The Environmental Chemistry Program

The environmental chemistry program at Saint Vincent College seeks to provide students with a solid foundation in environmental chemistry set in the broad context of the liberal arts. We provide our graduates with knowledge of chemical principles, laboratory skills, communication skills and research experience so that they can pursue a career in environmental chemistry. 

What Can I Do With a Degree in Environmental Chemistry?

Majoring in environmental chemistry is an ideal start to your career in the sciences. The many opportunities available at Saint Vincent College during your college years will ensure success after graduation.

  • In addition to our Bachelor of Science degree in environmental chemistry, we also offer minors in chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry, along with a secondary school teaching certification in chemistry.

  • Our curriculum includes common foundation courses, a strong emphasis on oral/written communication skills and group work and a required senior research project.

  • Students have many opportunities for “hands-on” work with instrumentation in state-of-the-art laboratories. These labs feature $500,000 worth of new equipment.

  • Environmental Chemistry majors benefit from opportunities to be involved with the award-winning Environmental Education Center and Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve.

  • Students have opportunities to get involved in the Saint Vincent College Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which has been recognized for a number of years by the ACS for its quality program.  

Environmental Chemistry Results
  • Students in our department get hands-on instruction with instrumentation and equipment that is widely used in the chemical industry, government labs and graduate schools. In addition, the department has recently acquired an inert atmosphere glovebox, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an ion chromatograph.
  • 100 percent of seniors graduating with a degree in Chemistry who have applied to graduate school have been accepted. 56 percent of our seniors who apply to a health profession school are accepted (the national average is about 44 percent). 48 percent of our students who are looking for jobs are employed by the time they graduate.
  • Many of our students participate in summer internships either in government (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection), industry (PPG, Johnson-Matthey, R.J. Lee Group) or at larger research universities (University of Pittsburgh, University of Montana, The Ohio State University).
  • The Saint Vincent College chemistry club is a Student Affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and has received awards of commendation from ACS for its service to the community, educational outreach and social events for the past eleven years.
  • The chemistry department participated in the CLP Emerging Scholars program this past summer, where five students who had just completed their first year conducted chemical research with two faculty members.
Major Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry Major Requirements (73 credits)
BL 150,152 General Biology I and II - 6 credits
CH 101-102 General Chemistry I, II* - 6 credits
CH 103-104 General Chemistry Laboratory I, II* - 2 credits
ES 150 Earth Systems Science - 3 credits
ES 152 Earth Systems Science Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 216 Quantitative Analysis-  3 credits
CH 218 Quantitative Analysis Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 221-222 Organic Chemistry I, II - 6 credits
CH 223-224 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, II - 2 credits
CH 228 Introduction to Biochemistry - 3 credits
CH 231-232 Physical Chemistry I, II - 6 credits
CH 233 Physical Chemistry I Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 242 Instrumental Analysis - 2 credits
CH 276 Advanced Environmental Chemistry -23 credits
CH 277 Methods of Environmental Analysis - 2 credits
CH 282 Advanced Physical Methods - 2 credits
CH 301 Research Laboratory - 2 credits
CH 300, 302 Research Seminar I, II - 2 credits
MA 111-113 Calculus I, II, III* - 12 credits
PH 111-112 General Physics I, II - 6 credits
PH 113-114 General Physics Laboratory I, II - 2 credits

*General Chemistry I & II with Laboratory fulfill the natural science core requirement. Calculus I fulfills the mathematics core requirement.

Recommended Core Curriculum courses:
SO 161 Environmental Sociology - 3 credits
PS 390 Environmental Law - 3 credits
EL 111 Green Writing: Literature and the Environment - 3 credits

Electives (3 credits) 

Typical Freshman Scheduleenv-chemistry-freshman-schedule

CH 101 General Chemistry I - 3 credits
CH 103 General Chemistry I Laboratory - 1 credit
MA 111 Calculus I - 4 credits
EL 102 Language & Rhetoric - 3 credits
Core course - 3 credits
First Year Seminary - 1 credit
Total Fall: 15 credits

CH 102 General Chemistry II - 3 credits
CH 104 General Chemistry II Laboratory - 1 credit
MA 112 Calculus II - 4 credits
ES 150 Earth Systems Science - 3 credits
ES 152 Earth Systems Science Laboratory - 1 credit
TH 119 First Theology - 3 credits
Total Spring: 15 credits

Total Freshman Year: 30 credits 

All students will take one three (3) credit course designated as a Freshman Seminar which will satisfy a Core Curriculum requirement.

Internships and Careers in Environmental Chemistry

Our environmental chemistry program provides graduates with a solid basis for a successful career in the field. After graduating from Saint Vincent College, our students have gone on to:

  • Conduct chemical analysis and formulation at PPG Industries, Tetra Tech, Pace Analytical, Dow Chemical, Westinghouse, Alcoa, Mylan Laboratories and U.S. Steel.

  • Work in environmental government agencies such as local conservation districts and the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Complete graduate work at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, Lehigh University, Ohio State University, Virginia Tech, University of Minnesota, Penn State, University of Florida, Michigan State, Cornell University and the University of Georgia.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives:

    • Students graduating with a degree in environmental chemistry will have an understanding of chemical principles in organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry that allows them to apply those principles to advanced topics in environmental chemistry and analysis.
    • Students will be able to perform a variety of modern chemical laboratory techniques and run modern instrumentation.
    • Students will be able to communicate in both oral and written forms that are appropriate to the modern practice of chemistry. Students should be able to apply the Six Principles of Good Writing to their chemistry writing.
    • Students in their junior and senior years in chemistry will be able to design, develop, conduct and report on an independent research project.
    • Students will develop higher order thinking skills of synthesis, analysis and applications.