Chemistry is the study of structure, properties, and reactivity of matter. It has been called the “central science” because it forms a bridge between biology and physics. Chemistry is largely an experimental science and a great deal of knowledge comes from laboratory research.
The Department of Chemistry of the University of Mary Washington offers a major program in chemistry that is approved by the American Chemical Society. The major program is based upon a modern curriculum and is supported by well-equipped laboratories that supplement and extend classroom instruction. The curriculum has required courses in the traditional areas of organic, analytical, and physical chemistry, as well as in experimental methods and seminar. The latter courses, which come during the senior year, are the capstones of the program, and they help students to hone their skills in solving problems in the laboratory and in oral and written communication. In addition to the required courses, several electives give in-depth treatment to other topics, and student research provides an opportunity to apply course work to a real chemical problem. Students leave the program well-prepared for jobs or graduate study.
The chemistry department also sponsors a student affiliates chapter of the American Chemical Society. This student organization sponsors a variety of activities including a magic show during Family Weekend, outside speakers, and extracurricular events.