Discover a Challenging and Rewarding Career
Do you have an inquisitive mind? As a youngster, did you pester those around you with countless questions about science or seek out the answers yourself? Channel your curiosity and perseverance into a stimulating career in pharmaceutical chemistry, and your contributions will go a long way in improving the quality of life for many. With a BS in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Michigan Tech, you will be prepared to apply your training in chemistry to the process of pharmaceutical synthesis and analysis.
"The pharmaceutical chemistry undergraduate degree program at Michigan Tech feels like a community: all of the students are close and always willing to help each other out."
Pharmaceutical chemists, or medicinal chemists, work on multidisciplinary teams to formulate, test, and analyze drugs; conduct basic and applied research in chemistry to understand drug compounds; and develop guidelines for the US Food and Drug Administration, reviewing new drug applications from pharmaceutical companies and the processes used to create these substances.
Our degree program in pharmaceutical chemistry will provide you with strong skills in modern chemical techniques, such as computer-aided drug design, and a thorough understanding of biomedical issues. You will explore the molecular basis of biological processes and drug action, as well as the health applications of compounds that affect living tissue.
Chemistry majors learn best in a lab setting. Our degree program will challenge you to reach far beyond classroom chemistry theory and rote experimentation—you’ll quickly learn your way around our advanced labs and equipment, with the majority of your time being spent on conducting research (independently and alongside faculty) and creatively exploring the real-world applications of biochemistry, drug design, computational chemistry, and more.
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. Pharmaceutical companies prefer to hire graduates with a research or internship experience. 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. Our students have garnered internships with high-profile employers including Los Alamos National Laboratory.
- 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.
- Our undergraduate degree programs provide excellent preparation for graduate health programs and law school, combining basic science with real-world applications.
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 complete the bachelors of science pharmaceutical degree you:
- will have in-depth theoretical and experimental knowledge in physical chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and the structure-function relationships between drug action and pharmaceutical design.
- will have fundamental theoretical and experimental knowledge of quantitative and instrumental analytical methods.
- can safely work in a laboratory to 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 you professional responsibilities as an ethical chemist.
Still considering your career options? Our degree program offers you the flexibility to change your postgraduation plans with ease, if you decide pharmaceutical chemistry isn’t right for you. The strong grounding in fundamental chemistry concepts that you will gain provides adequate preparation for an array of chemistry careers.
What could I do with a pharmaceutical chemistry degree?
The pharmaceutical industry employs close to one-fifth of graduates with bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry. Additional employment prospects include academia, the government, and biotechnology companies.
Depending on your career pathway, you may have the choice to work inside or outside of the lab. You could focus on drug design and development, identifying candidates for clinical studies, drug action, drug transport, drug delivery, drug testing, and targeting; or you could spend the majority of your time in an office setting.
An advanced degree is advisable for some research positions. You will be prepared for graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry, or for a program in the health sciences. If you’re interested in pharmacy school, a bachelor’s degree will give you an edge up during the application process. Our degree program also provides excellent groundwork for careers in patent law.
Where have our graduates found work?
Our graduates have gone on to work in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing and forensic science, and have also enrolled in medical/law school and chemistry graduate programs.