The four-year outline of BS-CHEM courses is designed for the student who wishes to become a chemist, and wishes to prepare for further education beyond the college level in the field. Most students intending to pursue professional careers in the field of chemistry pursue this degree.
The BS-Chem degree can be obtained with emphasis in various areas of chemistry. The department offers BS options in the areas of Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Nanotechnology and Polymer Chemistry. All of these options contain the core required courses in chemistry, while allowing enough scheduling flexibility for the student to pursue his or her individual specialty area.
Millersville University is one of the few universities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that awards an ACS approved Bachelor of Science Degree with an option in Biochemistry. The program provides the student with a basic background in chemistry and biology as well as a flexible science elective block that will allow the student to pursue any one of a number of major areas of interest upon graduation. The student may also elect to participate in the Cooperative Education Program during his or her course of study. This opportunity affords the student with invaluable practical on-the-job experience, as well as earning college credits and a salary. The career opportunities available in biochemistry are many and diverse.
Millersville University Department of Chemistry offers a B.S. Chemistry degree with an option in Environmental Chemistry. The curriculum offers courses whose contents are consistent with similar programs offered elsewhere and, with electives in inorganic chemistry and biochemistry, that will satisfy the guidelines of an option in Environmental Chemistry approved by the ACS. In addition to course requirements, the curriculum includes opportunities for industrial and government internship programs related to environmental analysis, engineering, and regulation. Of more immediate promise is the interest expressed by Lancaster Laboratories in generating a student internship program with the Chemistry Department. These internships include such areas as research in sampling and instrumental analysis of many different kinds of materials, toxicity and risk assessment, field testing and monitoring, drug screening, environmental law and regulations, analysis of food products, and quality assurance in the chemical laboratory.
The Chemistry Department at Millersville offers a B.S. Chemistry degree with an option in Nanotechnology. The curriculum includes courses that give students a strong background in chemistry and electives in nanotechnology and other sciences. As part of the current program, students spent a semester at Penn State University Park Campus to gain practical experience in nanofabrication and the use of clean room facilities. Nanotechnology - which is the control of materials at very small dimensions to make smaller, cheaper and better products is being adopted in many industries. Upon graduation students can pursue graduate studies in chemistry or materials sciences, or work in industry or government usually in an environment involving interaction with scientists from other disciplines such as biology, physics and engineering.
The Chemistry Department at Millersville offers a B.S. Chemistry degree with an option in Polymer Chemistry that satisfies the guidelines set forth by the American Chemical Society. The Department of Chemistry is currently initiating the process of having the option certified by the American Chemical Society.
Polymer chemistry has become an important area in the chemical industry. It is estimated that 50% of all chemists will work in polymer chemistry in some capacity during their careers. Polymer chemistry forms the basis for the production of plastics, synthetic fibers, paints, coatings, adhesives, and many other chemical products. Although most polymer chemists are employed by industry there are also jobs available in academics and in the government.
This degree is designed for the student who wishes to become a chemist, but for some reason does not wish to complete the requirements of the BS-CHEM degree. Many students planning to attend professional school (medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, law, business, etc.) elect this degree. With fewer requirements in advanced chemistry chemistry courses, the degree gives students the opportunity to elect other courses that may be necessary or useful as foundations for professional programs of study undertaken in the future.
The BA-CHEM degree also can be used as one part of the requirements for the student who wishes to obtain a dual major or construct an interdisciplinary degree. Notice that the BA-CHEM degree requires French, Russian, or German (at the elementary level) as a foreign language. A BA-CHEM student who wishes to keep open the option of becoming a BS-CHEM major (or proceeding to graduate school in chemistry) would be wise to elect a language. See the description of the BSE-CHEM curricula for other options.
The three-year curriculum in cooperative engineering is quite restrictive: there is room for few electives. In addition, most engineering schools require that a two-course sequence of courses be completed in each of Social Sciences, and Humanities and Fine Arts. Only certain courses in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities will be credited by the cooperative engineering schools; the department chairperson maintains a list of these approved courses.
A student who wishes to apply to an engineering school under this program should make his or her initial contacts with the engineering school by the end of the second year of study. The formal application should be accompanied by a letter from the Chemistry Department chairperson stating that the student has met all of the requirements of this program. In addition, a certain grade point average is required to be accepted; as of this writing it was 2.75. Finally, the faculty of the cooperating engineering department has the option of rejecting a candidate who has met all of the above requirements although this has never happened to a Millersville student.
Another way to obtain a degree as a chemical engineer is to complete the BS-CHEM curriculum and apply to an engineering school for acceptance as a graduate student working for a Master's degree. Approximately four-fifths of the engineering schools in the United States accept graduate students who have no undergraduate courses in engineering.
The BSE-CHEM degree leads to certification to teach chemistry at the secondary level in the public schools of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Note also that CHEMISTRY requirements of the BSE-CHEM curriculum and that of the BA-CHEM degree are almost identical. BSE-CHEM requires Analytical Chemistry (CHEM 465) while BA-CHEM requires Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 452), and both curricula require at least one elective chemistry course. A student majoring in either program would be wise to take both CHEM 452 and CHEM 465, as well as either Russian or German at the elementary level.
It is possible to graduate with the BA-CHEM degree and also be certified to teach chemistry at the secondary level. Several students have done so in the past and some have reported that school districts look more favorably on an application with the BA-CHEM degree than they do on one with the BSE-CHEM degree. To do this, one simply adds the courses in the Professional Education (27.0 credits), Bachelor of Science in Education degree requirements, of the BSE-CHEM curriculum record form to the requirements of the BA-CHEM degree. You should initially consult the Chemistry Department Chairperson and then, as necessary, the Secondary Education Department if you plan to pursue this option.
Students pursuing other degrees at Millersville University who wish to have a special understanding of Chemical Systems or Chemical Principles can opt to minor in Chemistry. This emphasis can greatly increase a graduate's employment opportunities in certain areas, such as Occupational Safety and Health, Industrial Technology, Biology and others. The Chemistry minor option allows students to take a concentration of courses in the area of chemistry while pursuing their primary degree.
Like the Minor in chemistry, the Biochemistry Minor allows students to follow their primary major through to graduation, while completing a strong program in chemistry. The advantages to the student are increased understanding of the applicability of their major to chemical systems, increased adaptability to changing circumstances in employment, and the ability to cross-reference knowledge and expand one's ability to understand more complex problems and discover solutions through research and testing.
The environmental chemistry minor provides an opportunity for students to develop an in depth understanding of current environmental issues from a chemistry perspective. An underlying theme is the role of chemistry in sustainability. Students enrolled in the minor have the advantage of broadening their understanding of chemistry and the environment while still pursuing their chosen major. This will make them more attractive for jobs and future career placement.