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Chemistry & Physics


Chemistry Students

Chemistry is sometimes called "the central science." That’s true here at Birmingham-Southern, where you’ll learn the skills to answer questions in multiple disciplines. You’ll master the fundamental principles and language of chemistry through class and lab work, small group discussions, and other activities.

Our laboratory courses give you direct hands-on experience with a range of experimental methods and complex instruments that are usually reserved for graduate students. You may be assigned multi-week modules designed to answer specific questions, or a team project where you have to collaborate and reach consensus on the data.

  • Chemistry majors conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a chemistry professor and present their research in a senior campus conference. Recent students have identified and synthesized compounds that may lead to new drugs; measured the electrochemical properties of blood substitutes; and tested anti-tumor compounds on yeast.

  • We offer different tracks for students interested in professional chemistry (our degree is certified by the American Chemical Society), in health care such as medicine or dentistry, and in teaching chemistry in secondary schools.

  • You’ll study in the high-tech Stephens Science Center, a state-of-the-art building that houses six chemistry teaching laboratories, five chemistry research labs, and shared facilities including a laser lab, machine shop, and photographic darkroom.

  • You can study outside the traditional bounds. Take an exTerm class on the chemistry of paint, ink, and other art materials; work with biology students on a project testing environmental chemicals in Birmingham’s industrial neighborhoods; or apply for a semester at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.