Chemists study the structures, compositions, reactions and other properties of substances and experiment with the laws that govern them. In applied research, chemists create new products and processes or improve existing ones, such as drugs, plastics, cleaners, and thousands of other products. They also determine ways to strengthen or combine materials and develop new materials for use in superconducting materials, ceramics and metallic alloys. Some chemists use a wide variety of sophisticated laboratory instrumentation and 3D computer modeling software to study the structure and other properties of complex molecules that they make.
An increasing number of scientific research projects involve multiple disciplines, and it is common for chemists to work on teams with other scientists, such as biologists and physicists, computer specialists and engineers. For example, in pharmaceutical research, chemists may work with biologists to develop new drugs and with engineers to design ways to mass produce them.
Typical entry-level job titles for chemistry graduates include chemistry technician, forensic science technician, geoscientist/geochemical scientist, hydrologist or secondary education teacher. Students can pursue advanced degrees leading to careers as biochemists, pharmacologists, and medical doctors/scientists.
Start at Harper. Finish at a four-year university.
The Associate in Science (AS) degree prepares you to transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor's degree in chemistry, clinical laboratory science, biochemistry, forensic chemistry, chemical engineering, and related majors. Speak with your advisor about the best courses to take to meet your academic goals.
Harper also offers institution-specific transfer information to help prepare you to transition to a four-year university. To learn more, visit our Transfer Information page or see your advisor.
- Catalog course descriptions
- Department philosophy
- Karl G. Henize Observatory
- Student organizations
- Undergraduate research
For more information about starting your college education at Harper, please contact Admissions Outreach at 847.925.6700 or fill out our request information form.