The Department of Chemistry at Illinois Tech has announced five new majors to help make students better candidates for in-demand graduate programs and jobs:
- B.S. in Environmental Chemistry – the first of its kind in Chicago.
- B.S. in Forensic Chemistry - the first of its kind in Chicago.
- B.S. in Bioanalytical Chemistry – the first of its kind in the country.
- B.S. in Computational Chemistry and Biochemistry – the first comprehensive computer-related chemistry and biochemistry program in the country.
- B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry – the first of its kind in Illinois, and one of only a handful in the country.
All five of the new majors will be available to first-year undergraduates entering Illinois Tech in fall 2017 and to transfer students by fall 2019.
These new degrees are designed to help students start to prepare for specific career paths, be more competitive in pursuing in-demand graduate programs and professional jobs, and learn skills that many other undergraduate programs do not offer.
For example, the B.S. in Forensic Chemistry requires analytical chemistry laboratory and other experiences that are required for forensics jobs, but that forensic science programs typically don’t offer—so Illinois Tech graduates will stand out.
The programs also have many data analytics and data science options, which also will help graduates stand out. Data analytics is increasingly important in many areas of chemistry—useful, for example, with clinical trials and the data generated by them; this data can be analyzed and used to improve patient outcomes. Students may opt to take more data analytics and data science courses depending on their interest.
The programs include opportunities to do research with faculty in such areas as biosensor technology for monitoring of pollution, green chemistry, biosensors for detection of bioterrorism chemicals and toxins, antibody drug conjugate (ADC) chemistry, quantum chemistry, and cancer drug discovery. A special seminar series will bring experts in the five new fields to campus.
After they complete one of these degrees, graduates either may go on in regular chemistry, or go further in their specialization—essentially getting two degrees in one. Students will be educated as viable candidates with good entry-level skills for the job market or for entrance to graduate programs including medical school and pharmacy school.