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

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.

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F. Fleming Crim ’69

F. Fleming Crim ’69, Medal of Honor

Since 2013, F. Fleming Crim ’69 has been the Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he leads a staff of 160 and has an annual budget of $1.3 billion. MPS supports core research in astronomy, chemistry, physics, material science and mathematics; in his role, Crim oversees policy decisions for some of the most fundamental and creative science efforts in the United States.

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Chemistry & Biochemistry News

Watch the final beam ceremony.

Final Beam Ceremony

Watch special moments from the Final Beam Ceremony including: Jack Garey signing the final beam and a bird’s eye view of the construction.

Rendering of Fondren Jones Science Center Phase II

Southwestern Officially Breaks Ground on Phase II of Fondren-Jones Science Center

On February 2, 2018, Southwestern University officially broke ground on the second phase of a $37 million-dollar expansion to the Fondren-Jones Science Center. The project is expected to be completed and ready to welcome students in the fall of 2019.

SCOPE Southwestern

Undergraduate STEM Research Provides Valuable Experience

SCOPE summer research projects teach patience, persistence and effective failure