For Christians the study of chemistry is more than a way to improve life and make contributions to science. It’s a field in which to explore God’s awe-inspiring creation and learn more about Him.
Through BJU’s chemistry program, you’ll study the importance of chemistry in our modern world and learn how the elemental building blocks of matter interact.
While you’re a student, you’ll conduct laboratory work and produce professional-grade reports about your research. You’ll learn how to think like a scientist so you can tackle common industry problems, and you’ll discover practical ways to use your skills to benefit others and bring glory to God.
One of the defining traits of the BJU chemistry program is the emphasis on laboratory work. From your freshman year, you’ll use modern methods of chemical analysis to explore significant concepts and principles of chemistry. You’ll study a wide variety of topics, such as the quantum theory of the atom, chemical equilibrium and reaction mechanisms.
Most chemistry classes have a laboratory component in addition to the lecture, so you’ll learn how to think like a scientist through weekly experiments and reports that you give.
Your laboratory work culminates in a research project during your senior year, where you’ll be a member of a research team with your peers. During first semester your team will search scientific journals and formulate an original research project that you’ll implement in the lab during the second semester.
The BJU Core will further prepare you to excel in what God has for your future, both in your career and in your personal life. You’ll improve your skills in communication, organization and critical thinking through subjects such as English, history and science.
Through the BJU Core you’ll learn more about the world around you so you’ll be able, like Jesus was in His time on earth, to make biblical truths understandable to people from a wide variety of backgrounds. And you’ll learn how your work ethic itself can be a witness—a reflection of God and His glory.
Chemistry is a highly specialized program with all of your electives being part of the BJU Core. If you would like to take additional electives, you can explore taking classes over the summer through BJUOnline or increasing your class load during the semester.
Matthew Bedics, ’10
PhD student at University at Buffalo
In my experience the chemistry faculty at BJU focus on not only conveying information, but also teaching students how to put this information together to understand, rather than just know the scientific principles governing the world around us. This view of education and learning in general has helped me tremendously in the pursuit of my career.
There are several ways that Bob Jones University helped prepare me for graduate school, all of which will undoubtedly help me as I continue to pursue a career in the field of chemistry. The two given here are the ones which I believe make BJU stand out from other schools.
First, the emphasis that BJU places on teaching students how to learn concepts and not simply teaching facts and information has been extremely helpful in furthering my education. Living in an era where information can be accessed almost anywhere at anytime renders an education that is focused on relaying just information relatively useless. In my experience the chemistry faculty at BJU focus on not only conveying information, but also teaching students how to put this information together to understand, rather than just know the scientific principles governing the world around us. This view of education and learning in general has helped me tremendously in the pursuit of my career.
The second thing that stood out about BJU is the way that the emphasis of my schooling was not entirely focused on classes relating to my major, but rather focused on developing me as a person. The non-major classes had benefits ranging from speech classes that aided in conquering the dread of public speaking (which is a common occurrence in graduate school and the professional world), to English classes, which have helped improve written communication skills. The latter is obviously very important while in graduate school, and will be important when relating my research to funding agencies or peers in the scientific community throughout the rest of my career.
Andrew Gray ’06
I credit my training at BJU (more so than my training in graduate school!), as well as God’s grace, for providing me with the training that I needed to excel. I have received four promotions in the past 5 years, and am currently the manager over four different laboratory departments in my branch.
The training I received at BJU was instrumental in preparing me for both graduate school and my career as an analytical chemist. Being accepted into graduate school, I was very nervous about how my training and background would compare with my new classmates’ abilities, especially since the majority of them had performed their undergraduate degree at the same university and were familiar with the faculty and labs already.
It was refreshing to know that my first few classes in biochemistry and physical chemistry felt like an extension of the classes that I had already taken at BJU, and I was not struggling to catch up at all. In fact, I was leading the study group as my classmates were the ones who were struggling to keep up.
The lab classes at BJU included some investigational experiments that gave me even more of an advantage. Most of my classmates were used to following pre-designed experiments with the outcomes already known.The struggle with the labs at BJU encourages independent thinking of how to achieve the goal, and application of the theory learned in the classrooms to be able to predict what that goal should be. This independent thinking is something that I credit to my BJU experience in the chemistry department, and has provided me with an advantage both in graduate school and in my career since then.
Since graduating with an M.S. in Chemistry, I was hired into an analytical laboratory for occupational exposure monitoring and have been there almost 6 years now. During my time there I credit my training at BJU (more so than my training in graduate school!), as well as God’s grace, for providing me with the training that I needed to excel. I have received four promotions in the past 5 years, and am currently the manager over four different laboratory departments in my branch: Gas Chromatography Analysis - Volatiles, Gas Chromatography Analysis - Semi-Volatiles, Wet Chemistry Analysis, and the Extractions Laboratory.
The training in problem-solving and practical application of complex chemical theory has definitely been one of the greatest assets during my career so far. The requirements for Speech and English classes through the liberal arts core at BJU has also been advantageous to me as I am frequently required to write technical documents, interact with clients, as well as give technical presentations to my peers.
