• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Requirements
  • Advising
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study



The chemistry-biology major is an interdisciplinary program designed for students interested in the health sciences, molecular and cell biology, environmental disciplines such as toxicology, and any other field in which a good preparation in both chemistry and biology is needed. All chemistry-biology majors must take a basic core of courses in science and math. Beyond this basic core, they must elect a course of study that emphasizes either a molecular-biochemical or an environmental concentration. Students who elect the chemistry-biology major may not elect a major or minor in either chemistry or biology.

Students have ready access to essential, sophisticated instrumentation to carry out experiments and research across the gamut of organic, inorganic, analytic and physical chemistry.

Many of our chemistry-biology graduates become doctors, nurses, pharmacists, environmental scientists, college and university professors, or elementary or secondary teachers. Some go into corporate or government research. Our graduates include top-level executives, plant managers, sales managers and lawyers.

Program Spotlight


Barbara Sisson

Barbara Sisson

Associate Professor of Biology, Chair of Health Professions Advising Committee

[email protected]
Colleen Byron

Colleen Byron

Professor of Chemistry, Chair of Chemistry Department, L. Leone Oyster '19 Chair in Chemistry

[email protected]
dr. Jeff

Jeffrey Krueger

Adjunct Professor of Biology

[email protected]
Patrick Willoughby

Patrick Willoughby

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

[email protected]
Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace

Professor of Biology, The Patricia and Philip McCullough 1969 Professor in Biology

[email protected]
Dr. Stephanie

Stephanie Krueger

Adjunct Professor of Biology

[email protected]


Core requirements for a major in chemistry-biology: The basic core of required
courses includes BIO 121; CHM 111, 112, and 211; PHY 171 and 172; MTH 201
or higher level calculus; and BIO 501 and 502 or CHM 501 and 502. A senior thesis
is required. For students electing to take BIO 501 and 502, MTH 120 or PSC 211
and BIO 200 or PSC 211-212 are prerequisites. For students electing to take CHM
501 and 502, one writing prerequisite course is required from among the following
BIO 200, PSC 212, CHM 333, 334, 342, or 414, or another course approved by the

Molecular-biochemical emphasis: BIO 219 and three courses in biology selected
from the following: BIO 211, 216, 226, 312, 314, 327, 328, and 329. Two of the following
courses: CHM 214, 321, and 333 or 334. Students who plan to attend graduate
school in biochemistry are advised to take both CHM 333 and 334, and CHM

Environmental emphasis: ENV 120; BIO 247 and two additional courses in
biology including one of the following: BIO 314, 337, 338, 339 and 450. Two of the
following courses: CHM 214, 321, and 333 or 334.


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.

Career Tracks

An undergraduate degree in chemistry-biology can lead to a career in medicine, chemistry, veterinary science, nursing, pharmacology, business and environmental protection.

Alumni of our program are enrolled in a variety of graduate-level programs at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities, including: the Wisconsin School of Medicine, Iowa State University, the University of Illinois and Wayne State University.

Recent graduates of our program work for:

  • Baxter Healthcare Inc.
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Covance Laboratories Inc.
  • Dean Clinic
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Infinity Healthcare
  • Missouri State University
  • Northwestern University of Health Sciences
  • Onyx Environmental Services
  • Sigma-Aldlrich Inc.
  • U.S. Air Force
  • University of Wisconsin Medical School

Job titles of recent graduates include:

  • Neonatology fellow
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Water quality specialist
  • Chemist
  • Lawyer
  • Research and new product developer
  • Emergency room physician
  • Chemistry teacher
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Captain and flight surgeon
  • Midwife
  • Physician assistant
  • Nursing assistant
  • Optometrist
  • Biology lab professor

Off-Campus Study

A substantial number of Ripon College chemistry students participate in study and research programs at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee; the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; and the University of Swansea, Wales.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.