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 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.
We also offer the option to double major in chemistry and secondary education, which prepares students to apply for Rhode Island teacher certification for grades 7-12.
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.
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 at 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 the 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
As a sophomore, 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, research scientist, Manus Bio