2021 Chemistry Degree Guide
If you are curious about the building blocks of life and matter, a major in Chemistry might be for you. In this major, you will learn everything about matter including the atoms that make it up, how it behaves when manipulated, and reactions it has to other matter. You will take classes in organic chemistry, physical chemistry, thermodynamics, and biochemistry, and many others in order to be introduced to the many practical uses for chemistry.
Chemistry is a large field and offers many specializations. You may have the option to choose a concentration in Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, and Theoretical Chemistry. These areas of specialization open up a variety of career choices to students.
Chemistry Degrees Decreasing
Approximately 1,229 colleges in the U.S. offer a chemistry degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for Chemistry ranking compares 109 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of chemistry programs later in this article.
Requirements for Getting a Degree in Chemistry
Students should have a strong background in science and math. You will be required to use and memorize a variety of formulas when conducting experiments. Strong critical thinking and analytical skills will help you look at data and draw conclusions. Problem solving skills will help you use this data to solve issues. You will also be required to give presentations or write articles about your findings.
Both your undergrad work and most future careers will involve a lot of time spent in a lab performing experiments and recording data. Experience in this field is helpful when you are looking for a job after graduation. You can gain this experience by working in research labs on your campus while working towards to undergraduate degree, through internship, or through fellowships.
A bachelor's degree will allow you to work as a chemist, but you must obtain a master's or Ph.D. if you wish to conduct research or lead experiments. Typically, you will specialize in a certain aspect of chemistry when you earn an advanced degree.
Prior Education for a Chemistry Program
chemistry degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional chemistry certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
Types of Chemistry Degrees
There are various different levels of chemistry degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in chemistry to something that takes less time like a associate's. The type of chemistry degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to chemistry, with approximately 37.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to chemistry tend obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
The education level required is different depending on the chemistry career you are seeking.
Career Opportunities for A Degree In Chemistry Graduate
Chemists work in a variety of locations from research and development labs to medical manufacturing. Graduates have been hired by manufacturers to develop new materials, private industries to perform tests for pharmaceuticals, and by companies to monitor environmental conditions. You will be able to employ your strong understanding of chemistry concepts to any number of industries.
Growth Projected for Chemistry Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your chemistry degree? Chemistry careers are expected to grow 8.0% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to chemistry.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|High School Teachers||1,095,500||7.5%|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||99,400||11.1%|
|Natural Sciences Managers||62,300||9.9%|
How Much Money Do People With a Chemistry Degree Make?
Recently graduated chemistry students earned an average of $38,704 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $11,100 to as high as $89,400. As you might expect, salaries for chemistry graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Highest Paid Chemistry Careers
Salaries for chemistry graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers chemistry grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Natural Sciences Managers||$139,680|
|Physics Postsecondary Professors||$103,830|
|Environmental Science Professors||$91,330|
Getting Your Chemistry Degree
With over 2,460 different chemistry degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased chemistry school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for Chemistry
Majors Related to Chemistry
Chemistry is one of 7 different types of Physical Sciences programs to choose from.
Majors Similar to Chemistry
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Geological & Earth Sciences||9,522|
|General Physical Sciences||4,527|
|Astronomy & Astrophysics||1,168|
|Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology||1,072|
Southern New Hampshire University
You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs ... Learn More >
Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online ... Learn More >
Grand Canyon University (GCU)
With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments ... Learn More >
Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences ... Learn More >
Colorado Technical University (CTU)
CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, aculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology ... Learn More >