About Chemistry


Chemistry is an interdisciplinary science that intersects with many facets of modern life, from the newest life-saving drugs to the materials that are used to construct the fastest computer processors.

The chemistry department at Whittier prepares students for a wide variety of careers by giving them a firm foundation in the theory of the many sub-disciplines of chemistry and extensive experience in applying this theory in the laboratory to solve real problems.

Our department offers three Bachelor of Arts degree options that are designed to suit a wide variety of interests.

  • The American Chemical Society (ACS) certified chemistry degree program gives greatest depth of experience in the chemical sciences. 
  • The chemistry degree program allows a student to obtain a firm foundation in chemistry and explore others sciences as dictated by an individual’s interests.
  • The biochemistry degree program involves students in the study of the chemistry of biological processes.

Students who earn any of these degrees are well prepared to pursue advanced degrees in chemistry or medicine. Upon graduation, 25 percent of our graduates attend medical school, 25 percent attend graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry, slightly more than 25 percent enroll in programs in pharmacy, optometry, dentistry, public health, or law, and the remaining students enter industry or become secondary education teachers.

It is our chemistry alumni who offer the best testimonial about the quality educational experience that the department offers:

"My time at Whittier College’s Chemistry Department has been an exceptional experience. The professors there, besides having a strong passion to teach, are nurturing, and have a desire for you to succeed. Likewise, through the flexibility of the department, I’ve had numerous opportunities to do research while at Whittier and through the mentorship of the Chemistry Department, I’ve been challenged to critically think and have developed a better understanding of the sciences. Currently, I am attending UCSF’s dental program and can confidently say that I am more prepared in my pursuit and success as a future dentist. I’ve befriended my professors, now have mentors that I can seek advice from, and made lifelong friends which makes my time at Whittier College invaluable."
- Daniel Lee '15, Biochemistry

"Being a Chemistry major at a small liberal arts college such as Whittier was the best decision I have ever made. Because it was a small liberal arts college, I was as able to get the attention I needed to succeed and had the pleasure of working alongside my professors in their research labs. My favorite experience was through Senior Seminar, where I framed a scientific question and designed my own project. Through this Capstone experience, I developed and executed my project, troubleshooted experiments, collected and interpreted data, and drew my own conclusions. Whittier College's Chemistry curriculum gave me valuable exposure I needed to succeed as a scientist."
- Nancy Leon '19, Chemistry

Our chemistry professors are curious to learn about the contributions You can make to our learning community. We invite you to learn more about us, and look forward to welcoming you to our program in person.