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Learn by Doing Chemistry and Biochemistry at USI

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at USI works to help students learn and grow as scientists through close interactions with faculty and instrumentation as well as direct involvement in experimentation and research.

A variety of educational opportunities, a curriculum accredited by the American Chemical Society and a stimulating learning environment combine with a small student-to-faculty ratio, professor-taught classes, and diverse campus activities to make USI the perfect choice. State-of-the-art equipment and personal contact with the faculty lead to rewarding laboratory work and research. Attending seminars, and local, regional, and national chemistry meetings permit students to network early in their careers.

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Opportunities

Graduates from the chemistry department are successful in their future endeavors. Approximately one-third of our graduates enter graduate school in chemistry or related areas, one-third enter professional graduate school programs and one-third enter employment in industry.  Our alumni have become leaders in their fields in academia, industry, and government.

Careers

Scholarships and Awards

The department has awards and scholarships specifically for majors in the department, some of these include:

  • Physician
  • Research Scientist
  • Pharmacist
  • Professor/Teacher
  • Environmental science
  • Polymer Chemist/Material Scientist
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist
  • Toxicologist
  • Brian & Tara Mullen Scholarship
  • Dr. Howard E. and Barbara A. Dunn Chemistry Scholarship
  • Judy Benedict Hightower Memorial Scholarship
  • Marie Hankins Chemistry Scholarship
  • O. John Logsdon Chemistry Scholarship
  • Chemistry Department Service Award
  • Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award
  • Outstanding Achievement Award in Biochemistry
  • Outstanding Achievement Award for Chemistry

Alumni Employers

Selected Professional and Graduate Programs

  • AstraZeneca
  • Mead Johnson
  • Sabic Innovative Plastics
  • enGene, Inc.
  • Monsanto
  • Boeing
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Alcoa-Warrick Operations
  • Pharmacia & Upjohn Co.
  • KB Alloys
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • DES Plastics
  • DOW AgroSciences LLC
  • Tennessee Reagents
  • Shell Oil
  • Red Spot Paint and Varnish
  • Mallinckrodt Chemical Company
  • FDA
  • Sensient Colors, Inc.
  • Reilly Industries
  • Ulrich Chemical, Inc.
  • Exxon Production Research Company
  • United Laboratories
  • International Mineral & Chemical Corp.
  • Schwarz Pharma
  • Ameriqual Foods, Inc.
  • Indiana University
  • Indiana University School of Dentistry
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Northwestern University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Michigan State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis
  • Purdue University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Washington University (St. Louis)
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
  • Miami University of Ohio
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

95%
of our graduates who apply are accepted to graduate or medical school
Graduates demonstrate superior chemical knowledge scoring above their peer group on national exams
100%
of majors participate in research

Spotlight

Dr. Stephanie Poland '09, Chemistry

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Rose Hulman Institute of Technology- “My undergraduate chemical education at USI was top-notch. The small class sizes meant that my professors actually knew me: my strengths, my weaknesses, and my passions. The mentorship I received led me to feel incredibly prepared and supported as I entered graduate school.”

Dr. Chelsea McElroy '13, Biochemistry

Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Pediatric Hospitalist, Boys Town National Research Hospital, "I am grateful for the mentors and educators I had within the Pott College of Science & Engineering while at USI who encouraged me toward my goal of entering the medical field and helped me build a foundation.....

Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Pediatric Hospitalist, Boys Town National Research Hospital

"I am grateful for the mentors and educators I had within the Pott College of Science & Engineering while at USI who encouraged me toward my goal of entering the medical field and helped me build a foundation that would carry me forward through my medical training and into my professional career as a Med/Peds physician."

Katelyn DeTalente '15, Biochemistry

Senior Quality Control Specialist, AstraZeneca, "Returning to my hometown to finish my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at USI was one of the best decisions I've made. My professors encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and helped me truly grow. My classmates provided an incredible support system, even lasting long past graduation."

Samantha Turner '18, Biochemistry, M'21 Industrial Management

QAQC Manager, Valero Renewables, "USI provided me a fantastic environment to cultivate my leadership and academic skills. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department goes above and beyond to ensure your success, no matter the path you choose: industry, graduate or professional school. Something unique about our program is professors ensure students know how to apply their knowledge.....

QAQC Manager, Valero Renewables
"USI provided me a fantastic environment to cultivate my leadership and academic skills. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department goes above and beyond to ensure your success, no matter the path you choose: industry, graduate or professional school. Something unique about our program is professors ensure students know how to apply their knowledge to the real world by writing technical reports and papers - something which has greatly helped in my career and been recognized!"

