Chemistry is the study of the composition, properties, and behavior of matter. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms. Chemistry is sometimes called “the central science” because it bridges other natural sciences such as physics, geology, and biology with each other.
Chemistry students at the University of South Carolina are pursuing careers in pharmaceutical companies, life sciences, and major research universities or liberal arts colleges. A degree in chemistry can also lead to a job with the government or as an entrepreneur.
The Chemistry Department undergraduate degree offers courses in the traditional areas of analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as specialized classes in areas like biochemistry and molecular biology, environmental, forensic, materials, biophysical, polymer, and computational chemistry. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in laboratory research, working alongside advanced students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers interested in sharing their experience and skills. Research time can be used to earn credits toward graduation and can sometimes be part of a paid internship experience.
Graduate: M.S. and Ph.D.
The Department of Chemistry opened a research-oriented Master of Sciences in 1948 and later expanded to include a Ph.D. program. The graduate program in the Department of Chemistry offers concentration in the traditional areas of analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as plenty of opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborations and specialized classes in areas like biochemistry and molecular biology, environmental, forensic, materials, biophysical, polymer, and computational chemistry. The course and research requirements are flexible and can be tailored to the background and interests of each student. In addition to developing their own research skills, graduate students will participate in a worldwide scientific community advancing the frontiers of knowledge. Students publish papers on their work in major scientific journals, and attend national and international conferences to present work with the encouragement and support of the department.