- <a href="/live/image/gid/63/width/650/86398__DSC0487.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86398"> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/63/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/63/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/63/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg" alt="Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry Anne Bentley leading a research lab in November 2020. " width="720" height="690" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="3067" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption"> Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry Anne Bentley leading a research lab in November 2020. </div>
We believe that ideas explored in the classroom come to life when tested in the lab. As you build a foundation in chemistry, you will also generate hypotheses, design experiments, collect data, and communicate results—making this program one of the best for preparing for your life after Lewis & Clark. Plus, our location close to Oregon Health & Science University, Nike, and Intel provides easy access to collaborations, internships, and employment.
With accomplished faculty and award-winning students; more than 20,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory, and study space; and funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Research Corporation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Keck Foundation, and the Fairchild Foundation, our department is well-equipped for the study of chemistry in the 21st century. Our students graduate with a degree in chemistry and excellent career preparation skills, knowing how to write grants, read scientific literature critically, reason quantitatively, and work in teams.
What You’ll Study
Our chemistry curriculum is divided into analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Students become familiar with each area, ensuring a thorough grasp of the larger field. We work closely with our students, both in the classroom and in laboratories. Students are involved in research at all levels, initially assisting professors and ultimately performing studies on their own. Research opportunities are available through the Independent Study and/or Senior Research classes and the paid Rogers Summer Science Program.
Many of our students earn course credit toward their degree while on an overseas program. In addition to general cultural programs that are open to all students, the Berlin program offers an optional chemistry emphasis and is designed and led by a chemistry faculty member.
Outside the classroom, the department hosts social events to help majors and faculty connect informally, including dinners at a faculty member’s house, drinks at a campus café, bowling, and hiking.
Complement Your Education With One of These Minors
What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark
- Drew Blauth BA ’23More about Drew
My favorite course was Ordinary Differential Equations. This class greatly tested my interdisciplinary skills and enabled me to use knowledge I had gained from all different kinds of classes at Lewis & Clark to come up with creative ways to construct, manipulate, and use models.
What Can You Do With a Degree in Chemistry?
Our alumni use their BA in chemistry in a variety of careers at companies such as Nike, Schrödinger, Intel, and Thermo Scientific. Others pursue advanced degrees with the goal of becoming high school teachers or practicing medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy. Many go on to graduate school in chemistry, chemical engineering, or biochemistry, and some receive competitive fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Hertz Foundation to pursue these studies.
Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.
Chemistry faculty rely on their students to be collaborative researchers in the lab, providing an opportunity that’s rarely available to undergraduates at other schools. Students are frequent coauthors on peer-reviewed faculty publications and professional presentations.
of our undergraduate students are Third Culture Kids.
Average class size for undergraduate students
U.S. states represented in our undergraduate student body
Invest in Yourself
A private, liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that first-year students will graduate in four years that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.
Find Your People
Students can join a variety of student-run organizations that relate to their chemistry major, like the Chemistry Club, Math Club, Physics Club, and Pre-Health Club. Don’t see what you’re looking for on the club list? Start something new and build your own community of peers!
Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You
- Dakota Kennedy BA ’19More about Dakota
I participated in highly independent laboratory-based chemistry research that culminated in the writing and defense of my honors thesis. This experience made me feel comfortable and competent as I prepared to begin my PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of Washington.