ICB Inc, Inficon, Integrated Nano-Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Mylan Technologies, National Renewable Energy Lab, New Hampshire Coating Services, Newman's Own, Nuclea Biotechnologies, OrthoClinical Diagnostics (J&J), OSG Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Pacific Northwest National Lab, Pall Corp, Pfizer, Qimonda, Stanford University/IBM Almaden, TES Environmental, University of Georgia, University of Rochester Lab for Laser Energetics, Victor Corp, Xerox Corp.