Study the fundamental properties and principles of chemical systems and get hands-on experience with modern instrumentation and software in courses and research.
As a chemistry major or minor, you will learn how to explore and explain chemical phenomena in the context of the world around us.
To foster your creativity and critical thinking skills, you will have the opportunity to work on independent research projects guided by faculty mentors. The Department supports students who wish to study abroad.
You may opt for a pre-professional chemistry curriculum that is certified by the American Chemical Society. A chemical engineering track is also available.
What You'll Study
- Fundamental processes of the chemical world.
- Foundational classes in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.
- Elective courses in atmospheric, bio-inorganic, bio-organic, environmental, materials, and medicinal chemistry, in addition to chemical biology, NMR spectroscopy, and nanotechnology.
Researching at Pomona
Automation of Isotope Effect Computations
Sebastian Cevallos '18 worked on developing software that will automate the process of computing many different isotope effects.
Diffusion Controlled Reactions on Euclidean and Fractal Structures
Sabari Kumar ’17 uses computational techniques to model the diffusion and transfer of particles on the surfaces of zeolites, a catalyst for industrial chemical synthesis.
SPME-GC/MS analysis of potential biomarkers in pathogenic bacteria
Soleil Worthy '18 attempted to identify the characteristic volatile organic compounds released by bacteria for the purpose of developing a rapid and noninvasive diagnostic breath test for pneumonia.
Synthesis and Conformational Analysis of Peptide Antibiotics
Mario Gaviria ‘18 synthesized N-terminal acylated arginine-glutamate-arginine, which is present in amyloid precursor protein. It protects against memory loss and acts as a cognitive enhancer.
Working in Professor O’Leary’s lab and learning about the chemistry behind what I was doing reinforced my love for chemistry. The ability to synthesize a peptide that can potentially have real world effects on Alzheimer's research comes with an incredible feeling of accomplishment and pride.
Faculty & Teaching
Students have the opportunity to work with our chemistry faculty on research, co-author journal articles, and present their work at major scientific conferences. Our professors have expertise in analytical chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, environmental chemistry, medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, nanomaterials, spectroscopy, chemical biology, and statistical mechanics.
Chemistry is an amazing field of study that touches almost every aspect of our life in some way. The research our students conduct with faculty in our department, which often yields publications in major journals, prepares them for graduate school, industry and medicine, and is the reason that many of them have been awarded prestigious scholarships or fellowships like the Goldwater, Fulbright, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Churchill, Rhodes, and Gates-Cambridge.