Online programs in chemistry at the undergraduate level are very uncommon because the study of chemistry requires extensive work in a laboratory. Even though there are limited online options in chemistry, some basic undergraduate chemistry classes may be taken online and certain programs, such as training to become a high school chemistry teacher, are available remotely. Students might also earn a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering through distance learning. Individuals can find classes in general chemistry, science and technology, biochemistry, laboratory science and organic chemistry.
Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry
An online chemistry program can be designed for someone who has worked in a chemical field and wishes to return to school for teacher certification. Online chemistry classes usually cover a general survey of chemistry and chemistry concepts and may sometimes be used to complete a physical science requirement for another degree.
A bachelor's degree usually takes four years to complete. Online programs are usually tied to the college's academic calendar. Some programs are done at the student's convenience, while others might require the student to be available at a specific time.
There have been some unique programs where students are encouraged to perform chemical experiments at home using basic household ingredients. Students might have to access videos and conduct sequential experiments. Most chemistry degree programs require multiple math classes, including calculus.
This is a survey type class that includes material on topics like atoms and molecules, properties of gases and fundamental concepts of chemistry. Students might be required to do simple experiments at home and report back on what happens using specified measurement techniques.
Introduction to Biochemistry
This course covers the chemical aspects of biological processes. Students might learn about the structure of DNA or how glucose is related to diabetes.
In this class, students learn about instrumental methods. Topics like measuring UV light, or magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electrochemistry might be included.
This class introduces students to methods of quantitative analysis. Using instrumental methodologies, students learn the underlying principles of the measurement of chemical substances.
Career Information for Graduates
A bachelor's degree in chemistry provides an education with many different possible career paths. As a rule, for most jobs, the bachelor's degree is the minimum degree required; in many cases, companies might require a master's or doctoral degree.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), becoming a chemist does not provide a fast-growth career path. It is expected to grow only at the rate of 3% over the 2014-2024 decade. The median annual wage for someone working as a chemist was $71,260 as of May 2015.
It's difficult to find undergraduate degrees in chemistry that are available fully online, though some programs might offer a handful of courses via distance education. Alternatives include online chemical engineering bachelor's degree programs as well as chemistry programs designed to prepare students for teacher certification.