Chemistry & Environmental Science Department
Chemistry is frequently called “the central science,” since chemists study the molecular nature of the world around them. Further, chemistry shares close ties to physics, astronomy, biology, environmental science, geology and other sciences.
At Queens, the Chemistry & Environmental Science Department offers challenging majors in general chemistry and biochemistry, both leading to a versatile Bachelor of Science degree. Minors are offered in chemistry, environmental chemistry, and in three tracks in the physical sciences.
Research is an important part of the curriculum, and all students learn to design and carry out independent research projects as part of the analytical chemistry course sequence.
Internships help you explore your intended career and are also strongly encouraged. Our students have held prestigious internships with a variety of employers, including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the UNC-Chapel Hill Biomedical Lab, the Medical University of South Carolina, and GlaxoSmithKline’s pharmaceutical research unit.
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study of the things that shape our natural environment. The Department of Environmental Science offers two majors and minors in environmental policy and environmental studies.
Majors in environmental science are encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects with faculty, or to conduct their own independent research. One example from previous years is a unique study tour to the island of Yap in Micronesia through the John Belk International Program. In Yap, students worked with local officials, scientists and classmates to survey the landscape and monitor environmental conditions, helping to balance the use and preservation of the island's natural resources.
Chemistry provides limitless options
Queens Chemistry majors have been accepted to graduate schools such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Medical College of Georgia, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Auburn University.
Although many chemistry majors pursue laboratory work or one of the many fields in medicine, others find their career paths in technical writing, education, management, forensic science, veterinary science, non-profits, dental technology and even aviation!
The Bachelor of Science in environmental science consists of core courses in environmental science, chemistry, biology and physics, complemented by electives in these disciplines plus political science, communication and other fields. Scientific theory is blended with technical training, especially through field laboratory exercises and research projects. Skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication will culminate in a senior project.These majors are well-prepared for graduate school and for laboratory or field-based careers in both the public and private sector. Public-sector employers include regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service. In the private and non-profit sectors, environmental science majors go on to jobs with environmental consulting firms, environmental law firms, and organizations like The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club and Audubon.
The Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies provides students with a solid interdisciplinary foundation in environmental issues. The program emphasizes the interconnections between physical, biological, and social processes as they affect the environment. As such, students will develop a strong capacity for understanding the scientific basis for environmental topics, and will take courses in the political science, philosophy and religion, biology and other departments. Skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication will culminate in a senior project.Many environmental studies majors go on to graduate school in the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and law. Other career paths include environmental education, advocacy, field work, and work with consulting firms and government agencies.
Dr. Greg Pillar