Paige Holley '20, Biochemistry

Coatings Chemist, Red Spot Paints, "The professors and staff at USI create an amazing atmosphere for learning and professional growth. They helped me to realize what I truly wanted to do after my undergraduate studies and supported me in more ways than I ever imagined."

Bi Yu You '13, Science Teaching

High School Teacher, "The size and pure relationship that professors build with the student is the pinnacle reason for success at USI. I would not have done as well as I have if it weren't for the professors who truly care about their students and ensuring they're on the right track!"

Dr. Lexis Will '18, Chemistry

"I will forever be grateful for my time spent at USI as a BMD scholar. I felt so prepared to enter medical school thanks to the guidance and education from faculty, as well as the camaraderie and support from my fellow pre-medicine and BMD peers. The BMD scholarship helped streamline the process, and lifted the financial burden associated with the commitment required to become a physician."

Dr. Joe Kawa '12, Biochemistry

Clinical Specialist Pharmacist, Omnicare - "I entered USI as a first generation college student. I had no idea what I would end up doing for a career as a freshman. I utilized the abundance of resources available at the university to find my calling. The opportunities for students at USI are endless..

"I entered USI as a first generation college student. I had no idea what I would end up doing for a career as a freshman. I utilized the abundance of resources available at the university to find my calling. The opportunities for students at USI are endless. It was here that I found my calling, developed foundational knowledge and skills in the laboratory, and received the guidance I needed from the many faculty and hands-on professors to ultimately excel as a graduate student in the field I currently practice in. It wasn’t until I entered in to my Doctor of Pharmacy program after graduating from USI that I realized how above the curve I truly was compared to my peers. USI provided me with the knowledge, skills, and work ethic necessary to excel in my current field of practice as a pharmacist. I will forever be indebted to the College of Science and Engineering at USI for all of my success that followed me after through my graduate program and eventual career. I am a proud Screaming Eagle for life!"

Sarah Koester '18, Biochemistry

PhD Candidate, "I’m forever grateful to the faculty at USI who always saw more potential in me than I ever saw in myself. Their enthusiasm truly helped foster my long-held love for science so much so that it guided me towards a different career path—one that I am truly passionate about pursuing."

Bryson Jenkins '17, Biochemistry

General Surgery Resident, "USI gave me a great foundation for my future endeavors. It also gave me lifelong friends and memories I won’t soon forget!"

Thad Whittington '15, Chemistry

Quality Assurance Manager, "USI's Chemistry and Biochemistry's Department opened the door to the career I have today. I had a passion for STEM education early in the pursuit of a degree, long before I understood the possible career paths."

"USI's Chemistry and Biochemistry's Department opened the door to the career I have today. I had a passion for STEM education early in the pursuit of a degree, long before I understood the possible career paths. USI helped shine the light on those possibilities, and I would not have found the passionate career that I have today without their guidance and support. STEM directly relates to manufacturing with science being the cornerstone of our product that helps pets live longer and healthier."

Bryan Reese '14, Chemistry

Thermoforming Materials Engineer at Berry Global, "When I started taking classes in the Chemistry Department at USI, it was the beginning of my career. I gained experience, knowledge, and connections with the faculty and other students in the program."

"When I started taking classes in the Chemistry Department at USI, it was the beginning of my career. I gained experience, knowledge, and connections with the faculty and other students in the program.

After graduation, my career continued with various positions in the polymer plastic industry. These roles range from lab/pilot plant reactions, injection molding, QA/Physical testing, and Rheology. My experience, knowledge, and network of connections that I have gained over the years has lead me to where I am today.

Currently, I am a Thermoforming Materials Engineer at Berry Global, Inc. I am proud to be apart of the #OneBerry team. I work with an amazing team towards innovation and sustainability.

From my experience, this is what I have learned over the years. Build on your knowledge from each experience. Use that knowledge for future progress."

Zachary Wilderman '15, Biochemistry

Quality Control Scientist, "The University of Southern Indiana's program in Biochemistry helped cultivate my interest in the sciences. The professors and classes did a great job building a strong chemistry foundation that I could use to pursue my career in pharmaceuticals. Now, I use my education every day to bring medication to patients who need it most."

Renaye Hamilton '16, Chemistry

Licensed General Dentist, "Forever grateful for my time at USI. The faculty and staff gave me all the information and tools I needed to prepare me for dental school and my career beyond that. I wouldn’t trade my time at USI for the world!"