Upon graduation, chemistry students have pursued a variety of professional activities. Some have entered graduate school in chemistry or chemical engineering, generally with financial support through assistantships or fellowships, at schools such as Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the University of Florida, the University of Tennessee, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Other graduates have gone directly to work for industries such as Philip Morris, Virginia Power, and Atlantic Research, and for government agencies such as NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory, David Taylor Laboratories, and the State Consolidated Laboratories. Some of the areas in which chemistry majors have obtained professional employment include environmental chemistry, chemical engineering, clinical chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, biomedical and forensic science, and technical sales. Preparation for these and for a wide variety of other career opportunities begins by planning a course of study based on a foundation of chemical knowledge combined with selected courses in related fields of interest.
The chemistry department offers a number of scholarships and awards that recognize excellence of undergraduates during the four different academic years.