The Chemistry program at Norwich is small but mighty. You will get the full attention of our faculty from day one, start using research-grade instrumentation in your first year, and have a chance to get involved in a research project by the time you are a junior.
Chemistry lies at the heart of solutions to many modern problems, from developing sustainable materials to discovering new medicines. When you know chemistry, you understand how other sciences—such as physics, biology, geology, and environmental science—work together to explain and transform the world around us. Chemistry helps society.
What is it about Chemistry that makes it worth studying? Chemistry explains things, like how do leaves change color? Why do bananas smell the way they do? Why is life carbon-based and not silicon-based? Chemistry makes things. From soap and toothpaste to aspirin and penicillin, from polystyrene cups and plastic bags to Kevlar body armor and LCD displays. Millions of things that make our life modern are made by chemistry. Chemistry connects things. You can't really understand other sciences on a deep level if you don't know the chemistry behind it. Chemistry is truly a central science.
Chemistry helps you to develop research, problem-solving and analytical skills. It requires teamwork and effective communication, which is great for project management. These skills are in demand by employers in many industries. A degree in chemistry can lead to careers in Petroleum Industry, Pharmaceuticals, Alternative energy, Biotech or prepare you for medical, dental or veterinary schools.
Chemistry is the study of composition, properties and transformation of matter. Students explore chemical characteristics and behavior, stressing atomic structure, stoichiometry, chemical equilibrium and kinetics, and descriptive chemistry of important elements.
Chemistry graduates are ready to enroll in graduate school or pursue careers in medicine, teaching, chemical engineering, geochemistry, agriculture, industry and a multitude of other possibilities.
Students from other programs and departments may wish to enhance their major with a minor degree in chemistry. This option is not available to biochemistry students. To minor, a student must complete six classes, four of which must be above the 100-level.
Seth Frisbie, PhD, Environmental Chemist
Norwich Associate Professor of Chemistry Seth Frisbie, PhD, helped discover the largest mass poisoning of a population in history. Working in Bangladesh since 1997, the analytical chemist revealed that over 50 million Bangladeshis were drinking water with unsafe arsenic levels from recently installed deep water wells. Frisbie and his colleagues also discovered significant amounts of manganese, lead, nickel, chromium, and nearly three-dozen other inorganic chemicals.
The Cornell-trained chemist was unwilling to sit idly by. Working with his wife and other colleagues, he establish the nonprofit Better Life Laboratories to more deeply investigate the causes of toxic drinking water. Partnering with the Bangladesh government, NGOs and other research institutions in North America and Europe, Frisbie has worked since then to continue his investigation and to pioneer swift, practical solutions to detect and ameliorate contaminated drinking water sources. Nearly 150 Norwich students have been involved in his work.
To view chemistry course offerings and a curriculum map for majors or minors, see the Norwich University academic course catalog: