Unravel the Mysteries of Chemistry with Technology
Develop an in-demand skill set combining a technical understanding of chemistry with expertise in computers and computation. A Bachelor of Science in Cheminformatics from Michigan Tech will prepare you to work on the leading edge of this emerging technological field. Your work could support advancements in any branch of chemistry, with career opportunities rapidly expanding in the design of new drugs and materials.
"My first visit to Michigan Tech was my junior year in high school and I immediately fell in love with the campus and the chemistry department. After speaking with chemistry faculty, they were able to direct me to the cheminformatics degree combining my passion of chemistry and computer programming."
What is Cheminformatics?
Cheminformatics is at the intersection of chemistry and information technology. If you prefer the theory of chemistry to its practical applications and enjoy working with technology, a career in cheminformatics may suit you well. Your professional specialty will include using computational methods to complement laboratory experimentation. Upon graduation, you might
- Investigate chemicals and materials that are not practical for laboratory analysis.
- Model individual molecules or the behaviors of chemical compounds within the natural world.
- Create and/or work with databases to catalog, categorize, organize, and search the structures of chemicals.
- Employ computational chemistry to simplify problems and make calculations that are used in laboratory experimentation.
- Develop information-storage solutions at the molecular level.
You will complete upper-level course work in both chemistry and computer science, gaining the foundation in both physical chemistry and computer programming that is necessary in the field. Many chemical equations are so complex, the need for advanced technological tools—and professionals who have the ability to effectively use them—is critical. Our degree program will prepare you to succeed in this role. Cutting-edge labs and equipment will enhance your education.
About the Program
- Learn in a supportive environment. First-year chemistry majors stick together in the Studio Lab and study under the same instructor during their first two semesters, at least. You’ll develop excellent critical-thinking and lab skills while building lasting rapport with your instructor and classmates.
- Enjoy the freedom to experiment in the lab. Once you master lab processes and techniques, you’ll be let loose to conduct research individually.
- Increase your employability. Most chemistry majors participate in research or a co-op/internship experience. Our students have garnered internships with high-profile employers including Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- Undergraduate research is emphasized in the department: all faculty members are advancing basic and applied research in chemistry, and all welcome students into their research groups.
- Get the extra technological edge on your education. You’ll use advanced, state-of-the-art equipment in our teaching labs.
- Learn from creative, enthusiastic faculty who truly enjoy working with students. And smaller class sizes translate to more personal attention: our department’s student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1.
- Obtain a minor in Computer Science by adding one class—CS 3141Team Software Project—to the curriculum. This is a low-cost but high-impact way to gain a competitive edge as you launch into a career.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Our undergraduate degree programs emphasize undergraduate research experiences. All of our faculty members are advancing basic and applied research in chemistry, and all welcome students into their research groups.
Contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to learn more. Specific positions in each lab depend on availability and funding.
Learn more about undergraduate research.
When you finish a bachelors of science cheminformatics degree you:
will have in-depth theoretical and experimental knowledge in organic chemistry and in-depth theoretical knowledge in physical chemistry.
will have fundamental theoretical knowledge in either inorganic or biochemistry, and fundamental theoretical and experimental knowledge of quantitative and instrumental analytical methods.
will have in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of computer programming using modern languages, database development and maintenance, and their applications to the field of chemistry in both academic and industrial settings.
- can safely work in a laboratory in collect, analyze, and evaluate experimental data.
- can use scientific literature to research and solve problems.
- can apply theoretical and experimental knowledge, and problem-solving skills in an independent research project.
- can communicate with other members of the scientific community using both oral and written methods.
- will demonstrate awareness of the societal and environmental implications of chemistry as a discipline, and your professional responsibilities as an ethical chemist.
Cheminformatics specialists play an important role in supporting research and laboratory experimentation by making chemical information accessible and usable. These professionals spend a great deal of time analyzing and interpreting data and must be detail oriented. Career pathways are diverse and often lead to positions outside of the traditional laboratory—and inside of the computer laboratory.
What could I do with a cheminformatics degree?
You could work with chemical databases; focus on computational chemistry; explore the properties of nanomolecules; or model molecular structure and the activities of chemical compounds. The job outlook for cheminformatics specialists is very good, with the expectation for jobs to grow with the increasing need to categorize and search chemical compounds in databases, create data sets used in laboratory experimentation, and employ computing to solve complex chemical problems. You will also be prepared to enroll in graduate school and earn an advanced degree in cheminformatics, if you so choose.