Majors & Minors

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department provides a variety of educational experiences for students interested in studying chemistry in an expanded liberal arts environment. Our accomplished faculty and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories allow us to successfully prepare students for placement into top-tier graduate and medical schools.  Three of our recent chemistry graduates were awarded highly competitive Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Emily Niemeyer

Professor & Chair



Emily Niemeyer

Professor & Chair

Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chemistry and Biochemistry (Credit: Southwestern University)

The Department is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and offers a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Chemistry and Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry as well as a minor in chemistry. Our curriculum presents a wide range of course choices, including electives in medicinal and environmental chemistry. Our laboratory courses involve inquiry-based, as well as community-based projects that provide a rich group learning experience.

Numerous competitive external grants from such agencies as the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Merck Company Foundation, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Foundation enhanced our vibrant student-faculty collaborative research program. Additionally, Southwestern students and faculty have co-authored publications in several major peer-reviewed journals and regularly present their research at national meetings of the American Chemical Society.


Featured Alumni Stories

Mauro Garcia ’18 participates in the Sarah and Ernest Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

From Chemist to Countertenor

Mauro Garcia ’18 expands his vocal horizons at the Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.

Read Full Story
Scott Rocher ’04 and Blithe Casterline Rocher ’05

For the Love of Tech

Scott Rocher ’04 and Blithe Casterline Rocher ’05 reflect on their Southwestern Experience.

Read Full Story
Dr. Catherine Chappell '03

Alumna Researches the Screening of Hepatitis C in Babies

Alumna Dr. Catherine Chappell ’03 finds that fewer than a third of infants exposed to hepatitis C are later screened to monitor and treat the potentially fatal virus.

Read Full Story


Chemistry & Biochemistry News

Antonio Mendez ’20

The Undergraduate Research Experience at Southwestern

Antonio Mendez ’20 discusses how research at Southwestern is unique.

Fondren Jones Science Center Phase II

Southwestern University Establishes the Jack and Camille Garey School of Natural Sciences

The new school advances research and learning in science and mathematics fields within the context of the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts.

Lauren Gillespie '19

Patience, Grit, and an Open Mind

Lauren Gillespie ’19 reflects on what it takes to research, present, and publish successfully as a chemistry and computer science double major.