I am extremely grateful for the training in chemistry, as well as the daily challenges to ensure that my focus remains on Christ, that I received from the chemistry department at Bob Jones University.
Jonathan Taylor, ’95
My chemistry degree from Bob Jones University and my overall education at BJU have proven to be a robust set of tools for work and life over the 18 years since I graduated.
My chemistry degree from Bob Jones University and my overall education at BJU have proven to be a robust set of tools for work and life over the 18 years since I graduated. My first stop after BJU was graduate school at Penn State.
BJU’s focus on the core curriculum of chemistry—organic, inorganic, physical and analytical—enabled me to pass my initial qualifying exams quickly so that I could take the advanced courses that mattered most in my chosen field of polymer and materials chemistry. This core curriculum focus also provided me with an understanding of chemistry concepts and principles that found application in materials chemistry and engineering, even though I had not encountered those subjects until graduate school.
My second stop was a career change from chemistry research to patent law. I would spend the next 13 years writing patent applications and advocating for patent claims for clients including research universities, start-up companies and Fortune 500 corporations. The flexibility of BJU’s core chemistry curriculum again proved valuable, as I was able to learn new areas of chemistry quickly, and to learn them well enough to write explanations of their latest developments and of their distinctions from the previous state-of-the-art.
The strong liberal arts curriculum of BJU also was vital to my work in this area. Strong written and oral communication skills were important for the legal work itself, and a well-rounded perspective of history, psychology and sociology was important for helping to run a small patent law firm for my last few years in the field.
My latest stop has been another career change from patent law to small business management. Even though my work is now outside the field of chemistry, I find myself routinely using various aspects of my education and previous work experiences. God continues to use the healthy foundation in the sciences, math, liberal arts and biblical studies from Bob Jones University to enable me to learn new skills, to interact and communicate with a wide variety of people, and to communicate His truth in love.
We prepare you for further studies in graduate programs and for entry-level positions in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. There are many options open to you, including the following:
- Chemical Engineer
- Forensic Chemist
- Polymer Chemist
- Public Health Inspector
- Nuclear Design Engineer
- Occupational Hygienist
Our chemistry graduates have been accepted into graduate schools such as:
- Arizona State University
- Clemson University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Georgia Technical University
- Lehigh University
- Montana State University
- Northwestern University
- The Ohio State University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Purdue University
- University at Buffalo—SUNY
- University of Florida
- University of Minnesota
- University of Notre Dame
- University of South Carolina
- University of Tennessee
Our graduates have gone into top companies and have become leaders in their fields. They are ready to use what they’ve learned at BJU to serve God in whatever capacity He directs them. Organizations include:
- Research & Development Chemist, Milliken Chemical
- Manager GCIH, Laboratory Services at Bureau Veritas, North America
- Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Northwest Missouri State University
- Postdoctoral Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Chemist at Alliance Pharma
Career Support Assistance
BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on CareerCentral, our online placement service. In addition, over 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs. The Career Services office also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.
Our chemistry laboratories house a wide range of significant scientific instrumentation that you’ll get to use throughout your studies. These include:
Fourier Transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer
NMR spectrometry is one of the most important methods of analysis used to determine molecular structure.
Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer
Gas chromatography is used to analyze mixtures of organic compounds; the mass spectrometer is a sensitive and selective detector that considerably enhances the utility of the GC.
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer
IR spectrometry enables the chemist to identify key functional groups on molecules as well as to examine their vibrational fingerprints.
Atomic Absorption/Flame Emission Spectrometer
This instrument is used to analyze metals in samples that have been introduced into a stable, geometrically controlled flame.
High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph
Liquid chromatography is one of the most important standard methods of analysis used in laboratories in a wide range of commercial and research contexts. This instrument is equipped with a variable-wavelength UV (ultraviolet) detector that enables the detection of a wide range of substances.
This electroanalytical instrument is used to study oxidation-reduction processes with experimental techniques known as cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, and chronovoltammetry.
American Chemical Society
You also have the option of joining the American Chemical Society and attend meetings of the Western Carolinas section.
All five members of the chemistry faculty earned PhDs from research institutions and have published research in peer-review scientific journals. One faculty member conducted postdoctoral research, and one is a co-inventor on a U.S. patent issued to the U.S. Air Force. Another spent 20 years as a research chemist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.
And since joining the department of chemistry, three have participated in summer laboratory research at another university, an industrial company, or at a U.S. Air Force Base. All have participated in the BJU Summer Institute in Teaching Science over multiple years and have a combined total of more than 100 years of experience in teaching college chemistry.
Courses & Objectives
Sample Course Outline
First Year +
Second Year +
Third Year +
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Each student will:
- Account for the chemical and physical properties of substances in terms of chemical concepts and principles.
- Solve problems by use of both mathematical and general scientific problem-solving skills in a variety of lecture and laboratory contexts.
- Execute standard chemistry laboratory techniques.
- Analyze data to identify trends and evaluate accuracy, precision, and statistical validity.
- Compose reports that communicate conclusions drawn from data analysis.
- Design and implement scientific experiments.