Chemistry Program

Unlocking the fascinating world of matter.

The world God created is a world of matter—a world of water and soil, air and shale, bread and wine. And matter is, in a way, a world of its own, a microcosm of elements structured by the hand of God.

Chemistry is the study of that world. From the simplest of atoms to the most complex of molecules, it probes the composition, structure, and behavior of matter. It investigates the material world, exploring the matter of the universe and chemicals of living beings, as well as the chemicals that shape and assist life in the world. Chemistry also explores the untold possibilities chemical compounds hold for men, discovering new ways to heal bodies and minds, care for the environment, and help the human community.

Majoring in chemistry at Franciscan University will begin preparing you to discover cures for diseases and unlock the mysteries of the human mind, to bring science to bear on man’s most ordinary and extraordinary needs, and to make sure that science is always used in ways that reverence life. Depending on your future goals, you can choose to pursue those ends by working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry.

In your classes, you will study the universe on the microscopic and macroscopic level—discovering God’s design in organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry. You’ll learn how to conduct research and experiments, familiarizing yourself with laboratory equipment and protocols. Most important, you’ll learn all of this in an environment where scientific rigor is matched by a reverence for the dignity of the human person and where the Catholic understanding of the world informs everything you do in and out of the classroom.

Your classes themselves will be held in our state-of-the-art science building, Saints Cosmas and Damian Hall. There, in addition to attending lectures, you’ll have access to top-of-the-line research equipment.

That’s important because at Franciscan, we strongly believe that a true understanding of science can’t be obtained from merely reading books or sitting in a classroom. Rather, it must be experienced through the successes and failures of scientific research. This research fosters creativity, critical thinking, and resourcefulness. That’s why we both allow students to propose their own research projects and invite them to work with faculty on advanced-level research projects. Students are also strongly encouraged to pursue summer internships at other universities and research facilities to complement their Franciscan training.

The quality of our professors, the excellence of our facilities, and the many opportunities for research available at Franciscan have enabled recent graduates to continue their education on the graduate level in chemistry and medicine. Others have found work in research labs, allied health labs, and science classrooms.

Here are just a few of the places a Franciscan University chemistry degree has taken our recent graduates:

  • Graduate School in Chemistry, University of Notre Dame
  • Pharmacy School, Creighton University
  • Chemist, Barium Chemical, Toronto, Ohio
  • Chemist, Weidmann Corporation, Akron, Ohio

Here are some of the internships and awards received by students majoring in chemistry:

  • 2010 Chemistry Research Experience for Students at Catholic Colleges, University of Notre Dame
  • Research Intern, Franciscan University
  • The Society of Applied Spectroscopy 2010 Student Award, given in conjunction with the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh

Assessment Learning Goals

At the completion of a Chemistry major the graduate will be able to:

  1. Explain fundamental concepts and solve problems in the major traditional knowledge areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic and physical).
  2. Display proficiency in fundamental laboratory skills, including safety and the use of instruments and computers.
  3. (AYA Chemistry only) Satisfy Ohio Department of Education Licensure requirements.


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