Is Chemistry the Right Major for Me?
While there may be the misconception that chemistry majors will spend their college years like mad scientists conducting obscure research, this major offers students interesting opportunities to gain skills and knowledge that are applicable to many practical fields. Those who succeed in this major may have a variety of post-graduate aspirations, but all share several key qualities and traits. Answer these questions to see how yours compare:
|Do you enjoy lab work?||Yes or No|
|Are you curious?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong math skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you good at a variety of science subjects?||Yes or No|
|Does research interest you?||Yes or No|
|Do you know what you would like to do with a degree in chemistry?||Yes or No|
|Are you analytical?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy solving problems?||Yes or No|
|Are you good at multi-tasking?||Yes or No|
|Are you able to visualize things that you cannot see?||Yes or No|
Why Am I Being Asked These Questions?
Do you enjoy lab work?
As a chemistry major, you may expect to spend a great deal of time in a controlled laboratory conducting experiments to complete assignments such as identifying chemicals and creating chemical reactions.
Are you curious?
Students who major in chemistry should be naturally curious about the composition of natural and created objects and substances.
Do you have strong math skills?
Chemistry majors usually must complete several math courses, which may include advanced calculus and analytical geometry.
Are you good at a variety of science subjects?
While the majority of science requirements for chemistry majors focus on various types of chemistry, you may also expect to take several other science classes, including physics and bioscience.
Does research interest you?
While typically not required of chemistry majors, conducting independent research is encouraged at most schools. Research activities are important for those who plan to go on to graduate school, and at some schools, may be necessary to earn an undergraduate degree with honors.
Do you know what you would like to do with a degree in chemistry?
Many chemistry degree programs allow students to focus their coursework in specific concentrations that are designed to prepare them for their anticipated graduate studies or careers.
Are you analytical?
Many of the courses you will take as a chemistry major will require you to not only obtain information through laboratory work and research, but also critically analyze that chemical information and data.
Do you enjoy solving problems?
In your chemistry courses, along with the required classes in math and other sciences, you will be charged with solving both quantitative and qualitative problems.
Are you good at multi-tasking?
Chemistry majors typically must juggle both traditional classes, such as lectures, with rigorous hands-on lab requirements.
Are you able to visualize things that you cannot see?
Most of what you will study as a chemistry major, and the concepts you will need to understand, involve molecular structures and things that are not visible to the eye.
If your answers convinced you that you should choose to major in chemistry, it is time to start exploring schools and programs! Both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are available, and at many schools, you may choose a concentration such as materials, environmental chemistry or biochemistry.