Academics

The Department of Chemistry offers a wide variety of undergraduate courses  to prepare students for careers in chemistry and to provide the chemical understanding required for a variety of other fields.

As a chemistry major at the University of Central Arkansas, you’ll receive a comprehensive education in current chemical scientific theories, lab safety, and proper instrumentation use. You’ll apply these principles through experimental research (alone or with a team), and interpret your results through chemical literature study, thorough record-keeping, written reports, and oral presentation of your findings, to develop your problem-solving, critical analysis and quantitative reasoning capabilities.

The UCA chemistry department is among the best in the region, with awards in teaching, research, and service, above average national test scores, excellent placement of alumni in graduate programs, extensive research funding, and numerous accolades. Our program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), ensuring that faculty are at the top of their field, that curriculum meets the highest standards in the discipline, and that you will be favorably considered for graduate programs and employment opportunities when you’ve completed your degree. You can even specialize your course of study through different tracks in chemistry: Environmental Science with a Chemistry emphasis, ACS-Certified Chemistry, ACS-Certified Biochemistry, Chemistry with any minor, Chemistry with a minor in STEMteach, or our Pre-Medical and Pre-Pharmacy programs .

As a chemistry major at UCA, you’ll have access to all of the distinct academic benefits that make the UCA experience unique among comparable institutions. Just a few of the advantages our program offers include:

  • Expert Faculty: have earned numerous awards for their pedagogy and diverse academic and research backgrounds. They provide an accessible atmosphere through individual attention, mentoring, and inclusion of undergraduates in a number of cutting-edge research projects and applied learning experiences.
  • Professional Development: is integral to undergraduate experiences in this department.  Our students have numerous opportunities for undergraduate research (across an array of 16 different areas in chemistry and biochemists), including hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation, grant-funded projects, summer research employment, travel to conferences for research presentation (including the annual ACS National Meetings), and undergraduate co-authorship in journals that reach international audiences. Students can also participate in the annual College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Research Symposium by presenting their research projects to peers, faculty, and area professionals. Additionally, there are a variety of departmental opportunities for student employment, including in work in some research labs, office projects, teaching assistants, and tutoring.
  • Student Organizations: Such as the American Chemical Society, Pre-Pharmacy Club, and the American Medical Student Association, which promote student engagement with peers, faculty, and scientific and healthcare professionals through a variety of campus events and community activities, like conducting experimental research, presenting at (and competing in) national scientific conferences and research competitions, hosting guest speakers for research presentations and student workshops, and participating in service learning projects, like volunteer work at a local health clinic.  Based on the extent, variety, and quality of their activities, UCA’s student ACS chapter is consistently ranked among the top 10% of over 1000 chapters nationwide.
  • Employment Opportunities: Our alumni often choose to continue their education through graduate programs in Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Education, or seek professional degrees in Medical and Pharmaceutical programs. They may also pursue careers as lab technicians, research assistants, patent agents, cosmetic chemists, product quality control testers, and crime lab analysts, advisers to US senators, to name a few. For more information on career opportunities please see our alumni page.