When people say they want to become a "scientist," they usually envision a chemist. These people are typically born with an interest in the natural sciences, and over time, it develops into a career.

If you've been fascinated by beakers, pipettes, and chemical experimentation, why not follow that up by getting a degree in chemistry?

As a professional chemist, there is unfathomable career progression, countless perks, and you get to contribute to the future of the world.

Additionally, many think of chemistry as challenging to study at university, with reports dictating a 5.7% decline in chemistry applications at the university level from 2017 to 2018.

This newfound fear of the subject has left a lot of room for driven individuals much like yourself to capitalize and create their place.

Therefore, if you want to embark on a chemistry career in America, contemplate applying to one of these institutes for your degree:

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Harvard University

Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology offers a wide range of degree programs in varied sub-fields like:

  • Chemical biology
  • Chemical physics
  • Chemical and physical biology

Besides these undergraduate and graduate programs, the institute also offers avenues to sign up for additional chemistry summer programs as well.

The admission criteria prefer students with a record of prior academic and laboratory training in chemistry, and the acceptance rate is low compared to other university programs.

Each program focuses on a specific area of the discipline, with students studying chemistry as different sub-fields rather than a consolidated subject, ranging from biological, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry.

Lastly, the department has more than 150 researchers associated with it, working in different fields of study.

And if you want to collaborate on groundbreaking work, the degree program at Harvard offers students many research and training opportunities.

MIT

The MIT Department of Chemistry is rated among the top chemistry schools globally, both for its academic standards and research opportunities, paving the way for other competitors in the field.

This department offers degrees in undergraduate, graduate, master's, and doctoral levels, with extensive employment opportunities and careers for chemistry majors after graduation.

The university is passionate about inculcating an environment of diversity and inclusion both among its student body and faculty.

There is a strong focus on generating awareness and motivation among more students to explore chemistry and other chemistry-related careers.

At MIT, chemistry students will be offered a varied collection of classes at the undergraduate level, some of these include:

  • Principles of inorganic chemistry
  • Principles of organometallic chemistry
  • Crystal structure analysis
  • Fundamentals of spectroscopy
A 3d model of three molecules denoted by colored spheres. Atoms make up a significant component of chemistry and form one of the elementary topics of study. Many prospective careers for chemistry majors will have candidates delving into the intricacies of molecules and atoms
Chemistry allows you to learn about atoms and molecules and the atoms that form matter. For those studying chemistry, some sub-fields teach about various molecules and atoms, such as organic and inorganic chemistry. (Source: Unsplash)

Stanford University

Stanford University's Chemistry School of Humanity and Science is among the more renowned departments in the academic world, known for its cutting-edge research.

With over 24 active faculty members and four senior lecturers, it establishes itself as a source of authority, with some of the most qualified names affiliated with the department.

Besides that, it houses over 30 members among its Chemistry staff, with an engaging campus environment designed to aid the students in their learning experience.

The school offers degree programs in graduate, master, and doctoral levels of study in chemistry, coupled with an in-depth analysis of advanced sub-fields.

The department puts a strong focus on research as it prioritizes paving lucrative chemistry career paths for its graduates.

Courses taught at Stanford include:

  • Structure and reactivity of organic molecules
  • Creating and leading new ventures in engineering and science
  • Synthesis and analysis at the chemistry-biology interface
  • Advanced physical chemistry

Caltech Institute

Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is known worldwide for its innovative approach and making breakthroughs in chemistry.

The study programs and chemistry career paths include, but aren't limited to:

  • Chemistry
  • Chemical engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular biophysics

They provide state-of-the-art research facilities, offer a world-class learning experience for all fields, and leave their students with excellent prospects in their chemistry careers.

Students taking the undergraduate degree can opt for chemistry and chemical engineering options. In contrast, graduate students have the additional option of taking an interdisciplinary course of study in biochemistry and molecular biophysics.

These diverse choices can prepare individuals for a career as a biophysicist, molecular scientist alongside other standard chemist career options.

