Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Chemistry Degrees

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Chemistry Degrees

The best chemistry liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best chemistry degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding chemistry faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is an excellent starting point for a career in engineering, pharmacology, environmental science, food science, forensics, and a host of other promising fields. As a chemistry major, you’ll study the matter and processes that make up the universe and everything within, living and nonliving. Your chemistry degree will incorporate major life sciences like biology and physics as well as foundational courses in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and molecular chemistry. The best schools for chemistry are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of chemistry concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Chemistry bachelor’s degrees are among the top 50 most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics. It’s slightly more popular among men, and ranks the 23th most popular degree among Asian American and Pacific Islanders, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chemistry Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry can open numerous professionals doors. You could work with advanced microscopic technology in a laboratory setting, travel the globe in search of solutions to major ecological threats, or join a team of brilliant pharmacologists working on cures to our greatest medical challenges. Learning, discovery, and experimentation are a regular part of the job for chemistry majors. The best schools for chemistry will put you in a position to become an innovator and a leader in this exciting field.

Indeed, the leading chemists help us better understand our own world, advancing our ability to face major global challenges like food scarcity, disease, and climate change. Today, top influencers in chemistry are breaking new ground in biochemistry, nanotechnology, molecular chemistry, and much more.

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Chemistry is a popular major because it can provide a pathway into countless fields and career opportunities. If you’re looking for a well-paying and secure job, a chemistry degree is a great place to start. Chemists study the elements that make up the universe and everything within, including humans, animals, synthetic materials, the Earth, and even other planets. Chemistry majors bring strong analytical skills, research experience, and technical knowledge to a wide range of employment settings.

Chemistry majors can work in numerous specialized fields, many of which are focused on solving the greatest problems of our times. Chemists can pioneer efficient and inexpensive ways to produce life-saving medications, develop alternative textiles that reduce our negative environmental impact and make housing more available and affordable, or analyze and improve the nutritional content of processed foods. Though often working “behind the scenes,” chemistry professionals have a great effect on how we live.

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Once you’ve declared your major in chemistry, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in STEM-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized chemistry electives, there are a number of common courses that most chemistry majors will be required to take, including:

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Experimental Chemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Calculus

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Earning a degree in chemistry can qualify you for a number of well-paying jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for chemistry majors is expected to grow at a rate of 5 percent between now and 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. And earnings are far higher than the average for all occupations, with chemists earning a median annual wage of $77,630 in 2019 and materials scientists earning a median pay of $96,810. The following are among the most popular jobs for chemistry majors:

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Chemistry Degree Programs

If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in chemistry.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Chemistry Degrees

  1. #1

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Pomona College Chemistry Majors:

    • BA Chemistry
    • Chemical Engineering Track

    Source

  2. #2

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

  3. #3

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    Wesleyan University Chemistry Major:

    BA Chemistry Tracks:

    • Physics and math
    • Biological and biochemical
    • BA/MA 5 year program Chemistry

    Source

  4. #4

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Swarthmore College Chemistry Majors:

    • Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Chemical Physics

    Source

  5. #5

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Bowdoin College Chemistry Major Concentrations:

    • Chemical
    • Educational
    • Environmental
    • Geochemical
    • Neurochemical

    Source

  6. #6

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    Williams College Chemistry Majors:

    Focus Areas:

    • Biochemistry
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
    • Materials Science

    Source

  7. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    West Point Chemistry and Life Science Department Majors:

    • Chemistry
    • Life Science
    • Chemical Engineering

    Source

  8. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    Claremont Mckenna College Chemistry Major:

    • ACS accredited Chemistrymajor
    • Dual majors available

    Source

  9. #10

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    Middlebury College Chemistry Majors:

    Focus Areas:

    • Biochemistry
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
    • Materials Science

    Source

  10. #11

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

  11. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    21K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1340/29

    What is California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo known for?

    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Cal Poly Chemistry Majors:

    • BS in Chemistry
    • BS in Chemistry – Polymers and Coatings
    • BS in Biochemistry
    • BS in Biochemistry – Polymers and Coatings
    • BS in Biochemistry or Chemistry with Teaching Option
    • Blended BS/MS in Polymers and Coatings

    Source

  12. #13

    Davidson College

    Davidson , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1397/31

    Davison College Chemistry Major:

    • One-on-one and small group researchs opportunities
    • Independent study options

    Source

  13. #14

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    Barnard College Chemistry Majors:

    • Biochemistry
    • Chemistry

    5 year Masters Program:

    • Chemical Engineering
    • Biomedical Engineering

    Source

  14. #15

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

  15. #17

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    Haverford College Chemistry Major Concentrations:

    • Biochemistry
    • Scientific Computing

    Source

  16. #18

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

    Reed College Chemistry Majors:

    • Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular biology
    • Chemistry-physics
    • Chemistry-environmental studies
    • Dual Degree Chemical Engineering

    Source

  17. Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/29

    USNA Plebe Chemistry Major:

    Examples of specializations:

    • Polymer chemistry
    • Environmental chemistry
    • Medicinal chemistry

    Source

  18. #20

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

  19. #22

    Carleton College

    Northfield , MN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1450/32

    Carleton College Chemistry Majors:

    • Chemistry
    • ACS certified chemistry

    Source

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for Chemistry programs

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