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Chemistry Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of science degree in Chemistry
• Minors: Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Science

*The BS in Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society.

What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of the properties, characteristics and physical and chemical changes of matter. Chemistry is truly a part of all life – everything you see, hear, smell, taste and touch involves chemistry. This degree program covers the major sub-disciplines of chemistry: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical.

What does a chemist do?

A chemist studies substances at the atomic and molecular level, analyzing how the substances interact. With this knowledge, chemists develop new and improved products. Chemists work in the fields of nanoscience, technology, material science and healthcare. The field of chemistry has played a role in significant improvements to the world, from developing new medications to discovering new sources of energy.

Mines chemistry faculty revolutionized the biopharmaceutical, water treatment, blood products, and air purification industries with their start-up Nanofiber Separations. Under the guidance of these leading minds, students have landed the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship and NASA internships. A majority of our students go on to professional and graduate studies.

Some of the duties a chemist might undertake on the job include:
• Work with law enforcement to analyze a crime scene
• Detect counterfeit drugs
• Preserve art
• Purify water
• Undertake research projects in the development of new products
• Prepare solutions and compounds used by scientists in the lab
• Analyze substances to determine composition and concentration

First-Year Courses

• General chemistry
• Calculus
• Composition
• Physics

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

On average, 79 percent of South Dakota Mines students have applicable work experience when they graduate thanks to internships and co-ops. For these co-ops and internships, students receive an average salary of $19.70/hour. The businesses that employ South Dakota Mines chemical engineering interns include:
• Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center
• Cargill
• Dow Chemical
• Stanford University

Career Outlook

The average starting salary of a 2017-2018 (the last year reported) chemistry graduate from South Dakota Mines was $61,500. Many of our graduates use this degree as a launching point for graduate school, including medical school or other professional healthcare programs. The job placement rate for 2018-2019 Mines chemistry graduates was 100 percent.


Types of careers that chemists might pursue include:
• Forensics
• Medical Chemistry or pharmaceuticals
• Environmental testing
• Patent or environmental law
• Healthcare
• NanoChemistry or chemical research
• Energy production
• Food supplies
• Lab management


Employers who hire South Dakota Mines chemistry graduates include:
Lyondell Basell
United Nations
Con Agra
Energy Laboratories
Rapid City Regional Hospital
A-Ox Welding Supply
CSL Plasma
Intermountain Labs
Southern Minnesota Beet Cooperative
Merrill Lynch
Fuelade Technologies

Chemistry Research

Faculty in the Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences conduct basic and applied research in diverse areas of chemistry and biology. Participation in research is strongly encouraged at the undergraduate level. Research programs include:
• Organic synthesis, polymer chemistry
• Analytical chemistry
• Nanomaterials for chemical and biological sensors
• Electrospun polymer, ceramic, metallic, carbon/graphite nanofibers and their applications




SD Mines is the #1 Engineering School in the country for return on investment!

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