Computational Chemistry and Chemical Informatics—BS

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 Computational Chemistry and Chemical Informatics 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.

What is Computational Chemistry and Chemical Informatics?

Computational Chemistry and Chemical Informatics is at the intersection of chemistry and information technology. If you prefer a digital view of chemistry to lab experiments 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 difficult to study in the laboratory.
  • Model and visualize individual molecules and how they behave in cells or in materials..
  • Create and/or work with databases to catalog, categorize, organize, and search the structures of chemicals.
  • Employ computational chemistry to simplify problems and make predictions that enhance laboratory experiments.
  • Develop information-storage solutions at the molecular level.

One-of-a-Kind Program

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 problems are multidimensional.  Solutions require advanced computational tools—and professionals who have the ability to effectively use them. Our degree program will prepare you to succeed in this role. Cutting-edge labs and equipment will enhance your education.

Obtain a minor in Computer Science by taking four Computer Science classes—CS 1142 Programming at the Hardware Software Interface and CS 3141 Team Software Project—and adding two Computer Science electives. CS 1142 and CS 3141 can also be counted as major electives. This is a low-cost but high-impact way to gain a competitive edge as you launch into a career.

Choose your Career Path

Computational Chemistry and Chemical Informatics specialists play an important role in driving research and laboratory experiments by predicting properties of new compounds and 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.

You could work with chemical databases; focus on computational chemistry; explore the properties of nanomaterials; or model molecular structure and the activities of proteins and enzymes. 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 and manage data for laboratory experiments, and design and direct laboratory robots. You will also be prepared to enroll in graduate school and earn an advanced degree in cheminformatics, if you so choose.

  • 7:1
    student-faculty ratio
  • $129+
    average salary computational chemist
  • 7
    undergraduates co-author research papers in the past 3 years

Tomorrow Needs Innovative Chemists

The demand for computational chemists is great. Computational chemists may pursue a teaching and/or research career in academia, or they may work in industry or for a government agency or national laboratory. They may also support and train facility users, students, or customers or develop new capabilities for collecting and analyzing data. Industry employers typically include companies in the pharmaceutical, data science, and industrial chemistry areas. In academia, computational chemists often teach courses or provide individualized instruction on using different software or data analysis tools. At national laboratories, they may train visiting users, and they may perform their own research.

Career Opportunities for Computational Chemistry Majors

Your future career options are unlimited with a degree in computational chemistry. Career opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Bioinformatics Analyst
  • Cheminformatician
  • Computational Chemist
  • Computational Chemistry Molecular Modeler
  • Computational Designer
  • Computational Medicinal Chemist
  • Computational R&D Scientist
  • Data Scientist/Manager
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Material Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Professor
  • Software Engineer
  • Technical Operations Engineer
  • Technical Writer
  • And more

You can explore career options further.

Michigan Tech Computational Chemistry Majors Have Been Hired By

The growing list of companies that have hired Michigan Tech computational chemistry graduates includes:

  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Jump Trading LLC
  • IBM Corp.
  • Morley Companies

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying computational chemistry at Michigan's flagship technological university.

"I like how the chemistry department is very encouraging in helping you push your career forward. The department itself is very good at helping you get research positions and learn other topics with seminars and such."Tommy McQuiston ‘25, BS Computational Chemistry

Student Learning Goals

When you complete our bachelors of science computational chemistry degree, you can expect to achieve the following:

  • In-depth theoretical and experimental knowledge in organic chemistry and in-depth theoretical knowledge in physical chemistry.
  • Fundamental theoretical and experimental knowledge in either inorganic or biochemistry, and fundamental theoretical and experimental knowledge of quantitative and instrumental analytical methods.
  • 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.
  • Safely work in a laboratory to collect, analyze and evaluate experimental data.
  • Use scientific literature to research and solve problems.
  • Applies theoretical and experimental knowledge, and problem-solving skills in an independent research project.
  • Communicate with other members of the scientific community using both oral and written methods.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the societal and environmental implications of chemistry as a discipline, and your professional responsibilities as an ethical chemist.

Study Computational Chemistry at a Technological University

At Michigan Tech, you will build knowledge and research foundations required to succeed in graduate school, research, or the job market. You'll learn and experience first-hand how chemistry is central to solving real-world problems in sustainability, human health, environment, and industry. With chemistry faculty that also serve as your research advisors and mentors, you'll use chemistry in the lab, and present results in classrooms, research symposia, and scientific journals.

  • Get personalized attention: 7:1 student-faculty ratio ensures your academic advisors and professors know you and understand your interests and needs. You receive guidance in a timely fashion. They can better help pair you with research opportunities that meet your needs and provide valuable experience.
  • Customize your computational chemistry education: At Michigan Tech, our programs span pure chemistry (BS and BA options), biochemistry and molecular biology, computational chemistry and chemical informatics, and medicinal chemistry(includes pharmaceutical chemistry). That interdisciplinary approach gives you exposure to different areas of chemistry. Take classes across these topics to tailor your degree to fit your individual pathway.
  • Engage in chemistry research: Become involved in a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Whether you are planning to go to graduate school or pursue a career upon graduation, one of the factors that gives our students an edge is the opportunity to engage in research as an undergraduate student and gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art research instrumentation. A majority of our students conduct undergraduate research with faculty members.
  • Practice basic chemistry concepts: Work as a peer coach in the Chemistry Learning Center helping other students understand chemistry concepts while reinforcing your understanding of the basics.

Undergraduate Majors

Not sure which major is the right fit? No problem.
Just declare the General Sciences and Arts major, give yourself time, and decide when you arrive on campus. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Undergraduate Minors and Certificates

A minor in chemistry or medicinal chemistry allows you to specialize in a discipline outside of or complementary to your major, expand your knowledge base, and boost your potential career options. A minor in a pre-professional program such as Pre-Law or Pre-Health prepares you for graduate school and future careers in law and medicine. You can declare a major anytime, but it is recommended you begin your minor studies as early as possible in your academic career. To learn more speak to an academic advisor.

Tomorrow Needs You

Supercharge your computational chemistry skills to meet the demands of a technology-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, engineering, and math. Graduate with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to solve real-world problems and succeed in academia, research, and tomorrow's high-tech business landscape.

"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."Ali Carpenter ‘16, BS Cheminformatics, Software Engineer, Watson Health, IBM