Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry and biochemistry are fundamental sciences that address many of the world’s greatest challenges in such fields as human health, energy, material science, food security and environmentalism. They are an integral part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) movement, where professionals are in high demand.

Our Program

Our program provides a strong foundation in the basic principles of chemistry and biochemistry, engaging students in challenging coursework while offering practical, hands-on experience through laboratory sessions and research. These projects give students the unique opportunity to not only conduct independent research with our faculty, but also learn about the dissemination of new knowledge firsthand - and often have their results published in scientific journals.

Our graduates possess the critical, creative thinking and analytical skills needed for success in an array of careers, including medicine, biotechnology, law, forensic and environmental science and education. Many have gained admission to leading graduate schools for medicine, pharmaceutical science, law and other professions.

Program Spotlight: Thriving Atmosphere

 We train students to use our equipment, some of which is very sophisticated. We put them on projects where they learn this technology.

We don’t have graduate students; we don’t have postdocs. We have very dedicated, skilled and eager-to-learn undergraduate students who want to be in the lab learning how to do research. So, we train them and that’s what they’re doing – they’re doing graduate-level, realistic research that will be published.

Dr. Thomas Arruda, assistant professor

Our Faculty

We seek to instill in our students a love of chemistry and a passion for learning science. Small class sizes enable individual attention and the development of mentoring relationships. Our research projects provide students with the opportunity for enhanced learning and intellectual development, empowering them to explore new ideas and make important scientific discoveries.​

 

Meet Our Faculty

Life After Salve

In the workforce:

  • Research and development: Positions range from technicians to project leaders.
  • Medicine: Our programs provide excellent preparation for medical school, dental school, veterinary school or an advanced degree in biochemistry.
  • Forensic science: Chemists work for law enforcement organizations in the analysis of crime scene evidence.
  • Materials: Chemists are in high demand among companies involved in polymers (plastics), semiconductors, ceramics, glasses, alloys and composite materials.
  • Environmental science: Chemists work in environmental testing firms, environmental remediation, emission control, chemical safety and in government regulatory agencies.
  • Drug design and discovery: Chemists investigate drug metabolism and interaction and develop new drugs. Clinical chemists develop new lab tests for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Energy: Chemists are developing improved batteries for electric-powered vehicles, converting coal to cleaner and more efficient fuels, capturing sunlight for electricity or fuel, and discovering other renewable energy methods.
  • Quality control: At consumer product companies, chemists analyze both raw materials and finished products to ensure that they meet strict specifications.
  • Technical sales and service: Manufacturers of scientific instruments or equipment, chemicals or products based on chemicals require technically trained sales representatives.
  • Technical and science writing: Industries require skilled and knowledgeable writers to create product descriptions, operating manuals and training materials.
  • Business management: Our programs provide an excellent background for a management career in scientific industry.
  • Pharmaceutical sales: Pharmaceutical companies require scientifically qualified personnel to explain their products to pharmacies and physicians.
  • Government: Many chemists are employed in government civilian and military research laboratories, and at regulatory agencies including FDA and OSHA.
  • Art conservation: A small but interesting field for chemists is the conservation, restoration and authentication of art and artifacts.

Our graduates have pursued advanced study in chemistry, law, medicine and public health at leading institutions, including:

  • Georgetown University
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of South Carolina

I was a sophomore, and I took a class with Dr. Susan Meschwitz. It was a true mentorship. She guided my work, and I gained experience on the kind of instruments I would use in the real world. That’s when I learned to be a scientist.

At a large university, the faculty’s focus is mainly on research. Salve is a small program designed for undergraduates. Whenever you had a question or were looking for a new experience, the faculty’s doors were always open. At Salve, the focus is on you.

Kaitlin Chambers '14, graduate student, Tufts University

Internships and Research Opportunities

Internships and research opportunities provide critical hands-on learning and real-world experiences that benefit our chemistry and biochemistry students once they graduate. Under the mentorship of a faculty member, all chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to participate in undergraduate research leading to a senior thesis.

Many of our students have the opportunity to participate in 10-week summer fellowships, where they work on different research projects with our dedicated faculty members. They present their results during an annual conference at the University of Rhode Island that is attended by students from all universities and colleges in the state.

Major in Chemistry (B.S.)

21 courses | 77-79 credits

Required courses:

  • CHM113: General Chemistry I
  • CHM114: General Chemistry II
  • CHM205: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM206: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM301: Analytical Chemistry
  • CHM305: Physical Chemistry I
  • CHM306: Physical Chemistry II
  • CHM309: Instrumental Analysis
  • CHM407: Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHM408: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM410: Topics in Chemistry and Research
  • CHM497: Undergraduate Research I
  • BCH403: Biochemistry
  • MTH201: Calculus I
  • MTH202: Calculus II
  • MTH203: Calculus III
  • PHY205: Principles of Physics I
  • PHY206: Principles of Physics II

Students also choose three courses from a list of electives in chemistry, biochemistry, biology and statistics.

Major in Chemistry (B.A.)

For students interested in fields such as business, law, education, pharmaceutical sales, technical writing or pre-engineering, our B.A. provides a solid foundation in chemistry along with the flexibility to pursue a wide variety of elective courses.

13 courses | 50-51 credits

Required courses:

  • CHM113: General Chemistry I
  • CHM114: General Chemistry II
  • CHM201: Analytical Chemistry
  • CHM205: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM206: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM305: Physical Chemistry I
  • CHM408: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM410: Topics in Chemistry and Research
  • MTH201: Calculus I
  • MTH202: Calculus II
  • PHY205: Principles of Physics I
  • PHY206: Principles of Physics II

Students also choose one course from a list of electives in chemistry and biochemistry.

Major in Biochemistry (B.S.)

23 courses | 85 credits

Required courses:

  • BCH403: Biochemistry
  • BCH404: Advanced Biochemistry
  • BIO112: General Biology II
  • BIO220: Cell Biology and Chemistry
  • BIO253: Genetics: Classical, Molecular and Population
  • BIO/CHM497: Undergraduate Research I
  • CHM113: General Chemistry I
  • CHM114: General Chemistry II
  • CHM205: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM206: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM301: Analytical Chemistry
  • CHM305: Physical Chemistry I
  • CHM408: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM410: Topics in Chemistry and Research
  • MTH201: Calculus I
  • MTH202: Calculus II
  • PHY205: Principles of Physics I
  • PHY206: Principles of Physics II

Students choose three additional courses focusing on behavior of macromolecules, medicinal chemistry and metals in biological systems, along with two courses from a list of electives in chemistry, biochemistry and biology.

Minor in Chemistry

6 courses | 24 credits

Required courses:

  • CHM113: General Chemistry I
  • CHM114: General Chemistry II
  • CHM205: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM206: Organic Chemistry II

Students choose two additional chemistry or biochemistry courses, selected in consultation with the department chair.