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.
TLU Chemistry has a very active faculty-led student research program. Our main areas of research are organic/medicinal, environmental chemistry, and biochemistry. We encourage our students to get involved in research as soon as the first summer after their freshman year. Students who are selected for research scholarships through the support of the Welch Foundation, and 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. Students have also presented work at the Texas Academy of Science and Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science.
Our students also earn very competitive slots in National Science Foundation undergraduate research programs in universities across the country. We have had students attend Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs including those at Colorado State, UC-Santa Barbara, Clemson, University of North Texas, Texas State, Texas A&M, and Baylor University. Several of our students have also had the opportunity to intern with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. and Fargo, North Dakota.
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 and biochemistry students graduate from TLU and go on to medical or dental schools, or other professional programs such as pharmacy, physician assistants, 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 to M.S. and Ph.D. programs at schools in the U.S. Most 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, the federal government, Southwest Research, 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 greater than 50% being women. Most of our students go on to graduate school programs in chemistry or into future schooling for a career in the health professions including M.D., D.O, and P.A. programs.
Our students have attended graduate school or done post-doctoral work at Utah, Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, Rice, LSU, Wisconsin, Illinois, University of North Carolina, 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-SA, Baylor, Trinity (San Antonio), Wittenberg, Wright State, St. Edwards, Stephen F. Austin, Johns Hopkins, Luther College, and SMU.
Pi Rho Chemistry Club
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. For more information on how to get involved in Pi Rho, contact Dr. Alison Bray.
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.