Chemistry Disciplines

Below are more detailed descriptions of the different sub-disciplines that chemistry students will study at Stetson University.

Organic chemists study the compounds that contain the element carbon as a key ingredient. This may seem limiting, but over 90% of all known compounds have at least some carbon in them. All the foods we eat, most over-the-counter and prescription medicines, plastics, wood, paper, paints, our clothing, much of our cars, even our own bodies themselves are all made of carbon. Some organic chemists study how to make new carbon-based molecules with new, more desirable properties (a flexible plastic that can conduct electricity, a more effective version of aspirin) while others do more C.S.I.-type work, figuring out the identity of an unknown chemical (say, one extracted from tree sap that shows promise as a new anti-cancer drug) or even looking for cures for heart disease in spider venom or other equally unlikely places. Organic chemistry is a chance to do science while working on projects that have the potential to help raise the standard of living or even save lives on a grand scale.

Professional opportunities for organic chemists are highly varied; these chemists work for pharmaceutical companies such as Hoffman-LaRoche, DuPont and other plastics firms, petrochemical concerns such as Exxon-Mobil, agrochemical firms like Monsanto, paint and coatings manufacturers such as Sherwin Williams, and food-based companied such as Tropicana®. If you feel inclined to start your own course of research you can do so at any one of a huge number of colleges or universities where you can plan your studies and carry them out however you please.

Inorganic chemistry is the study of the physical characteristics and reactions of inorganic substances, a daunting task considering that this includes the properties of the elements on the periodic table! Indeed, inorganic chemistry is an incredibly broad field, with important applications including the development of new organometallic catalysts, the design of new materials for energy production and storage, and even the application metal-containing compounds as pharmaceutical products. With all of the elements to explore, inorganic chemistry has something for everyone.

Physical Chemistry is the sub-discipline of science that seeks to explain and interpret chemical phenomena. This is accomplished by first assuming that chemical behavior is governed by a finite number of scientific laws. The job of the physical chemist is to discover and understand these scientific laws.

A knowledge of this 'complete set of rules' will enable chemist to make predictions about chemical behavior in previously untested systems. Such predictive power can greatly benefit humankind; for example, chemist will no longer be restricted to the mere discovery of novel cancer and AIDS drugs or environmentally friendly industrial and consumer products, but can instead develop these substances from first principles.

Analytical chemistry is that branch of chemistry in which samples are analyzed in order to determine their components qualitatively and quantitatively. In other words, analytical chemists try to answer the questions, "Exactly what substances are in this sample?" and "How much of each substance is found in this sample?" The exciting part of analytical chemistry is that you get to work with all kinds of samples and analytical chemists have jobs in various fields such as the food and drug industry, soil chemistry, the perfume industry, and medical laboratories, and of course as teachers in high schools, colleges and universities. The area that currently appeals to most students is forensics, because of the popularity of TV shows such as CSI, Forensic Files and Cold Case Files.

Biochemistry is the study of the chemical structures and processes of living organisms. It is an interdisciplinary field, with foundations in both: Chemistry and Biology. Its study ranges from basic topics such as macromolecular structure and function, catalytic strategies of enzymes, DNA replication and repair, transcription and translation, to the molecular understanding of complex processes including development, disease, and aging.An undergraduate degree in Biochemistry provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in the life sciences, and for further professional studies leading to careers in medicine, health care, and biotechnology.

Majoring in Biochemistry provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in the life sciences and for careers in medicine, healthcare, and biotechnology. Completion of the Biochemistry degree requirements will increase students' chances of admission to medical school or other health professional schools by helping them develop such qualities as a strong academic foundation for success in the medical school curriculum and advanced laboratory experience for success in potential medical research endeavors.In

Stetson`s Biochemistry program provides the student with great flexibility. The Biochemistry student has the option to specialize in a related field, i.e., Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics or Cell Biology, by simply choosing the appropriate courses from the list of biology electives. Completion of these electives in combination with Biochemistry requirements provides the student with solid preparation for advanced studies in the life sciences, and for further professional studies leading to careers in medicine, health care, and biotechnology.