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Chemistry is the core science — the study of the properties, composition and changes that occur in matter.

When you study chemistry, you analyze issues that influence every aspect of life on earth.

Utilize cutting-edge lab equipment

Throughout your courses in the chemistry program, you will regularly work with the modern instruments in our campus laboratories. This equipment includes infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance and atomic absorption spectrophotometers.

Separations equipment includes capillary electrophoresis, gas chromatography, high pressure liquid chromatography, and fast protein liquid chromatography equipment. Detectors range from mass spectrometers, electron capture, and flame ionization to rapid-scan UV-Vis spectrometers. You will also learn skills in computation and presentation of data.

Participate in research that gets published

Our research labs are entirely staffed with student researchers to generate data that is published in international journals and presented at national conferences. Talk to us about whether there is an open project in our labs!

Choose your preferred degree path

We offer two degrees, each backed by a strong curriculum that will give you the knowledge base you need to successfully pursue the discipline.

  • Bachelor of Science – If you are targeting a career in industry or planning to attend a graduate program.
  • Bachelor of Arts – If you are seeking work in medicine, dentistry, or secondary school teaching.

At a Glance

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science




College of Arts and Science

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here's what you can do next:

The Curriculum

With challenging and relevant courses, outstanding faculty, small class sizes, and an emphasis on hands-on learning, the chemistry program will position you to succeed in your chosen career.

Program Details

Find out what it takes to earn a degree in chemistry and explore the courses.

Highlighted Courses

Get familiar with some of the courses you might take in this major.

CHEM 305: Quantitative Analysis

Covers the principles and techniques of gravimetric and volumetric analysis.

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CHEM 306: Chemical Instrumentation

Covers the theories and application of instrumentation in chemistry.

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CHEM 332: Organic Chemistry II

Covers the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of organic compounds, plus the theory and mechanism of organic reactions.

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CHEM 405: Physical Chemistry

The study of kinetic theory, structure of condensed phases, thermodynamics, equilibria, electrochemistry, quantum chemistry and chemical kinetics.

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CHEM 411: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

The advanced treatment of special topics in inorganic chemistry, including atomic structure, classification of elements and inorganic reactions in aqueous and non-aqueous solutions.

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CHEM 485: Capstone Seminar

Introduces students to the skills and practices required of professional scientists. Students will gain experience with conducting literature searches, conducting and presenting scientific work, reviewing the work of others and writing research proposals.

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Recommended Minors

Want to add even more value to your degree? Consider one of these minors to gain a unique combination of skills and perspectives.

Learning Spaces

Check out the spaces and tools you'll have access to in this major. Explore the entire Cal Lutheran campus with our virtual tour

The Experience

We offer hands-on opportunities that give you the freedom to explore your passion through real-world work and prepare for a fulfilling career.

  • Conference Presentations

    Many of our students have the opportunity to perform independent research with faculty advisors on campus and present their findings at research consortiums, such as our annual Festival of Scholars or off-campus conferences.

  • Research Opportunities

    We offer numerous hands-on research experiences, including summer research fellowships. Students have also garnered recognition through California Heart Association grants, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation summer research posts, and internships at local biotechnology firms such as Amgen and Baxter — among the nation’s top biopharmaceutical corporations.

  • Learning in Action

    We emphasize “doing” science and an active approach to learning. Throughout your classes, you’ll gain a lot of research experience by working side-by-side with your professors in state-of-the-art facilities. You’ll design experiments, collect scientific data, perform statistical analysis and share your conclusions through research papers and presentations.

  • Internships

    You will have the opportunity to do an internship with organizations such as Ventura County Crime Lab and Amgen, or pursue an off-campus research experience.

Student photo

I have always loved numbers and hands-on work, so a chemistry major allowed me to explore my passion for analytical chemistry. While at Cal Lutheran, I have the best of both worlds: tons of hands-on experience with direct and personal guidance and collaborative quantitative work. As I immersed myself in the science buildings on campus, I realized that I have access to a wide range of instruments, a variety of research topics to explore, and extremely supportive professors.

Jocelin Hernandez '24

Career Paths

Our chemistry program has a 100% placement record into graduate schools, many of them among the most respected in the nation. Students not going on to graduate programs in chemistry often opt for health-related programs such as medical or pharmacy school, physician’s assistant programs, and teaching credentials. Chemistry majors who enter the workplace after graduation begin their careers in fields such as environmental controls management, consumer product research, drug discovery, toxicology and forensic chemistry.

Potential Careers

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.

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Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

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Forensic Science Technicians

Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

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Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

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Materials Scientists

Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. Includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.

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Biochemists and Biophysicists

Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

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Regulatory Affairs Specialists

Coordinate and document internal regulatory processes, such as internal audits, inspections, license renewals, or registrations. May compile and prepare materials for submission to regulatory agencies.

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Natural Sciences Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.

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Looking for more career paths? Search these related areas to discover more options.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at:

  • Baxter International Inc.
  • BioSource International
  • Cosmetic Technologies
  • Fruit Growers Laboratory
  • Gilead Sciences
  • Los Angeles County Crime Lab
  • NuSil Technology
  • Unity Lab Services


Graduate Schools

Our alumni have pursued advanced degrees at:

  • Emory University
  • Boston University
  • Cornell University
  • UCLA
  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Rochester
Sophie Cociolo
The greatest resources at Cal Lutheran were my professors and the research opportunities. The research opportunities they offer are amazing and accessible, it is so easy to get hands-on research if you want it, and the professors are so willing and flexible to work with your schedule to include you.

Sophie Cochiolo '23
Chemistry Major

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. Some occupations listed above may require a related graduate degree.

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