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Program Type: Undergraduate

Degrees Awarded: B.A. in Chemistry  |  B.S. in Chemistry Select a degree to view its requirements and four-year plans.

Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry

Students seeking a Bachelor of Science in chemistry can choose between four tracks based on their interests. The General Chemistry track, certified by the American Chemical Society, is recommended for student planning to be professional chemists. The Biochemistry track, certified by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is recommended for students interested in science that intersects chemistry and biology and most pre-professionals (pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary). We also offer a Forensics track supported with courses in Criminal Justice. The Pharmaceutical Science track is a three-year program that allows students to complete three years at NKU and transfer credits back from select pharmacy schools to complete their degree. Our Bachelor of Arts degree is often the choice for students interested in post-secondary education (in conjunction with a major in the College of Education).  

Over 80% of our students participate in undergraduate research experiences with our faculty, funded through the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Other students participate in internships with local laboratories such as Gravity Diagnostics and the Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory. As a chemistry major at NKU you will learn through in-depth experiences and be prepared for your desired career.

Program Contacts

Dr. KC Russell
Professor & Chair
(859) 572-6110

Students in the Spotlight

Jennifer Hand Castle

Jennifer (Hand) Castle

Graduating Year: 2012

Education: B.S. Chemistry, Biochemistry Track, Mathematical Sciences Minor, Biological Sciences Minor

Career: Currently a general surgery resident, a T32 post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Kentucky and pursuing a PhD in Clinical and Translational Science at UK  

"I have such a deep-rooted love for NKU. I had such a great relationship with all the professors and fellow students. The small classroom style is one of the things that attracted me to NKU in the first place and I still think is one of its greatest strengths. I never wanted to be just a face in the crowd and at NKU I wasn’t. It also created my foundation for scientific research. I think the experiences I had in the labs at NKU are what eventually brought me back to benchwork now. But what I learned at NKU has stayed with me in so many different facets. I still think about what I learned in speech class with Dr. Proctor when I give presentations today. Every time I present work, I flash back to my senior year class where we were taught how to present work and had it drilled into me that is always “our” work. Nothing is ever achieved by oneself. I teach that to my mentees today.  My husband and I still joke about our stats class with Dr. Buckley and the competitions we had there which established our relationship. I still play around on the piano after a few of us biology nerds decided it would be a fun class to take our senior year. This is a very long-winded way to say, NKU was an amazing place to study, and what you learn there creates cherished memories and an amazing foundation for whatever it is you want to achieve. If I could go back in time, I would choose NKU time and time again.     I made lifelong friends, met my husband, and got onto the right trajectory at NKU to get me where I am today. It is important to find someplace that encourages you, promotes you, and gives you avenues to where you want to be. NKU can do that while still maintaining a small, friendly environment. Quite simply, I love NKU.  "

"I graduated from NKU with a BS in biochemistry and minor in mathematics. I worked in product engineering and development for a couple years and then went to medical school at UK. I matched into general surgery residency at UK. It was during residency that I decided I wanted dedicated time to conduct research so after my third year of clinical residency I stepped out of clinical life to join a lab under a T32 post-doctoral research fellow grant.  It is in this time that I have been able to pursue a PhD and hope to successfully defend this semester. Ultimately, I have goals of becoming a surgical oncologist and hope the work I have done in and outside the lab will also allow me to be a proficient surgeon-scientist.  "

Find Your Passions & Build Your Future

Chemistry student working on equipment inside lab.
  • Career Explorations: Our students explore careers in and out of the classroom. You’ll do everything from hearing from working professionals in various careers to participating in experiential learning through research experiences and internships.
  • State-of-the-Art Equipment: Students will receive in-depth hands-on experience with our extensive instrumentation during independent research with faculty and during experiments conducted within laboratory courses.
  • Supportive Learning Community: With organizations and clubs like our Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) and the Health Professions Club (HPC), you’ll find a supportive learning community to support you both inside and outside the classroom and as you prepare for your future after graduation.

Keep exploring. Visit the department website.

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Experience NKU

Our campus is more than classrooms. It’s a hive of activity and connections that instantly feel familiar. Come walk it, take it in, check it out.

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Financial Aid

A variety of financial assistance is available, from grants to scholarships, loans to veteran benefits.