Program Information

Q and A with Dr. Tarum Dam

Dr. Tarun K. Dam

Dr. Tarun K. Dam

Associate Professor, Chemistry

Research Interests:

  • Molecular basis of glycan (carbohydrate)-mediated biological functions. Glycan detection/binding proteins or lectins
  • Mechanistic glycobiology
  • Macromolecular communication
  • Biomolecular thermodynamics

Why study science?

"There's no better time to ask this question. The current pandemic reminds us how much our existence depends on science.  If you want to protect and preserve this planet and its inhabitants, you have only one option: science. If you want to build a prosperous and healthy society, you need science."

Why study chemistry?

"Chemistry is central to all sciences. Chemistry is actually very simple. Everything around you including yourself is nothing but a bunch of molecules. Chemistry tells you what those molecules look like and what rules they follow to interact with each other.

From paper to paint, food to fertilizer, smart materials for improved devices, clean water and energy for a greener planet, smart polymers to lower the burden of pollution, effective vaccines and medicines to fight the most challenging health crisis, they all need chemistry.

You all have enormous potential and chemistry has boundless power. You can put that combination to work to make the next great discovery."


A chemical fire


Chemistry majors learn best in a practical laboratory setting. Our program will prepare you to contribute to the nucleus of chemical advancements in diverse fields and leave your impression on the world. You’ll quickly learn your way around our advanced labs and equipment, with the majority of your time being spent conducting research (independently and alongside faculty) and creatively exploring the real-world applications of chemistry.


chemistry in a beaker


A Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry will provide students with a firm and broadly-based foundation in chemistry, and the flexibility to pursue other educational objectives, such as in law, business, any of the pre-health pathways, or specializing in a minor area of study in another discipline such as biochemistry, biology, business, computer science , and many others.

Chemical mixer

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology—BS

Biochemists and molecular biologists investigate biomolecules, studying biological chemistry to understand the molecular and genetic bases of cellular processes. Our interdisciplinary bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology will prepare you for a rewarding career in virtually any branch of the life sciences you choose, such as agriculture; biotechnology; biofuels; medicine and pharmacology; forensic science; or genomics and molecular genetics.

A person mixing something in a beaker in a lab

Computational Chemistry and Cheminformatics—BS

Computational Chemistry and Cheminformatics is at the intersection of chemistry and information technology. A bachelor's degree in cheminformatics will provide you with a unique blended skill set in preparation for a career in this rapidly expanding field. You will complete upper-level course work in both chemistry and computer science. As a cheminformatics specialist, you will play an important role in supporting research and laboratory experimentation by making chemical information accessible and usable.


A lab device using a blue chemical

Medicinal Chemistry—BS

Medicinal chemists work on multidisciplinary teams to formulate, test, and analyze drugs. Our degree program in pharmaceutical chemistry emphasizes research experience, a requirement for many jobs in pharmaceuticals. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to apply your training in chemistry to the process of pharmaceutical synthesis and analysis. You could conduct basic and applied research in chemistry to understand drug compounds or develop guidelines for the US FDA.


Two men pouring liquid nitrogen


Chemistry plays a central role in the physical, life, and applied sciences. If you're not a chemistry major, but you'd like to explore the discipline, a minor in chemistry is an excellent option. You'll take 18 credits within the chemistry department, choosing from topics such as polymer chemistry, biomolecular chemistry, and spectroscopy of organic chemistry.

A girl in a lab coat

Medicinal Chemistry

A minor in medicinal chemistry allows students from other majors to explore their interests in the exciting science of drug design and analysis. Credits in chemistry, math, and more give students a well-rounded experience. Undergraduate research experiences are possible, as well.