Frequently Asked Questions
How many people graduate with a major in chemistry each year?
The Chemistry Department has graduated 120 majors in the last 8 years, and has averaged 18.2 graduates per year for the past 5 years. In addition, the associated Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program has graduated 61 majors in the last 8 years, and averaged 8.4 graduates per year (all statistics compiled in 2013).
Where do our graduates go?
Over the past five years, 42% of our graduates have gone to Medical school, 11% have gone to other Health-related graduate schools (e.g. Pharmacy and Dental schools), 22% have gone to Graduate school or Law school, and many of the remaining people have gone directly into science education, or industrial/clinical laboratory work. Students pursuing medical school have attended schools including University of Tennessee (Memphis), University of Texas (San Antonio, Galveston, Houston, etc), University of Arkansas, University of Alabama (Birmingham), Louisiana State University (New Orleans), Louisville, Rush Medical College (Chicago), Duke, and Harvard.
Graduates pursuing graduate education in chemistry have attended schools including University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Texas A&M, University of Arizona, University of Alaska (Fairbanks), Washington University (St. Louis), Vanderbilt, and Florida State University.
How is your major structured?
The Chemistry major starts with six core classes: Foundations of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry I and II, Analytical Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry I and II. After the core, students must take at least two additional classes chosen from the following: Biochemistry, Mechanisms of Drug Action, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, Advanced Analytical Chemistry, and Advanced Biochemistry. In addition, majors must take Calculus I and II, Physics I and II, and the senior capstone course. Students may obtain certification of their degree by the American Chemical Society by taking additional courses.
What is a typical course schedule for someone at the start of majoring in chemistry?
Students pursuing a major in chemistry typically start with Foundations of Chemistry (CHEM 120) in the first semester, and follow with Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 211) in the second semester. Students often take the Calculus prerequisites in the Freshman year as well, though this can be left to the second year. Chemistry majors interested in medical school sometimes take Core Biology concurrently with Foundations of Chemistry in the first semester, though this can also be left to the second year.
How about AP credit?
Credit may be granted for Chemistry 120 for a 4 or 5 on the AP examination. As our curriculum at Rhodes includes Organic Chemistry is the second semester, we strongly recommend that AP students take the Foundations course in the first semester. Particular circumstances should be discussed with your advisor.
How large are the classes in the department?
In the first year courses, the enrollments are usually between 35 and 40 per class with no more than 24 per laboratory class. The class sizes decrease in the more advanced levels, with some senior level classes having enrollments of under 10 students.
What research opportunities are available for chemistry majors?
Students may participate in research with a faculty member beginning as early as the second half of the Freshman year. In fact, at least half of our majors participate in research during their time at Rhodes, and four credits of research count as an upper-level elective in the department. Interested students should browse the faculty research pages and then contact faculty members directly about potential openings in their labs. Summer research experiences both on and off campus are also available and most carry a stipend.