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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experiences supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Chemistry

Bachelor of Arts

As a Chemistry major at Clarke University, you will embark on the study of matter — or essentially, every physical thing in our universe. Chemistry is a broad and evolving field of study and as a fundamental science, Chemistry has been and will continue to be at the forefront of developing solutions to problems in nearly every aspect of our lives. 

Earning a Chemistry degree at Clarke combines rigor with flexibility, allowing you to explore chemistry and related areas while preparing for a wide range of careers and professions. As early as your first year, you will take part in hands-on research and experiments to try to understand underlying problems and create solutions. From global climate change, developing renewable energy sources, or determining the purity of pharmaceuticals, chemists are essential and in-demand. 

Your Chemistry degree will prepare you for a career as a professional chemist and builds the foundation for careers in other related science fields. The program provides a fundamental knowledge of the major areas of chemistry: biochemistry, organic, spectroscopic, analytical, and physical chemistry. The major also includes offerings in specialized courses like medicinal chemistry and separation methods.  

The world needs professionals who know science.  Are you ready to become one of them? At Clarke University, you will get a powerful education that’s infused with liberal arts and challenges you to think deeply. If you are inquisitive and want to know why or how things happen, Clarke’s chemistry degree might be right for you.  

Clarke University Chemistry Degree students in class getting hands-on learning

Learning in Action

Below is a small sampling of the types of classes you may take as a Clarke Chemistry major: 

INTRO TO RESEARCH — Get a taste of chemistry research using state-of-the-art instrumentation as early as your first year. 

MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY — Gain insight into the chemistry of pharmaceuticals with an in-depth exploration of the molecular reactions. 

SEPARATION METHODS — Separate and analyze chemical mixtures using advanced chromatography techniques and industry-grade, research-quality instruments. 

SENIOR CAPSTONE — Your Capstone course is a culmination of the chemistry degree, where you will be able to communicate your findings in both oral and written forms. A chemistry faculty member will mentor you in a one-on-one environment and will provide insight and assistance as you prepare for your next adventure after Clarke. This course is required for all students.

Life as a Clarke Chemistry Major

You may pursue one of the following degrees: B.A. Chemistry, B.A. Biochemistry, or B.S. Biochemistry. The degrees differ in the number and types of course required to provide you with flexibility in your studies. You will receive professional guidance from faculty to make this decision. The Clarke Chemistry Program offers a truly unique undergraduate experience to its majors, including:  

  • Learn in small classes and experience one-on-one interaction with faculty. 
  • Conduct research every semester and on projects of your choosing, if you desire. 
  • Work with modern and well-maintained facilities and industry-grade instrumentation. 
  • Develop work-ready experience including hands-on training on instrumentation. 
  • Attend regional and national chemical (ACS, Pittcon) conferences and present your research. 
  • Join a close-knit and nurturing community and develop your leadership skills. 
  • Receive professional mentorship from faculty to assist in an internship, graduate school, and job placement. 
  • Participate in social gatherings and outings such as field trips and attending conferences. 
  • Make money and gain additional experience by working as a Lab Assistant or Chemistry Tutor. 

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Clarke University Senior Chemistry Major student working on capstone project.

Program Details

How You’ll Learn
Clarke’s use of technology is pervasive – from hand-held data collection to molecular modeling. Visualization and the use of software is key to understanding. You will be able to use this equipment and more in the lecture-lab classrooms found in the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry. Introductory research classes are an option as early as first year.  

Interesting Internships
Opportunities abound for students interested in college Chemistry in Iowa, the Midwest, and nationwide. Recent Clarke chemistry majors worked paid internships at: 

  • University of Michigan 
  • University of Washington 
  • University of Iowa 
  • Northern Illinois University 
  • University of Wisconsin 
  • University of Minnesota 
  • Marquette University 
  • San Jose State 
Classes You’ll Take

Admission to Clarke University

What careers are available with a Clarke Chemistry degree?
A degree in Chemistry provides a strong foundation in science and mathematics that gives you the flexibility to pursue a wide range of careers. In general, the employment sectors seeking Chemistry degrees include Academia, Industry, Government, and Health Care. Some example careers within these sectors include: 

  • Academia: Teacher/Professor, Lab Manager, Chemical Safety Officer, Technical/Grant Writer 
  • Industry: Lab Tech, Research Scientist, Patent Lawyer, Pharmaceutical Sales Rep 
  • Government: Forensic Scientist, Agricultural and Food Scientist, Environmental Scientist, Water/Wastewater Plant Scientist 
  • Health Care: Pharmacist, Toxicologist, Physician, Medical Lab Tech 

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey. 

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Meet Our Faculty

When our graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Sunil Malapati, Ph.D.

I am very proud to be part of a department that sets very high standards for student achievement, and our students have risen to the challenge.

Karen Glover, Ph.D.

Karen Glover, Ph.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry

The technology-rich environment at Clarke provides students with great hands-on opportunities.

Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics

Learning is the public and private negotiation of understanding.

Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.

Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

My goal as an instructor is to facilitate students in realizing their educational goals, and to foster a deeper understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment for the subject.

Apple in Clarke University classroom
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond


But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Tyler Cooksley

Tyler Cooksley

Chemistry ‘20 & continued his Ph.D. studies with the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

My experience at Clarke provided me with a very solid understanding of the physical sciences which has been a part of almost all of my classes so far. Having a chemistry degree provides a great background when learning about pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the drug making process. There are a couple classes that stand out. Analytical Chemistry taught by Dr. Tony Breitbach taught me about taking the time to make careful measurements to get the right product, which I was able to use in pharmacy compounding classes. Medicinal Chemistry taught by Dr. Karen Glover provided a good first step into the world of pharmacokinetics and helped me get a step up on classmates that had not been previously exposed to that material.

Emily (Rossini) Komoroske

Emily (Rossini) Komoroske

Chemistry ‘09

My chemistry professors at Clarke helped encourage my critical thinking, showed me the benefits of being thorough, and facilitated my personal and professional growth.

Zachary Breitbach

Zachary Breitbach

Chemistry ‘05

In my current position, I mentor graduate researchers. I get to know each student personally and become invested in their success, just as my major professors at Clarke did for me.


100 %
Job placement

Percent of Clarke chemistry graduates who secured a job in their chosen field or enrolled in graduate school by August.

85.2 %
Happy people

Chemistry majors rate among the highest in job satisfaction after graduation – 85.2% – according to studentsreview.com.

1:1
Student to faculty ratio

Work one-on-one with faculty on an undergraduate research project – an important criterion for entering graduate school.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Chemistry for Yourself

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