Chemistry - From Classroom to Career Freshman Year


cas_flag_freshmanAcademic Advising

Use your academic advisor and the peer advising program to explore Chemistry and other potential majors, minors, programs and courses, given your interest. What core courses fit best with your career goals? Work them into your schedule.ctc_chem_fresh1

What To Do with a Chemistry Degree
A bachelor of science in chemistry is a very flexible undergraduate major. The chemistry major and its optional concentration in biochemistry will prepare you well for medical studies, research careers, and a variety of other fields. In addition to a career in chemistry, this degree provides a base for study and practice of Medicine, Environmental Science, Forensic science, Pharmacology, Materials Science, Business, and Law.

Also do some Internet research on site like "What to do with a Chemistry Degree".ctc_chem_fresh2

Explore Options Within Major
Modern chemistry is an interdisciplinary subject that integrates its own knowledge with that of physics and mathematics, and applies the result to solve problems in a wide variety of areas including the biological sciences and technology. The Fairfield University Chemistry Department offers such degrees as a B.S. in Chemistry, B.S. in Chemistry with ACS Accreditation, and B.S. in Biochemistry with ACS Accreditation. Graduates are very successful in pursuing post-graduate degrees and routinely go on to excellent programs including UC-Berkeley, UC-Irvine, Yale, University of Chicago, BC, and many other fine schools. As they progress in their careers,our graduates continue to be successful in a wide variety of positions in the pharmaceutical industry, in the analytical instrumentation industry, in medicine, and as teachers. Talk to your faculty advisor or the department chair for more details

Dream Jobctc_chem_fresh3

What is your "dream job" after graduation? What are you passionate about? Talk to your faculty advisor and other mentors. As a Chemistry major, how can you use your remaining time at Fairfield to prepare for it through class work, summer research at Fairfield, internships, volunteer activities, summer jobs, leadership positions with clubs and organizations, and other relevant out of class experiences?


ctc_chem_fresh4Student Spotlight
Michael Shinall
Major: Chemistry

"The Chemistry Department offers students many opportunities to participate in research projects and internships. Organic chemistry is a competitive field, but we have the advantage of having some great professors to support us. Dr. Edmond O'Connell knows everything you'll ever need to know about organic chemistry and teaches straight from the heart. The chemistry professors are very close with the students. I can talk to any of them. If I ever need anything, I just need to tell them I need a hand. The major is a lot of work, but it's very rewarding."

Use the Core Wisely

As a Chemistry major, the Core requirements enabled me to expand beyond the little world of Bannow to other aspects of education. I was so inspired by Dr. Curt Naser's Philosophy class that I took another as an elective. Intrigued by Dr. Ellen Umansky's Intro to Jewish Studies class, I met with her during office hours to delve more deeply into material. Captivated by Dr. Danke Li's story and perspective, I engaged in readings and research outside the required texts for class to learn more. I also took an upper level Spanish class to continue my studies of the language, too. It was experiences like these that truly kept me balanced throughout my rigorous science focus and enabled me to consider topics outside my major.

I am currently teaching Physics in Newark, NJ at North Star Academy (part of the Uncommon Schools Network). My students benefit from the reality that I can help with nearly every one of their assignments from any class; from History to Spanish to Math to English class, I have the background required to assist them. Additionally, in the past I have taught middle school subjects outside my concentration (such as Writing), and I believe that part of the reason I was successful in these endeavors was the fact that my undergraduate education at Fairfield challenged me to learn a variety of subject matters.
Jessica (Michael) Harrell '04; Chemistry; teacher, North Star Academy

Many Related Pursuitsctc_chem_fresh5

Chemistry students interested in a career in the health professions can become part of a careful mentoring and advising process beginning in the first year (or whenever they decide to pursue a health professions career). Health Professions Program director Geoffrey Church guides each student in the selection of an appropriate course of study for a wide variety of careers in the health professions; reviews the academic standards applied by the various medical/professional schools, and the specific tests required by these schools; helps students to identify internships, research, and volunteer opportunities; discusses a range of other important issues related to the world of the health professions; and organizes program meetings where health care workers or professional school admissions officers present information. Here is the four-year course of study.

Many students majoring in chemistry follow the pre-med concentration and have become surgeons, family physicians, psychiatrists, dentists, and veterinarians. In addition to medicine and advanced study, career paths chosen by graduates of recent years include allied health fields such as Chiropractic, Epidemiology, Mortuary science, Nutrition, Medical lab technology, Optometry, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, Physician assistants, Public health, and Podiatry.

There is no single "pre-health" major at the University. Students should explore all their interests regarding potential majors, there is no "best major" for a health professions program student. Freshman year, introduce yourself to the health professions advisor and pick up a copy of the Health Professions Handbook. They will sit down with you and discuss your plans or thoughts about a career in the health professions. Due to the number of required courses, your schedule is tight.

Also look at minors such as Environmental Studies.

BASE Camp (Broadening Access to Science Education)
BASE Camp projects offer students who are at a disadvantage due to socio-economic factors an informative and fun week-long experience with actual scientific research, across all scientific disciplines at Fairfield. Projects change every year, allowing students to choose from a variety of topics including biomedical science, medicinal chemistry, forensics, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, marine ecology, software engineering, behavioral psychology, neuroscience, biophysics, and applied mathematics. This camp is for Bridgeport high school students, and advanced chemistry majors can serve as counselors, learning and at the same time gaining experience in tutoring and education.

Freshman Housing Option
Take a look at the WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Living-Learning Community at Fairfield. This community is located on the third floor of Gonzaga Hall and is home to about thirty first-year student participants and two upper-class Resident Assistants. The mission of WiSTEM is to provide services and programming to women pursuing the STEM fields through a residential community which emphasizes connections with faculty, alumni, professionals, and peers in an effort to create a supportive environment where women can succeed at Fairfield University. The WiSTEM community enhances the educational experiences by providing academic development and leadership opportunities through its various services and programs.

Sigma Xi

Attend the annual Sigma Xi poster session, held in the Campus Center every spring. See the work of other Chemistry majors, and imagine how your work will be displayed in future years.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, was founded in 1886 as an honor society for scientists and engineers. Headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., it is an international research society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise and honor scientific achievement. There are more than 80,000 Sigma Xi members in about 500 chapters at colleges and universities, industrial research centers, and government laboratories. Each year the Society initiates nearly 5,000 new members. The Society is a diverse chapter-based organization dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering through outstanding programs and services delivered in a collegial and supportive environment. The mission of Sigma Xi is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Vision: To be the global honor society of science and engineering. Contact: Dr. Jim Biardi, advisor, (203) 254-4000 ext. 3465; e-mail:jbiardi@fairfield.edu


That's just the start. Take a look at this career information from other University offices that we think is also valuable to Chemistry majors.

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Chemistry career activities by class year

Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year