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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Fall 2021 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication


Bachelor of Arts

Chemistry majors are inquisitive, methodical, and self-starting leaders. They have robust written and verbal communication skills and excel in math, physics, and biology. Chemistry is everywhere in the world around us. It is the fabric of the world woven into everything in what we eat, what we breathe, in how we live, in what we are. Chemistry is a broad, interdisciplinary, and evolving field that shares boundaries with the life sciences, physics, and engineering. The Clarke chemistry major combines rigor with flexibility, allowing you to explore chemistry and related areas while preparing for a wide range of careers and professions. Chemists today are tackling issues such as global climate change, energy resources, genetic manipulation of crops, re-emerging diseases and their treatment, and environmental pollution. If this sounds perfect to you, take a trip to Dubuque, Iowa, and visit Clarke’s campus to see one of the top chemistry schools for yourself.

Our Bachelor Chemistry degree program prepares students for careers as professional chemists and serves as a foundation for careers in other fields such as biology and medicine. The Chemistry degree program teaches a comprehensive fundamental knowledge of the major fields of chemistry, covering the general areas of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, plus many more specialized courses including analytical, nuclear, and biophysical chemistry, and chemical biology. Students experience laboratory involvement in inorganic and organic fusion, analytical methods, physical chemical measurements, spectroscopy, biochemical engineering, and chemical methods in nuclear technology.

The world needs pioneering, ethical science, and health care professionals. Are you ready to become one of them? At Clarke University’s College of Chemistry, you’ll get a powerful education that’s infused with liberal arts and housed within a brand new facility. With a Clarke chemistry degree in your hands, you’ll be prepared for some of the most in-demand careers of today and tomorrow.

[ninja-popup ID=65924]Clarke University Chemistry Major Josh Prindle in the chemistry lab on campus in Dubuque, Iowa


Clarke University Chemistry Degree students in class getting hands-on learning

Cool Classes

Below is a small sampling of the types of classes a Chemistry major would take:

INTRO TO RESEARCH — Get a taste of chemistry research using state-of-the-art instrumentation as early as your freshman year.

MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY — You’ll gain insight into the chemistry of pharmaceuticals with an in-depth explanation of the molecular mechanisms of drug action.

SEPARATION METHODS — You will separate and analyze chemical mixtures using advanced chromatography techniques and research quality instruments.

Senior Capstone for the Chemistry Major

Senior students are challenged to complete their Capstone Project in the sciences. This is a culmination of their learning experiences, during which they will prepare an extensive scientific report or proposal on a topic in the chemical sciences.

Clarke University Senior Chemistry Major student working on capstone project.

Program Details

All the ways we perceive the world – sight, taste, touch – are driven by chemicals and their reactions. And chemical innovation improves our lives. Understanding chemistry helps us unlock life’s mysteries and makes a positive impact on the world.

As a chemistry major, when you investigate chemical principles, you have the basis to better understand the world and how to function in that world. You’ll build this foundation in a context that helps you become a scientifically responsible citizen with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will allow you to be successful in scientific and non-scientific professions. Clarke’s use of technology is unmatched – from hand-held data collection to molecular modeling. The ability to visualize is stressed – which is important to learning. You will also become skilled at analyzing the bioethical issues challenging the scientific community.

How You’ll Learn

Want to learn why Clarke is one of the best colleges for Chemistry? As a student studying for a Bachelor in Chemistry, you’ll have the following advantages and opportunities at Clarke University

  • New state-of-the-art facility, the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry.
  • Research opportunities both on campus and through off-campus paid internships.
  • Get hands-on experience with the instrumentation suite most commonly used in the chemical industry: GC-MS, NMR, FT-IR, ATR, UV-vis, HPLC, and Fluorescence Spectrometers.
  • Small classes and one-on-one interaction with Ph.D.-level faculty.
  • On-campus employment opportunities as lab assistants and tutors.
  • Community engagement through outreach events, summer camps, and more.
  • Opportunity to explore the chemical industry with field trips to pharmaceutical or other chemical research companies.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary in 2018 for an individual holding a bachelor in Chemistry is $78,330. In addition, the overall employment of chemists and materials scientists is projected to grow four percent from 2018 to 2028.

Classes You’ll Take

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

Interesting Internships

Opportunities abound for students interested in college Chemistry in Iowa, the Midwest, and nationwide. Recent Clarke chemistry majors worked paid internships at:

  • University of Michigan
  • University of Washington
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Minnesota
  • Marquette University
  • San Jose State

What About a Job?

Careers in science and technology present exciting possibilities for today’s students. Career options for a chemistry major include:

  • Industrial chemist
  • Research chemist
  • Teacher or researcher
  • Physician
  • Pharmacist
  • Government regulation agency employee (FDA, EPA)
  • Technical or grant writer
  • Laboratory manager
  • Chemical safety officer
  • Patent lawyer
  • Pharmaceutical salesperson
  • Forensic scientist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Oceanographer


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Meet Our Faculty

When our graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Sunil Malapati, Ph.D.

I am very proud to be part of a department that sets very high standards for student achievement, and our students have risen to the challenge.

Karen Glover, Ph.D.

Karen Glover, Ph.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry

The technology-rich environment at Clarke provides students with great hands-on opportunities.

Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics

Learning is the public and private negotiation of understanding.

Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.

Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

My goal as an instructor is to facilitate students in realizing their educational goals, and to foster a deeper understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment for the subject.

Apple in Clarke University classroom
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Emily (Rossini) Komoroske

Emily (Rossini) Komoroske

Chemistry ‘09

My chemistry professors at Clarke helped encourage my critical thinking, showed me the benefits of being thorough, and facilitated my personal and professional growth.

Zachary Breitbach

Zachary Breitbach

Chemistry ‘05

In my current position, I mentor graduate researchers. I get to know each student personally and become invested in their success, just as my major professors at Clarke did for me.

100 %
Job placement

Percent of Clarke chemistry graduates who secured a job in their chosen field or enrolled in graduate school by August.

85.2 %
Happy people

Chemistry majors rate among the highest in job satisfaction after graduation – 85.2% – according to studentsreview.com.

Student to faculty ratio

Work one-on-one with faculty on an undergraduate research project – an important criterion for entering graduate school.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Chemistry for Yourself

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