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).


Mike Gesinski

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chair



Mike Gesinski

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and 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.

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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.

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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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Chemistry & Biochemistry News

Students pictured: Justin McCormack ’20, Ana Sanchez de Tagle Cardenas ’22, Madison Delmer ’19, and Megan Melo ’21.

Southwestern Students Complete Summer Internships at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Ana Sanchez ’22, Justin McCormack ’20, and Megan Melo ’21 reflect on their hands-on internships in the operating room and in the research lab.

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.