Chemistry and Biochemistry

In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Elizabethtown College, we learn by doing. We engage students in understanding how chemistry impacts and shapes the world around us and offer a supportive learning environment that advances our students' career and life goals.

Explore Your Interests

We know that your areas of interest are far and wide. We offer two departmental majors, Chemistry and Biochemistry, with concentrations in Forensic Chemistry, Chemistry Secondary Education, Chemistry Management, and Chemical Physics. The Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are accredited by the American Chemical Society, and both majors serve as great foundational bases for students on a Pre-Medicine, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Pre-Pharmacy or Pre-Dental track.

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Department of Interest

Real World Learning

Your course work will include interactive classroom experiences, lab classes and hands-on research opportunities. Don your lab coat and protective eyewear and participate in experiments in our up-to-date lab and research facilities in Musser Hall, part of the Masters Center for Science, Mathematics and Engineering. We teach use of lab instrumentation very early in our curriculum. Students get exposed to and actually use instrumentation in their first year, thus giving our students a competitive edge when applying for internships and summer research experiences.

Research and experiential learning are the cornerstones of the discipline. You can begin independent research with a faculty mentor as early as your first year! Fundamental research is incorporated into our teaching labs and carried out with research mentors during the summer and academic semesters. All Chemistry and Biochemistry majors complete an independent research experience during their senior year. Though it is not required for Chemical Education and Chemical Management majors, most student pursuing these concentrations elect to conduct research nonetheless which makes them even more marketable once they head out into the work force

From the Department of Chemistry

Tyler Butkus

Tyler Butkus '17

This Fulbright recipient explores organic waste recycling systems.

Butkus, whose Fulbright experience started in October 2017, uses his award to research feasibility of organic waste recycling systems in conjunction with Bumi Langit, an institute in Yogyakarta, Java. Before he began his endeavors, he was required to take three months of intensive language classes at Universitas Negeri in Malang, Java. "I'm hoping that by the end of my time abroad, I will have enough information to produce a manuscript or manual detailing my findings, and there may be an opportunity for me to publish such findings in an international journal."

Faculty Members Who Care

Our dedicated faculty members believe in relationship-centered learning. From day one, they provide comprehensive advising, mentoring and exploration opportunities to help you determine the best career path and achieve your career ambitions. You will be challenged, but also supported. Mentoring sessions, career counseling, and dinners at instructors' homes are just a few of the ways our faculty stay invested in the lives of our students. As an upper-class student, you can also look forward to giving scientific presentations in the weekly junior senior departmental seminar followed by informal and light-hearted lunches with department faculty and your fellow students!

Setting You Up For Success

Many of our alumni have pursued advanced degrees in graduate or professional school. Our curriculum prepares you for the rigors of advanced studies, not just in scientific knowledge and know-how, but also in the communication of science. Graduates of our program have seen success in programs including Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, Harvard Medical School, Penn State Hershey School of Medicine, Temple University School of Dentistry, and University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Our students have flourished in careers as forensic scientists, clinical laboratory scientists, industrial hygienists, medical doctors, college professors, pharmacists, attorneys, quality control engineers, nutritionists, business executives, and nuclear submariners. From GlaxoSmithKline and Merck and Company, to Milton S. Hershey School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, we have a network of alumni across the country who serve as mentors and contacts for our students.

In the Department of Chemistry

Lauren Gibson

Lauren Gibson

Assitant professor of chemistry

Lauren Gibson is a new assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Elizabethtown College. After earning a degree in chemistry with a minor in music from a Murray State University, Gibson attended Vanderbilt University, defending her dissertation in March 2017. “In graduate school, I worked on medical diagnostics for malaria. I developed new nano-materials to help make these devices sensitive but also inexpensive, simple to use and stable so they could be used by our collaborators in Zambia.”