At TLU, faculty research does not trump the dedication to teaching. Students can work one-on-one with qualified faculty and use research-quality instrumentation in our laboratories to fully immerse in experimental science. Chemistry majors have the opportunity to gain laboratory work experience as stockroom assistants and lab assistants for the department. Each year, several chemistry students participate in our research program working with faculty on specialized research projects.
Summer research allows students to gain vital experience in real world applications as well as practice with state-of-the-art instrumentation. Chemistry students can get involved with the Pi Rho chemistry club and make time for artistic and athletic interests as well. Each semester, professionals currently working in Texas present seminars to students.
Why Chemistry at TLU?
Students who study chemistry will become highly qualified individuals, skilled in problem-solving, and ready to join the workforce, pursue a graduate degree, or attend a professional school in the health sciences. Our students enjoy small class sizes where learning can be engaging and discussion-based taught by our dedicated group of faculty.
Focused on undergraduate education, students work one-on-one with qualified faculty and use research-quality instrumentation in our laboratories to fully immerse themselves in experimental science. Majors can also gain laboratory work experience as stockroom assistants and lab assistants for the department.
Students are encouraged to work with faculty members on research projects during the school year and in the summer. Those who are selected to participate may also receive scholarships through the support of the Welch Foundation, and they often report on their research at meetings of the American Chemical Society. In recent years, students have traveled with faculty members to New Orleans, San Francisco, Denver, and San Diego to present papers.
Faculty-Led Summer Research
Each year, many chemistry students participate in our research program working with faculty on specialized research projects. After a one-year summer research season at TLU, students can work with faculty to identify other exciting research opportunities at world-class research institutes, industry locations, and universities. Summer research allows students to gain vital experience in real-world applications as well as practice with state-of-the-art instrumentation.
We have an active summer research program currently funded by the Welch Foundation ($30,000/year) and BYK Additives ($10,000/year). This money is used to support a average of 10 students each year in our summer research program. As a result of this research we have taken students to give papers or posters at national and regional meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, Boston, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Memphis, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City. Students have also given papers at Undergraduate research symposia at Baylor, A&M, Rice, and Trinity. Our students also earn very competitive slots in NSF funded undergraduate research programs in universities across the country. We have had students attend SURF or REU programs at Colorado State, UC-Santa Barbara, Clemson, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Paris, France.
Pre-Professional Health Programs
Students interested in pre-professional health programs often major in Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry, although pre-professional students can come from any major. TLU offers pre-professional programs in the following professions:
- Occupational Therapy
- Physician Assistant
- Physical Therapy
- Veterinary Science
Students interested in pursuing careers in these programs work with members of TLU's Health Professions Committee for individualized advising. TLU and the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio also have memorandums of understanding (MOU) as part of UIW's Health Professions Pathway.
Many TLU chemistry graduates go on to medical or dental schools, or other professional programs such as pharmacy, exercise physiology and optometry. Graduates take positions in a variety of industries, including pharmaceutics, petroleum, cosmetics, environmental testing, and biochemical technology.
A chemistry degree can open doors into other areas such as aerospace, patent law, education, forensics, and technical business management.
Every year, TLU Chemistry graduates are admitted graduate schools in the U.S. A majority graduates are awarded full financial support to attend graduate school. With a master's degree or a doctorate, several TLU Alumni have obtained positions at colleges and universities and prominent management positions in the chemical industry.
TLU Chemistry Graduates
Over the last 25 years we have averaged about 6-8 chemistry graduates per year, with approximately 50% being women. Most graduates go on to medical, dental, or veterinary schools. Others take jobs in industry or teach high school.
Chemistry students have attended graduate school or done post-doctoral work at Utah, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Rice, LSU, Wisconsin, Illinois, NC State, Duke, Harvard, Dartmouth, Florida, Cal-Davis, Washington, Yale, and others. Several were awarded special institutional awards, NSF fellowships, or NIH fellowships, and one received a von Humboldt Fellowship.
Academic positions taken by our graduates include Colorado State, University of Texas San Antonio, Baylor, Trinity (San Antonio), Wittenberg, Wright State, St. Edwards, Stephen F. Austin, Johns Hopkins, Luther College, and SMU.
Pi Rho Chemistry Club
Led by Dr. Alison Bray, the Pi Rho Chemistry Club is an American Chemical Society (ACS) Student Chapter. The purpose of Pi Rho is to support professional development of chemistry, biochemistry and pre-health professions students and to share our love of science through outreach. The group is open to all TLU students regardless of major but is primarily made up of chemistry and biochemistry students. Pi Rho hosts the weekly Chemistry Seminar series on Friday afternoons and also host social events to get the TLU campus involved and to celebrate events like National Chemistry week. Pi Rho works to help students attend professional meetings where students can present their research work for local and national audiences.
Working with other student groups on campus they recently hosted an end of year STEM survivor party, and the Holiday STEM Fest which were both service projects and social event. The hallmark of Pi Rho is their efforts in outreach. This includes presenting demonstrations at local elementary schools, and their annual public chemistry demonstration night called “Chemistry CHAOS”, held each spring on the TLU campus.
Our faculty are involved in exciting and diverse research projects which we invite our undergraduates to start in the summer after their freshmen year. The projects range from the organic synthesis of novel drug components to environmental and agricultural chemistry projects to the creation of hydrogels for wound care applications. Enthusiastic students can also develop their own spin-off research projects. All students get hands-on experience using state-of-the-art research-grade equipment like IR, NMR, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, and GC methods.
Currently we have the following operational instruments: Nanalysis 60 MHz FT-NMR, Perkin-Elmer FITR with ATR, Perkin Elmer ICP, Perkin Elmer ICP-MS, Nicolet FTIR, Shamadzu UV-VIS, Shimadzu HPLC, Buck AA, PE Fluorometer, DeltaNu Raman, Shamadzu DSC, Rheometrics Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer, a polymer tensile tester, and several GC’s.
Science takes place in world-wide community. At TLU, you will have the chance to hear from scientists working in Texas and throughout the U.S. Our seminar program regularly brings speakers to campus from universities and industries. Students are introduced to faculty members from graduate schools, and learn about graduate and employment opportunities.