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The CHEMISTRY program focuses on the scientific study of the composition and behavior of matter, including its micro- and macro-structure, the processes of chemical change, and the theoretical description and laboratory simulation of these phenomena. Students majoring in chemistry have plenty of hands-on work in the laboratory and are encouraged to work with faculty members on an individual research project.

Career opportunities for Chemistry majors:

  • Materials Scientists: Analyze and oversee materials and processes related to natural resources such as paper or wood, textiles, or (Paper, Wood, Textiles, etc.)
  • Water Chemists: Analyze water systems including water supplies, waste water, and water treatment operations.
  • Teaching Chemistry in Secondary Schools: Teach the principles of chemistry to junior high or high school students. See also Middle Grades and Secondary Education programs in the NCWC Catalog for requirements pertaining to Education licensure and training.
  • Forensics: Work in cutting-edge labs to perform forensic tests on criminal evidence or participate in chemical research on developing new forensic methods.

Recent graduates from the Chemistry program: 

  • Josh Allen (Class of 2007) recently completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from NC State and is working for the U.S. Navy in Maryland.
  • Cassandra Slater (Class of 2011) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, VA.
  • Brittany Nicholls (Class of 2012) is teaching high school science in Knoxville, TN.


Chemistry Faculty Contacts:

Pamela Y. Patterson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh
(252) 985-5161
George Whitwell, Ph.D.
Chemistry Program Coordinator
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Cornell University
(252) 985-5159