• Student Outside Bush Memorial Library

    Career and Postgraduate Opportunities

    Chemistry graduates from Hamline University have opportunities for a wide variety of professional positions, including advanced degree work in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or employment in the chemical industry and chemical education.

    In addition, advanced degree work and employment are available in many areas related to chemistry, including anthropology, agricultural and forestry science, bacteriology, biology, botany, ecology, food science, forensic chemistry, geology, law, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, pollution control, public health, and veterinary medicine.

    Recent internships completed by chemistry students include:

    • Drug Chemistry Intern 
    • Permitting Technician

    Meet a Chemistry Graduate

    Joe Sweeney - A Hamline Chemistry Major GraduatgeJoe Sweeney ’04

    Building elaborate contraptions with Legos all day long, remembering the names of every dinosaur known to man, capturing countless backyard creatures, and collecting bugs and rocks at an early age were good indicators that I was destined for a life in the sciences. Many years later, I narrowed my primary area of study to biophysical chemistry; I conducted research on protein dynamics as I pursued my Ph.D. at the University of California - Berkeley. With the burgeoning of countless new fields in science, and constant progression of existing fields, it’s really difficult to figure out what you want to do, whether it’s discovering new things through research, teaching, or applying new principles through engineering or medicine.

    Hamline played a crucial role in allowing me to explore different areas of science while at the same time helping to narrow my focus to subjects I was most interested in pursuing. I came to Hamline decidedly a pre-med biology major, but quickly learned I enjoyed chemistry equally so I changed my major to biochemistry. During my four years at Hamline I participated in a wide variety of activities, including Tri Beta – a national biology honor society (also served as chapter president), resident assistant in the residence halls, scholastic intern at 3M Company in the Business Technology and Innovation sector, intramural athletics, tutor, and an independent research project (developing techniques to measure intracellular ion concentrations of mutant yeast cells). All of the academic opportunities were alerted to me by faculty in the chemistry and biology departments, as they always played an active role in guiding my academics both inside and outside the classroom. They ultimately encouraged my decision to go to Cal for grad school, which has turned out to be the most exciting and rewarding decision I’ve made yet.

    One of the most important aspects of my Hamline education was its breadth; I learned to “think outside the box.” Being exposed to many different subjects causes you to make associations between them in an effort to understand them. It is this skill that allowed me to be successful at Cal, and distinguishes a good thinker from a great one. Innovation is the hallmark of society, and the most innovative thinkers are the most successful. Taking courses outside my major was extremely valuable. Introduction to Psychology with Prof. Charles LaBounty (Uncle Charlie) opened my interest in neuroscience, one of the many fields I actively learn about today. My career advice to you is simple: keep an open mind and don’t narrow your focus until necessary. That means take a wide variety of classes early, and read science magazines! Scientific American, Science, Nature, and Sciencedaily.com are all great. They’ll keep you up-to-date on the frontiers of science in all the different fields. Plus, the material makes fantastic conversation on dates – that’s why I’m still single!