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Chemistry: Environmental Chemistry


Program Overview

Learn how chemical substances affect our planet and how we might make important chemical processes more environmentally friendly. You'll get first-hand experience in this concentration, which includes fieldwork on the Great Lakes.

Program Snapshot

Program Type: Full-Time
Location: On-Campus
Program Length: 4 years
Credit Hours: 21 - 71

Why This Program & What You'll Learn

For 50 years, our capstone program—the only one of its kind among Michigan's public universities—has paired students with faculty on meaningful research. You'll participate in hands-on research and work one-on-one with recognized experts. You'll also present a research poster, write a thesis and even have the chance to present your research.

As an environmental chemist, your lab isn't necessarily inside four walls: The research you'll do will take you into the world, where you'll study how human activities affect the environment. You'll analyze air, water, and soil samples collected from Michigan freshwater ecosystems. And you'll learn how chemistry can restore environmental balance.

As a chemistry major, you'll begin your studies with the same core courses in science and math as every other student in our American Chemical Society-certified program. After that, your passion and interests determine your direction.

No matter what you study, our faculty are focused on your real-world success. The things you learn will have a practical use, whether you pursue an advanced degree or a career right out of college.

Program Highlights

As a student in the chemistry: environmental chemistry program, you will:

  • Work alongside faculty on groundbreaking research. In the past, joint projects have resulted in a method to capture and process mercury from coal-fired power plants, and developing a chemical compound that filters cancer-causing perchlorates from water.
  • Learn the latest techniques in our four-story, 60,000-square-foot Dow Science Complex. It supports NMR spectrometry, radioactive materials research, and mass spectrometry and spectroscopy.
  • Join a group of fellow science lovers. Our student chapter of the American Chemical Society has been recognized for excellence for eight years in a row.

Careers & Outcomes

Whether you go to work in a lab, pursue an advanced degree or teach, a chemistry degree gives you the skills to move forward.

Career Projected Salary
Environmental Field Chemist $49,534
Research Analyst $55,073
Research Scientist $74,342