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Explore the central science in sunny Florida

We have chemistry to thank for so many things – from the bacteria-killing chlorine in our water to the semiconductors in our smartphones. Chemistry literally makes modern life possible. Want to apply chemistry to appreciate the elegant complexities of living systems? Biochemistry—the true merging of biology and chemistry—does just that. Earn a chemistry degree or biochemistry degree accredited by the American Chemical Society at Eckerd College and you’ll be ready to take on the world, whether that means grad school or a career in industry or government.

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A hands-on approach

Learn by seeing and doing chemistry and biochemistry, not just by reading it. Within the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences, our students have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and laboratory facilities, allowing them to acquire the lab savvy necessary in today’s competitive job market.

Flexibility and success

An Eckerd College chemistry or biochemistry degree, combined with a broad liberal arts education, provides the flexibility for educational and career paths afforded by few other academic areas. About 50% of our majors attend graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry, while the rest enter industry or medical school.

Chemistry major Kimberly Anderson '14

In Their Own Words

“The ever-encouraging Eckerd chemistry faculty continue to mentor me as I navigate my grad studies in toxicology. It was their dedication and genuine passion for teaching that facilitated the rigorous undergraduate education I received. They are a fantastic group of educators who are always willing to go the extra mile for their students.”
— Kim Anderson ’14
Graduate Student, UC Berkeley

Beyond the Classroom

As early as your first year, you can work directly with Eckerd faculty and conduct research on campus. We currently have teams studying:

  • The group application of quantum mechanics via computer simulations,
  • The synthesis of anti-cancer molecules,
  • The chemistry of simple zinc (II) and cobalt (II) coordination complexes as models for therapeutics, and
  • The molecular workings of an enzyme implicated in cancer

Want more? Eckerd experiences will make you competitive for summer research opportunities such as the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Programs. Attend local and national scientific conferences to showcase your undergraduate research progress, such as the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meetings.

We offer more than 300 study abroad destinations every year, including three-week study trips between semesters and alternative spring break service projects in Mexico, Guyana, Iceland, Panama and Cuba.

Study Abroad Pics on Flickr

Roll up your sleeves and show local kids how fun science can be at the annual St. Petersburg Science Festival. You’ll make slime, build molecular models and carry out alchemy-type transformations by plating pennies and flasks with silver, copper and bronze.

Service Pics on Flickr

Popular classes

Biochemistry I

Why do cells need so much water? What makes hair curly? How do I get the energy to run that race? In this class, you will apply your chemistry foundation to understand the molecular workings of living systems and gain an appreciation for the elegance of the biochemical world around you.

Analytical Chemistry

In this class you’ll learn how to answer two basic questions: What is this stuff and exactly how much of it do I have? Our food, drug and cosmetic industries rely on people who can answer these questions. Analytical chem is also vital for medicine, forensics and environmental stewardship.

Facilities

Lab classrooms in the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences make learning seamless – no need to cart your backpack down the hall for lab – and the coffee shop in the lobby keeps those neurons firing.

Chemistry lab with Dr. Larkin

What can I do with a chemistry or biochemistry major?

  • Forensic Chemist
  • Medicinal Researcher
  • Industrial Chemist
  • Microbiologist
  • DNA Structural Researcher
  • Cosmetic Chemist
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Pharmacist
  • Teacher
  • Scientific Publisher

Where our chemistry and biochemistry majors go to graduate school

Since 2012, our chemistry and biochemistry alumni have entered programs at:

  • Boston College
  • Dartmouth University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Penn State
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne
  • University of Maryland at College Park
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of South Florida