Student next to test tubes


"The MCLA Chemistry Department fosters not only an environment of education and the pursuit of further knowledge, but also a community of understanding, empathy, and mutual respect. It is important to feel welcome in a place where you will spend several years of your life; I am so grateful I was able to find my home in the Chemistry Department, surrounded by professors and fellow students who care deeply about my educational destination and self-evolution." - Bernadette Dineen '18

Chemistry Lab RHarris

Our major in Chemistry covers basic principles and theories in analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. You will gain a working knowledge of chemistry, both factual and theoretical, by examining the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter. You will also learn synthetic skills, laboratory techniques, technical report comprehension, laboratory instrumentation, and chemical safety. 

Just as important, you will gain skills in analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving that you can apply to everyday challenges, and to other fields of study. Graduating from MCLA with a degree in Chemistry provides you with a  powerful springboard into whatever career you choose.

Programs Available

B.S. in Chemistry

Students graduating with a major in chemistry will be able to:
• Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles and theories in analytical, organic, physical chemistry, inorganic, and
• Apply chemical principles through problem solving and laboratory experimentation;
• Demonstrate competency in use of various laboratory instruments.

Chemistry Minor

Students graduating with a minor in Chemistry will be able to:
• Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles and theories in analytical, organic and one of the following sub areas:inorganic, biochemistry or physical chemistry
• Apply chemical principles through problem solving and laboratory experimentation
• Demonstrate competency in use of basic laboratory instruments.

Biochemistry concentration

A biochemistry degree is perfect for students interested in the medical field, including pharmacy, and those who are interested in researching subjects such as: the molecular basis for disease, environmental toxicology, or the bioengineering of microbes to produce drugs or biofuels.

In biochemistry, one uses chemical concepts to explain and study biological processes. For example, a chemist may research a more efficient and greener method to synthesize polymers used in plastic, while a biochemist may study how the structure of an amino acid – or a protein – is linked to its function.

Student working on her chemistry project

Why MCLA is Different

Our small classes and engaged faculty encourage you to become adept at scientific inquiry, including designing your own research and presenting findings at our Undergraduate Research Conference, as well as at national conferences. If you're interested in teaching, you can major in Chemistry with a concentration in Education. MCLA has submitted a program for Initial Licensure in Chemistry, grades 9-12, for approval by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Students majoring in Chemistry with a concentration in Education can prepare for this license.


View a sample 4-year plan to complete your major

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Chemistry is often referred to as the "central" science. In that role, chemistry connects physics and mathematics with biology, medicine, and environmental sciences. Biotechnology, art conservation, medical research, and forensics are also paths that Chemistry graduates can take.

For more information contact Chemistry Department Chair Dr. Carolyn Dehner.