• <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 media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/63/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/63/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/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" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/63/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86398__DSC0487.rev.1607381088.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/jpeg" 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-origin="responsive"/><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. " 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" data-optimized="true"/></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>

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 cafĂ©, bowling, and hiking.

Curriculum

Complement Your Education With One of These Minors

The most popular minors for our chemistry majors are data science, Earth system science, health studies, and neuroscience.


What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Drew Blauth BA '23

    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.

    Drew Blauth BA ’23
    Chemistry and Mathematics (double) | Redlands, California
    More about Drew
  • Kryton smiling at the camera wearing a plaid button-up shirt and a black vest.

    My favorite class is Physical Chemistry, which covered things at the quantum and fundamental level. I gained insight into the theory of the most base components that compose reality.

    Kryton Gackle BA ’25
    Chemistry | Miles City, Montana
    More about Kryton
  •    Genevieve Basile BA '23

    The size of the chemistry department allowed me to create deep connections with my STEM peers and the faculty. It seems like the faculty are always in their office with the door open and ready to help!

    Genevieve Basile BA ’23
    Chemistry | Santa Rosa, California
    More about Genevieve

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.

Dedicated Faculty

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.

Meet the Professors

  • 125 

    of our undergraduate students are Third Culture Kids.

  • 54 

    nationalities represented in our undergraduate student body

  • Top 

    Lewis & Clark earned a spot on Princeton Review’s 2024 “Best Colleges” list.

  • 19 

    Average class size for undergraduate students

  • 96% 

    Within six months of graduation, 96% of the Lewis & Clark Classes of 2018–2022 were already changing the world through employment (76%), continuing studies (19%), and service work (1%), like the Peace Corps.

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

  • Syrah smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black long sleeve top.

    Since starting graduate school, I’ve grown to really appreciate the liberal arts education and academic rigor of my undergraduate education. The small class sizes and mentorship from professors at L&C mirrors that of my graduate school experience.

    Syrah Starnes BA ’20
    Chemistry and Mathematics | Corvallis, Oregon
    More about Syrah
  • Hanna posing outside in some green foliage. She is wearing a blue patterned dress.

    The independent research I did for my senior thesis proved to be extremely valuable during my PhD, as it introduced me to skills such as project and time management, scientific writing, and in-depth data analysis, among others. 

    Hanna Varga BA ’18
    Chemistry | Székesfehérvár, Hungary
    More about Hanna
  • Annie posing outside, wearing a short sleeve gray button-down shirt and holding a black purse.

    I was drawn to the chemistry department because of the great professors and interesting classes. Now I’m part of an National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project that measures prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants.

    Annie McCutchan BA ’19
    Chemistry | San Diego, California
    More about Annie

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