Why study Chemistry at APSU?
APSU is a great place for chemistry majors for a variety of reasons. The department boasts a high placement rate for graduates into professional schools and employment opportunities. Our low student to faculty ratio enables students to have close interactions with their instructors. All of our classes (both lectures and labs) are taught by professors who get to know each and every student on a first-name basis. All instruction takes place in state-of–the–art lecture and laboratory facilities. Undergraduate research within the department is growing and there are opportunities to receive funding to conduct this research with a faculty mentor in a variety of chemical fields.
What will I learn?
Chemistry is often called the “central science” due to the fundamental role it plays in every aspect of the world around us. A student majoring in chemistry has a deep commitment to understanding how our world exists and operates on a molecular level in accordance with the laws of nature. Chemistry is a very rigorous curriculum that involves physics and mathematics to help students understand the driving forces of the chemical reaction. There are many branches of chemistry and students often gravitate to specific fields like organic, inorganic, physical, biochemistry, or materials chemistry.
The Freshmen Seminar degree requirement completed by most students is APSU 1000. The course is delivered in a small-class setting with like-minded students led by a faculty member and a peer leader. The interdisciplinary course is intended to support first-semester students and provide them with a foundation for university success. Emphasis is placed on student engagement, university learning success strategies, support services, library literacy, financial literacy, and academic and career planning. The first class meeting of APSU 1000 during fall semesters is on Freshmen Convocation Day.
The general education core is designed to develop critical competencies in written communication, oral communication, mathematical analysis, and critical thinking skills. Students at APSU select coursework in the general education core in the areas of Communication, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, History, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics. While the general education core requirements for graduation can be met by choosing courses from each of these areas, some programs of study require lower division courses that serve as prerequisites for upper division courses. Students should consult the sample 4-year plans and confer with their academic advisors as they choose their general education core courses.
What engagement opportunities are available to APSU students?
APSU fosters a positive campus environment that encourages active participation in university life. Chi Epsilon Mu (XEM) is Austin Peay State University's chemistry club. This club is dedicated to advancing chemistry in our system and surroundings, while also having some fun. Students participate in monthly meetings, outreach events where they demonstrate fun chemical reactions for area schools or events, as well as compete and participate in social events around campus. Similarly, many of our pre-professional health students participate in PPHS (Pre-Professional Health Society).
Dr. Fred Matthews will once again be leading a group of students to London, England, for a 10 day course this winter– December 26, 2018 – January 8, 2019. This will be the Chemistry Department’s third trip to London. The course is entitled: Chemical History of England; Museums, Iconic Scientific Treasures, and Revelations of Yesteryear. The course is being coordinated through CCSA (Cooperative Center for Study Abroad), but students will earn 3 hours of credit at APSU (CHEM 4840). One will need to apply through both CCSA (www.ccsa.cc) and APSU (https://www.apsu.edu/internationaled/abroad).
Our hotel is located downtown London, just a couple of blocks from Buckingham Palace. The class will utilize four books (Napoleon’s Buttons; Periodic Tales; Stuff Matters; The Chemical History of a Candle); however, our major activities will involve visiting a plethora of England’s historical museums (see below). This opportunity has had a strong impact on all students who have participated. It is a wonderful opportunity that comes around only once every couple of years.
Day‐trips to various historical scientific, medical, and hospital museums
- Faraday and Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museums
- History of Science and Natural History Museums
- Old Operating Theatre, Wellcome Collection, and Hunterian Museums
- Royal Pharmaceutical Society, British Dental Association, Anaesthesia Museums
- Royal College of Surgeons of England & St Bartholomew’s Hospital Museums
- British Museum
- Sherlock Holmes Museum
Perfect opportunity for chemistry major/minor and pre-dental/medical/optical/pharmaceutical students, as it focuses on England’s scientific contributions to chemistry and medical fields!
What Do Chemistry Majors Do After Graduation?
Chemistry majors have a variety of options available to them after graduation because of the analytical and critical thinking skills learned while they are a student at APSU. Many enter professional schools (graduate, medical, pharmacy, dental, dental hygiene) while others directly enter the workforce for public employers or governmental agencies as technicians, quality control scientists, researchers, forensic scientists, process control operators, and middle school or high school teachers.
- Hospital Administration
- Industrial Health and Safety
- Industrial Quality Control
- Lab coordinator
- Legislation and Lobbying
- Patent Law
- Pharmaceutical Sales
- Product Analysis and Testing
- Technical Sales/Marketing