Majors and Minors

School ofChemistry

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Why Chemistry?

Southern’s Chemistry Department professors are dedicated to achievement from a Christian perspective.

  • All faculty members have or are working towards doctorate degrees and represent the major disciplines of chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.
  • Knowledge of up-to-date techniques and the latest equipment helps our instructors prepare students for graduate or professional exams such as the MCAT, DAT, GRE, PCAT, and VAT.
  • Southern’s chemistry curriculum meets the guidelines of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
  • Graduates of Southern’s Chemistry Department have an excellent record for acceptance at preferred graduate and professional schools.
  • A chemistry degree is a strong preparation for a career in forensic science.
  • All chemistry majors are given the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research during their time at Southern.

Interesting Facts

Students in Action

  • On-campus chemistry jobs are available for tutors, lab teaching assistants, and readers.
  • Chemistry Club activities include vespers, Pi Day (celebration of the mathematical constant π), Mole Day (commemorates Avogadro’s Number 6.02 x 1023), and other social activities
  • Students use the department’s gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC/MS) to separate mixtures and molecules and scientifically identify them.
  • Chemistry majors are eligible for three designated scholarships. 

Statistics to Note

  • Southern has a 100 percent placement rate (in the workforce or in graduate or professional schools) for its chemistry graduates within one year of graduation. The majority of chemistry majors continue their education in graduate or professional schools.
  • The number of chemistry majors has nearly doubled in the last five years.



  • Brent Hamstra, PhDBrent Hamstra, PhDProfessor and Chair
  • Loren Barnhurst, PhDLoren Barnhurst, PhDProfessor
  • Mitch Menzmer, PhDMitch Menzmer, PhDProfessor
  • Bruce Schilling, PhDBruce Schilling, PhDProfessor
  • Rhonda Scott, PhDRhonda Scott, PhDProfessor

Whenever I go to my
professors they are
always available and
willing to help. They
are genuinely invested
in their students.           Alia Adams, ’14Chemistry major

Students Perform experiments


Classrooms and Labs

The Chemistry Department consists of lecture rooms, teaching laboratories, and offices housed on the third floor of Hickman Science Center. Additionally, the department has a variety of chemistry equipment for teaching and research.

Careers in Chemistry

Chemistry Department graduates have successful careers in the following fields:

  • Medicine and related fields
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Teaching
  • Research

Other careers available to chemistry majors include:
Agricultural Scientist
Analytical Chemist
Biochemist/Molecular Biologist
Chemical Engineer
Chemistry Professor
Crime Lab Analyst
Environmental Engineer
EPA Inspector
FDA Inspector
Fire Protection Engineer
Food Scientist
Forensic Chemist
Industrial Hygienist Laboratory Head

Materials Scientist/Engineer
Medical Technologist
Metallurgical Engineer
Museum Curator Optometrist
Patent Agent
Pharmacy Technician
Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Control Manager
Laboratory Technician
Scientific Photographer
Senior Product Chemist
Senior Report Writer
Soil Scientist
Water Purification Chemist


Brent Hamstra, chair