A Central College chemistry major opens doors to diverse careers in research, medicine, pharmacology, public health, biochemistry, teaching, industrial lab work, environmental testing and forensic science. Individualized attention, research opportunities and hands-on instruction in facilities certified by the American Chemical Society mean that chemistry graduates are ensured to have the strong scientific background needed for graduate school or careers in the field.
of recent chemistry graduates are employed in their area of interest or attending grad school
Central is one of only seven Iowa private colleges or universities with a chemistry program approved by the American Chemical Society
100% of Central chemistry graduates are accepted to their first- or second-choice graduate school
The Real World
Rick Ryan ’70, CEO, Apertus Pharmaceuticals, Ballwin, Mo.
Barbara Pettitt ’72, professor of surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
Joe Lubach ’02, scientist, Genentech, San Francisco
April Hill ’02, associate professor of chemistry and director of forensic science, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Dan Flaherty ’05, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, Purdue University, Lafayette, In.
Chemistry majors are eligible for admission to the chemical engineering programs at Washington University in St. Louis and Iowa State University following completion of their junior year.
University of Kansas, medicinal chemistry
North Carolina State University, chemical engineering
University of Missouri-Saint Louis, optometry
University of Michigan, public health
University of Wisconsin Madison, chemistry
University of Iowa, medical school, pharmacy
Students with internship experience have a proven track record in a professional environment, which often leads to employment following graduation.
Pfizer, St. Louis, Mo.
Iowa Hygienic Lab, Ankeny
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Johnston
Courses & Faculty
The chemistry department offers a strong foundation in concepts, coursework and laboratory skills in organic, analytical, inorganic, physical and biochemistry. The curriculum, certified by the prestigious American Chemical Society, means graduates are ensured the strong scientific background and the research opportunities needed for graduate school or careers in chemistry or the health professions.
The department also offers students flexible course options in order to incorporate study abroad, research and other liberal arts interests during their four years on campus.
James Dunne, B.S., Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include organometallic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, catalysis, kinetics and reaction mechanisms
Ashley Garr, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include physical chemistry and computational chemistry
Cathy Haustein, B.A., M.F.A., Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry instrumental analysis, the extraction of alkaloids from natural products, fluorescence spectroscopy and fiction writing
James Shriver, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include organic chemistry, molecular engineering and design, supramolecular chemistry and anion binding
Jay Wackerly, B.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include organic chemistry: synthesis and supramolecular chemistry
Introduction to Cells
General Physics I and II
Organic Chemistry I and II
Physical Chemistry I
Physical Chemistry II
The Central Difference
Nearly all students pursuing chemistry or biochemistry take responsibility for an independent research project. These students benefit from close one-on-one interaction with faculty in many ongoing research endeavors or brand new research ideas.
Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.
Students have direct access to classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and presentation technology, including:
300 MHz Bruker NMR
Spectrum Rx Perkin Elmer ATR-FTIR Spectrometer
HP 6890 GC with an HP 5973 quadrapole mass selective detector
HPLC series 1100 with UV-Vis detector
Two HP 6890 gas chromatographs with TCD
Central is one of only seven Iowa private colleges and universities with a chemistry program endorsed by the American Chemical Society.
Pura Vida in Costa Rica
Doing research in Costa Rica is a revelation, say the first members of Central’s newest research program.
Want to find out more about Chemistry at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.