Online degree programs in chemistry vary in the award level, type of program and technical requirements, and students should be aware of these variables when choosing a program. Learn more about these considerations and the different schools that offer online programs.
How to Choose an Online Program in Chemistry
Online chemistry programs are offered at the bachelor's and master's levels. There are a variety of program types available, ranging from online, hybrid and self-paced distance learning programs. The technical requirements are relegated to basic computer knowledge and shouldn't hold you back from pursuing an online chemistry program.
Students can benefit from online undergraduate degree programs that can offer preparation for later doctoral study. Bachelor's and master's programs in chemistry also provide preparation for students looking to enter medicine or a career in teaching K-12.
Online programs in chemistry offer a variety of enrollment options, such as full online immersion, low-residency (hybrid) and self-paced programs. Online immersion programs provide course instruction though online platforms and generally don't require students to attend any classes on campus. Students view lectures though streaming video, read course texts and participate in classroom discussions through virtual classroom technology. Hybrid programs require students to spend at least part of the time on campus, but this allows for hands-on opportunities in labs and access to school resources for research. Self-paced programs typically follow less structured learning schedules and allow students to learn at their own speed.
Participation in an online degree program requires reliable access to a computer with a broadband Internet connection. Students also need some level of technical fluency to download, run and access important course materials online. Some schools offer orientation courses at the start of online programs to acclimate students to the distance learning process.
List of Popular Online Programs in Chemistry
Online Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
An online bachelor's degree program in chemistry offers a science foundation to students interested in taking pre-medical chemistry courses and students looking to pursue chemistry at the graduate level. Curriculum typically takes 3-4 years to complete. During that time, students are required to fulfill liberal arts requirements in the humanities in addition to core courses. Students follow online courses, view video lectures and complete online assignments. Coursework in chemistry includes general chemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, and lab courses that can often be completed online through simulation software. The typical course load in chemistry includes:
- Organic chemistry
- Inorganic chemistry
- General chemistry
Online Master of Science in Chemistry
An online master's degree in chemistry usually takes two years of full-time study. Students in an online program pursue advanced training in inorganic biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry and others. Successful graduation from the program includes the completion of a final thesis.
Some online graduate programs also offer specialized programs for students interested in becoming K-12 chemistry teachers. After graduation from a teaching program in chemistry, students interested in becoming public school teachers must obtain a teaching license from the state they intend to teach in. More information about individual license requirements can be found on the state's department of education website. Coursework can include:
- Inorganic chemistry
- Fundamentals of heterocycles
- NMR and mass spectrometry
- Advanced biochemistry
- Advanced inorganic chemistry
- Medicinal chemistry
Schools With Online Programs in Chemistry
Western Governors University has a Bachelor of Arts in Science (Chemistry, 5-12) that is designed for those who wish to teach chemistry to high school students. The program does require in-classroom teaching experience and concludes with a professional portfolio project. Students specializing in chemistry will take courses in advanced chemistry and general science. WGU also offers a Master of Arts in Science (Chemistry, 5-12) program that includes a home science lab so students can complete lab projects at home..
The University of Saint Joseph provides a Master of Science in Chemistry program that is designed for working professionals, and therefore, offers courses online or one night a week on-campus. Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis option and take courses in biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and more. Those who chose the non-thesis option must complete a comprehensive exam for graduation.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a unique online Corporate Master of Science in Chemistry program designed for working professionals. The program consists of 36 credits and does not require a thesis. Students can specialize in clinical research, business or education. Coursework covers advanced topics in physical chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and more.
Fully online chemistry programs are rare, but can be found at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Students considering these programs need to be aware of a program's format, like any on-campus requirements, and technical requirements, such as high speed internet or specific software.