Apr 15, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Linette M. Watkins, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6246
Email: watkinlm@jmu.edu
Location: Physics and Chemistry Building, Room 1186
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/chemistry

D. Amenta, K. Caran, T. DeVore, D. Downey, R. Foust, J. Gilje, C. Hughey, G. MacDonald, B. Reisner, L. Watkins, Y. Zhang

Associate Professors
A. Baber, C. Berndsen, B. Boardman, O. Kokhan, S. Lewis, D. Mohler, I. Sumner, N. Wright

Assistant Professors
G. Peters, P. Raston

D. Blumling, K. Funck, O. Judd, Q. Liu, D. Wilson

Mission Statement

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers the B.S. degree for a major in chemistry, with concentrations that meet the American Chemical Society Accredited Programs requirements for programs in biochemistry, materials chemistry and in chemistry/chemical education. In addition, the department offers a B.S. degree in biophysical chemistry. It also offers minors in chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, and materials science. The programs are designed to provide the theoretical and practical instruction in chemistry and related areas to prepare students for careers in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, dentistry, paramedical areas, forensic sciences, chemical engineering and other technology-based areas. The department also recognizes its responsibility to provide courses for non-chemistry majors who need a basic understanding of the principles of chemistry either for their chosen major or their general education.

Career Opportunities

  • Graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry or related areas (ACS Certified Degrees preferred)
  • Professional employment as a chemist or biochemist (ACS Certified Degrees preferred)
  • Professional school (medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, business and law)
  • Chemical engineering
  • Environmental science
  • Food or fragrance chemistry
  • Forensic science
  • Immunology
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Production supervision
  • Quality control
  • Research assistant
  • Science educator
  • Scientific writing
  • Some forms of development work
  • Technical library science
  • Toxicology
  • Other fields where critical problem solving and technical communication skills are valued

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • American Chemical Society Student Affiliate Chapter
  • Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Fraternity (Coed)
  • Iota Sigma Pi
  • Pre-Professional Health clubs and societies
  • Summer and academic year research
  • Attend and present at local, regional, or national professional conferences
  • Employment as a learning assistant
  • Science outreach in the local schools and community
  • Advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM

Teaching Licensure

There are two paths to licensure as a high school teacher (link). One is a 4-year path with a double major in Chemistry Education and Secondary Education.  A more common option is a 5-year path with the General Program in Chemistry with a Secondary Education Minor, and adding a 5th year Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.). 

It is critical that students seeking licensure consult regularly with both their education adviser and their major adviser to support their progression through the programs. For a full description of the program in secondary teaching, refer to the Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education, Department of, in addition to the College of Education/Professional Education Unit section of the catalog.