Education is more than learning what others have discovered, it involves creating new knowledge. Because of this, the Department of Chemistry has an active undergraduate research program that provides each student a wide range of opportunities. In addition to the advantages of small class size, we offer students interested in learning state-of-the-art science the opportunity to join a small research group as early as their first semester. Participating in research serves the dual purposes of enabling students to exercise and expand their innate creativity while also strengthening their laboratory skills and honing their essential problem solving skills. Both of these skills are essential for success later in life.
Over the past 5 years, 80% of our students have gone on to advanced degree programs in a range of fields, including medicine and chemistry. Recent students have gone on to excellent graduate programs at universities ranging from the University of California at Berkeley to Virginia Tech to Yale. The stronger understanding of chemistry one achieves through independent research as an undergraduate has proven an effective tool in increasing the competitive advantage for students seeking entry into professional programs including medical, dental, pharmacy and law schools. For example, our graduates have gone on to medical school at Georgetown, Louisville, Tennessee, as well as schools in West Virginia and elsewhere.