Weinberg College

Nestled in Evanston, Illinois, the Chemistry school at Weinberg College offers specialized chemistry programs with a strong focus on innovative study and research.

These specialized courses include fields of study like:

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular biology
  • Cellular biology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biomedical research

The student body is small, with around 250 graduate students and 175 postdoctoral fellows. The faculty is also moderately sized, with approximately 5 lecturers, 40 staff members, and 14 research professors.

Each student who enrolls at Weinberg can pursue undergraduate, graduate, masters, and doctoral programs in chemistry.

A set of beakers filled 20% of the way through, resting on a gray lab counter. Studying chemistry involves working with a lot of chemicals, including acids and alkalis. However, with this much exposure to volatile fluids, it's essential to wear protective material
Becoming a chemist is not easy work. As a chemist, you must work with corrosive and reactive substances, including highly acidic and alkaline liquids, which must be handled with the utmost care. (Source: Unsplash)
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University Of Illinois

The Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois offers several degree choices to its students, along with a certificate option as well.

Those interested in a more varied chemistry careers list can enroll in programs like the Certificate in Business Administration for Scientists or the Computational Science and Engineering option.

Besides that, students can register for bachelor's, master's, or even a doctoral study depending on their level.

The diverse program options even include a Master's program for Teaching Chemistry!

Furthermore, the department offers a wide variety of courses for those who plan to become a chemist but want to explore different career options within chemistry.

Columbia University

Columbia University's Department of Chemistry boasts an internationally renowned faculty with one of the best graduate programs in the country and top-notch research facilities.

Columbia prides itself on bringing together different researchers and experts from various disciplines of chemistry as it provides a genuinely in-depth learning experience.

The research facilities here are unparalleled, with graduate students, postgraduates, and faculty working together to create a unique culture of innovation.

Students who find themselves enthralled by the discipline can join the Chandler society for Undergraduate Chemistry – an extra-curricular club to promote the love of chemistry.

Furthermore, the course offerings include:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Physical and analytical chemistry
  • Advanced organic chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry

Graduates of Columbia often find placements at the best companies in the corporate, healthcare, and public

A person mixing a green and blue liquid from two distinct test tubes into a beaker containing a red liquid. Different chemicals have different colors, sometimes naturally and sometimes added artificially. Study chemistry to know why
Mixing chemicals might seem fun in theory, but you must handle them with care and follow strict measures when you're working in the laboratory. Otherwise, you can end up with adverse reactions. (Source: Unsplash)

Berkeley College

The Berkeley College of Chemistry is ranked among the top schools on the west coast, with particularly noted alumni and affiliations with some of the most acclaimed academies in the country.

It has ten members in the National Academy of Engineering and 33 members in the American Academy of Arts and Science.

Additionally, Berkeley alumni are known to excel in their careers, going on to secure some of the best chemistry career salaries in the industry.

The department is remarkably distinguished in the upper echelons of the academic and scientific world, with three members from the faculty even having won a National Medal of Science.

The degree programs here include undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral chemistry programs, with highly specialized courses for individual fields of study like organic chemistry and theoretical chemistry. Students can also opt for an M.S and Ph.D. program in chemical engineering.

Cornell University

Cornell University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is one of the oldest chemistry programs in the country.

Their graduate program offers students extensive research opportunities as well as thorough academic training opportunities.

Alongside their varied chemistry majors, careers in high-ranking positions are guaranteed for just about every graduate.

Furthermore, the graduate program offers the traditional Doctor of Philosophy but now includes a one-year Master of Science program if students want a shorter study program.

And if you want to test the waters with a summer chemistry program, this is the best institute for online and in-person remedial courses.

Princeton University

Princeton University's Department of Chemistry offers many degree programs from undergraduate levels leading up to the doctoral degrees.

With a relatively small student body of 165 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, students benefit from several personalized learning opportunities with the faculty.

To top it off, the faculty comes from diverse backgrounds and research fields, some from professional chemistry practices, helping students expand their learning base.

The learning and career opportunities for students are also amplified with some of the more niche courses they offer:

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Biologic
  • Synthesis Materials Chemistry

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