- Offered as:
- Specialization track in Chemistry
Materials chemistry, an option within the chemistry major, combines the principles of chemistry, physics, and materials science and emphasizes a molecular understanding of the chemical, electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of materials as well as the application of solid state and thin film materials in modern technology.
- Strengths of the program
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Benefit from successful faculty who publish research papers in journals and attract more than $2.5 million in external funding each year.
- Pursue opportunities to conduct independent research and present findings at national and international meetings.
- Chemistry graduates at WSU have a high success rate at finding satisfying employment and gaining acceptance to internationally recognized graduate and professional schools.
- WSU’s chemistry department has produced numerous winners of the prestigious national Goldwater Scholarship during the past several years.
- Work in excellent laboratory facilities with specialized state-of-the-art equipment for study and research.
- Requirements and core courses
In addition to the courses listed below, students must complete courses to fulfill University general education requirements and College of Sciences and degree requirements, as well as a writing portfolio. Students should consult the General Catalog for course planning and must meet course requirements as outlined in the General Catalog in order to graduate.
CHEMISTRY CORE COURSES
Chem 105—Principles of Chemistry I
Chem 106—Chemical Principles II or Chem 116 Honors (by invitation)
Math 171 & 172 & 273—Calculus I & II & III
Biol 106 or 107—Introductory Biology
Chem 345, 346, 347—Organic Chemistry I & II, Labs
Phys 201 & 202—Physics for Scientists and Engineers I & II
MBioS 303—Introductory Biochemistry
Math 220—Introductory Linear Algebra
Chem 220 & 222—Quantitative Analysis & Lab
Chem 330—Problem Solving in Physical Chemistry
Chem 331 & 333—Physical Chemistry I & II, Lab
Chem 398—Undergraduate Seminar
Chem 332 & 334—Physical Chemistry II, Lab
Chem 401—Modern Inorganic Chemistry
MATERIALS CHEMISTRY OPTION COURSES
MSE 301—Materials Science
MSE 302—Electronic Materials
MSE 320—Materials Structure/Properties Laboratory
Chem 499—Special Problems
Chem 410—Advanced Synthesis and Characterization
MSE 321—Materials Characterization
Chem 401—Modern Inorganic Chemistry
Chem 480—Solid State Chemistry
Chem 495—Directed Research
The Honors College curriculum can be integrated with any undergraduate major.
Note: See the WSU Catalog (http://catalog.wsu.edu/Pullman) for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
Each year the Department of Chemistry awards about $12,000 in undergraduate scholarships and hires many to work in laboratories. Additional scholarships are available from the College of Sciences and the university.
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Campus organizations and activities
• Chemistry Club (sponsored by the American Chemical Society)
provides student mentoring, sponsors social events, creates undergraduate computer labs, and develops high school and junior high school programs.
• Women in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering is a group that offers support and enrichment programs.
• Chemistry majors have use of an undergraduate lounge, meeting room, and computer lab for activities and individual study.
To learn more about chemistry, see the American Chemical Society Web site.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
• Students planning to major in chemistry at WSU should take at least three years of mathematics in high school and high school science through chemistry. Calculus and advanced chemistry are recommended.
• Writing courses are essential, since effective writing is very important in science.
• Students must have two years of one foreign language, which fulfills a WSU graduation requirement.
- Careers in materials chemistry
Materials chemists are employed by industry, governmental agencies, and consulting firms. They work for the electronics industry, develop medical and dental devices, and create new plastics and other polymers.
Because of their strong undergraduate training, WSU chemistry majors are highly successful in finding satisfying employment and gaining acceptance to internationally recognized graduate schools and professional schools. In addition to those who move to employment directly with their bachelor of science degree, many advance to medical and dental schools.
A 2000 survey conducted by the American Chemical Society showed the unemployment rate among chemists at approximately half that of the general population. In 1999, the median starting salary for chemists was $30,000 for those with a bachelor's degree, $42,000 for those with a master's, and $61,000 for those with a Ph.D.