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Department of Chemistry  

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5506
Fax: 417-836-5507
Email: Chemistry@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

The Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society to offer a certified degree, which is recognized by graduate schools, industries and professional schools as the highest level of undergraduate professional training in chemistry. Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter and the changes that matter can undergo. It includes study of all the elements plus numerous compounds, including those found in polymers, petrochemicals, foods, cosmetics, paper, paints, fertilizers and many other products. Chemistry is divided into the broad branches of organic, inorganic, biological, analytical and physical chemistry, which includes 20-30 sub-areas, including materials, petroleum, medicinal, forensic, theoretical and environmental chemistry. 

Among the physical sciences, chemistry provides the largest field of employment. A college graduate with a B.S. degree in Chemistry could qualify for the following positions:  industrial positions in research and development, analysis and testing, quality control, technical services and sales; hospital or governmental positions in clinical analysis, food and drug testing and environmental control; admission to graduate study in chemistry; admission to professional schools including medical, dental, veterinary medicine, optometry and pharmacy; junior and/or senior high science teaching (additional education requirements must be met). A chemist with a B.S. degree may expect to earn a starting salary in the range of $32,000-$54,000.

Employers of recent graduates include Allied Signal Aerospace Fed. Mfg. & Technologies, Amgen, Clemson University, Crosslink, DairiConcepts, Dow Chemical, Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences, DuPont, Environmental Works, L & L Products, Merck, Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab, Midwest Research Institute, Monsanto, Pfizer, Inc., Quintiles, Sigma Chemical, Springfield City Utilities, Springfield Public Schools, 3M Healthcare.

Graduate schools attended by our graduates include George Mason University, Georgia Tech University, Miami University, Notre Dame University, Purdue University, Princeton University, Rice University, Texas A & M University, Vanderbilt University, Washington University, University of Arizona, University of California-San Diego, University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of Missouri, Northwestern University, University of Oklahoma, University of Kansas, University of Kentucky,Professional schools attended by our graduates include University of Arkansas Medical School, Creighton Medical School, University of Iowa-Physician Assistant Program, University of Missouri-Medical School, University of Missouri-St. Louis Optometry School and College of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee College of Optometry and School of Pharmacy, and Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

Academic Program

Programs available through the Department of Chemistry include the following: 

B.S. in Chemistry (comprehensive)

This degree is certified by the Committee for Professional Training of the American Chemical Society as indicating full preparation as a professional chemist. This program has three options:  industrial, graduate school or biochemistry.  This program does not require a minor.

B.S. in Chemistry (non-comprehensive)

In this program, chemistry electives are chosen to meet one of several areas of interest, including basic chemistry, environmental chemistry, biochemistry and pre-professional programs such as Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy or Pre-Veterinary.  This program requires a minor.

B.S. in Education (certifiable grades 9-12)

Two degree program options are available — unified science and categorical science (chemistry only). This program requires a 2.50
or higher cumulative GPA. The program includes courses in chemistry and professional education.

Accelerated Master’s Degree Option

Chemistry majors with junior standing, a GPA in chemistry of 3.00 or better and an overall GPA of 3.00 or better are eligible to apply for acceptance into this program. If accepted, up to 12 hours of advanced chemistry courses may be counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. This option offers an opportunity for chemistry majors with undergraduate laboratory experience to complete the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Chemistry in two semesters and a summer after attaining the Bachelor’s degree.

Graduate degrees at the master’s level are available in Chemistry and Chemical Education.


Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for course descriptions and specific degree requirements, including courses in the Department of Chemistry and the Departments of Biology, Physics and Mathematics.


The Department of Chemistry is made up of 17 full-time faculty members, all of whom hold Ph.D.s. In addition, the department has three full-time instructors and one chemical storeroom supervisor. All major areas of chemistry (analytical, biochemical, organic, inorganic, materials, physical and chemical education) are represented by the faculty.


The department is housed in Temple Hall. The instructional chemistry laboratories accommodate 16 to 24 students for close student-to-teacher contact. Facilities include a modern, safety-equipped storeroom for chemicals and equipment and major instruments for instruction and research. Students are provided extensive hands-on experience with scientific instruments. Most industrial employers are pleased when a prospective employee has had experience with instruments similar to those used in the industrial laboratory. Undergraduates work with all the basic instruments and with many of the more advanced instrumental techniques before they graduate.

Types of major equipment available include the following: 400 MHz Varian INOVA NMR spectrometer with multinuclear and solid state capabilities; Bruker X-ray instrumentation for both single crystals and powders; spectrophotometry instrumentation for UV-visible (Perkin Elmer Lambda 650, Varian Cary 100 Bio, Hitachi U-2001), fluorescence (Perkin Elmer LS55 and Shimadzu RF5301), and infrared (Bruker Vertex 70 FTIR with Raman accessory, Perkin Elmer 1750); atomic spectroscopy instrumentation (Varian Libery 150 AX Inductively Couple Plasma – Atomic Emission, Shimadzu AA-160 Atomic Absorption); Hewlett-Packard 5971 Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer System; gas chromatography systems (two Varian 430 systems, Hewlett Packard 6890, two Hewlett Packard 5890s); high performance liquid chromatography systems (two Varian ProStar systems, one with photodiode array detector and gradient capabilities; Sorvall RC-5B Refrigerated Super Speed Centrifuge; Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analyzer.


The Department of Chemistry has an active student organization called the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The organization has received an outstanding rating from the national ACS office for its activities. The chapter hosts social events, invites guest speakers to campus and provides an opportunity for chemistry majors to get to know one another.

The department has an active Cooperative Education program in which students can receive valuable chemical experience.

The department encourages undergraduate student research in which a student chooses a professor and a topic and carries out a guided research project. Past research projects have led to presentations at state and national meetings and to publication in scientific journals.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
CHM 342 Organic Chemistry I 5
PHY 123 Introduction to Physics I or PHY 203 Foundations of Physics I 4-5
CHM 375 Inorganic Chemistry 3
Self-Understanding/Creativity and Vision 3
Total Hours 15-16
Second Semester Courses Hours
CHM 343 Organic Chemistry II 5
CHM 302 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry 5
PHY 124 Introduction to Physics II or PHY 204 Foundations of Physics II 4-5
Course for minor 3
Total Hours 17-18
First Semester Courses Hours
CHM 398 Chemical Symposium 1
CHM 506 Physical Chemistry I 3
CHM 508 Physical Chemistry Laboratory I 2
ENG 210 Writing II: Academic Writing 3
HST 121 or 122 US History 3
CHM 397, 399 or 499 1-3
Total Hours 13-15
Second Semester Courses Hours
CHM 505 Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry (instead of 506, 507 and 508 or 4
CHM 507 Physical Chemistry II 3
Chemistry Electives 3
Course for Minor 6
Culture and Society/Social Science 3
Total Hours 19
First Semester Courses Hours
CHM 502 Techniques of Instrumental Analysis 4
Chemistry Electives 3
Courses for Minor 6
Self-Understanding/Social-Behavioral 3
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
CHM 498 Chemistry Careers 1
Chemistry Electives 6
Culture and Society/Humanities 6
Self-Understanding/Humanities 3
Total Hours 16