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Ripon College offers an American Chemical Society approved program that is distinctive in that Organic Chemistry is the initial course. In addition to a Chemistry major, Ripon College also offers a Chemistry-Biology major and a Physical Science major, both interdisciplinary tracts serving broad interests. Chemistry courses at Ripon College also serve as substantial preparation for a variety of pre-professional programs including medical school, dental school, veterinary school, optometry, nursing and a variety of other allied health fields and law school.
Chemistry majors at Ripon College typically enter Ph.D. programs after graduation where tuition fees are waived and a substantial stipend is provided. Chemistry graduates are exceptionally prepared for graduate school, professional school or immediate employment after four years at Ripon College because of our emphasis on laboratory rich experiences that include both individual and team responsibilities. Faculty work individually with each student to develop laboratory and theoretical skills as well as recommend individual career enhancing experiences and advise individual career plans. Communication skills are developed throughout the Ripon College Chemistry curriculum using oral and written presentation frameworks that provide immediate feedback and demand increasing sophistication.
A variety of state-of-the-art instrumentation (including a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer (LC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)) is housed in the Chemistry Department and is for student use at all levels. Students have ready access to essential, sophisticated instrumentation to carry out experiments and research across the gamut of organic, inorganic, analytic and physical chemistry.
The Ripon College Chemistry Department offers a one credit seminar course open to everyone that includes visits from world renowned researchers, visits from alumni from across the career spectrum, student research seminars, science outreach experiences and student-faculty field trips.
Many of our chemistry graduates become doctors, dentists, 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.
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. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. 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. 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.
What can I do with a chemistry major?
An undergraduate degree in chemistry can lead to a career in agricultural chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, geochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, materials science, physical chemistry, education, polymer chemistry, healthcare and other sales and communication fields.
Alumni of our program are enrolled in a variety of graduate-level programs at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities, including: Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Northwestern University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Irvine, University of Oregon, Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.
Recent graduates of our program work for:
- Kimberly Clark
- Dow Chemical
- AkzoNobel Global
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Seattle Genetics
- Nature’s Path Food Company
- University of Wisconsin
- Villanova University
- United States Department of Agriculture
- Ernst & Young
Job titles of recent graduates include:
- Principal Research Investigator
- Wheat Geneticist
- Physical Chemistry Professor
- Experience Manager
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Radiation Oncologist
- Project Manager
- Senior Scientist
- Vaccine Researcher
- Chemical Engineer
- Analytical Chemist
- Post-doctoral Researcher
- Research Assistant
Chemistry Alumni Spotlight
Matt Paquette ’12 says, “Starting in sophomore-level chemistry at Ripon, you are doing independent research, handling all the instrumentation, and actually learning to be a chemist.” That experience led to two significant research projects while he was still a Ripon undergrad. He spent one summer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington State, working on algae biofuels research. He spent another summer at the University of Massachusetts working on nano-wires for solar voltaic cells. These projects were funded by Boeing and by the National Science Foundation. He also spent a semester in Alicante, Spain, where he took classes in chemistry and politics in Spanish. In his “spare time,” he played saxophone and piano with the Ripon College Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
He plans on earning a Ph.D. at Northwestern University on his way to a career as a researcher in alternative and renewable energy.
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.
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.