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Chemistry BS

The University of Central Missouri offers a B.S. in Chemistry degree with three options, as well as a chemistry minor. The B.S. in Biochemistry is an excellent choice for those interested in pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-osteopathy, pre-veterinary, and pre-pharmacy studies.

Highly skilled faculty, newly renovated classrooms and research laboratories, a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, and a very active student chapter of the American Chemical Society are just a few of the many advantages awaiting you. 


Chemistry as the “Central Science”

Chemistry, as the “Central Science,” contributes significantly to the development of scientific knowledge and technology, with molecular advances opening new vistas in medicine, biology, materials science, environmental science, etc. To obtain a chemistry degree is challenging, exciting, and rewarding, offering many opportunities for your future career, including:

  • Chemical Industries: Chemists produce everything from plastics and paints to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fragrances, and detergents, as well as exotic materials used in cutting-edge technologies. 
  • Federal, State and Local Government Agencies: Chemists are employed by the FDA, EPA, and DOE; Forensic Chemists have an important role in the Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies.
  • Professional Fields: Chemistry graduates are well-prepared for medical, veterinary, dental, or pharmacy school.
  • Academic Institutions: A Bachelor of Science in Education in Chemistry prepares the way for teaching at the high school level; advanced degrees open the possibility of teaching and research at a college or university.

Quality Programs

Here at UCM, we have a rigorous chemistry program that is certified by the American Chemical Society. Our program offers a B. S. degree in chemistry with three options of study:

  • Chemistry certified by American Chemical Society
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

In addition, a degree in Secondary Education with a Chemistry Option is available in conjunction with the College of Education.

Student Centered

In our programs, you will receive a student-centered education that includes close interactions with your professors both inside and outside the classroom and involvement in individual research projects. The teaching and research interests of our dedicated faculty cover the entire field of chemistry and biochemistry, from the detection and analysis of trace metals using nanomaterials, to the thermodynamic investigation of nucleic acid triple helix stability, to the synthesis methodology of amide bonds and poly-peptide fragments. UCM's chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates offers various exciting extracurricular activities on top of our well-established degree programs.

Career and Graduate School Preparation

Our quality of education has been proven with a successful track record of preparing students for careers and further education. The placements of graduates from our program include: 

  • M.D., Pharm.D., and Veterinary Medicine programs throughout the country
  • M.S. and Ph.D. programs in chemistry, biochemistry and biology
  • Positions as quality control experts, lab scientists, and project managers in chemical and pharmaceutical companies

Come and join us to start your journey toward an exciting and rewarding career. We're confident you'll be glad you did. 

Faculty and Staff

Name Title Contact information
Dr. Mandy Blackburn                                                             Assistant Professor    

Phone: 660-543-8704 

Office: WCM 409B


Dr. Steven Boone Professor

Phone: 660-543-8806 

Office: WCM 409A


Dr. Jason Holland Professor, Program Coordinator                                                                                          

Phone: 660-543-8714

Office: WCM 406B


Dr. Innocent Pumure Associate Professor

Phone: 660-543-4143

Office: WCM 409D


Dr. Somnath Sarkar Professor

Phone: 660-543-8745

Office: WCM 417


Dr. Jay Steinkruger Associate Professor

Phone: 660-543-4432

Office: WCM 409F


Dr. Chen Zhou Associate Professor

Phone: 660-543-4318

Office: WCM 409C



Mrs. Andrea Carter Instructor

Phone: 660-543-4949

Office: WCM 409E


Dr. Sayema Tuli Instructor

Phone: 660-543-8681

Office: WCM 401


Mrs. Cathy Welsh Stockroom Manager

Phone: 660-543-8743

Office: WCM 410


Mr. David Weinmann Laboratory Technician

Phone: 660-543-4136

Office: WCM 413


Hands-on experience

Another advantage of studying chemistry at UCM is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with sophisticated chemical instrumentation, assuring future employers a well-trained and experienced graduate who works with a high level of confidence. Equipment used regularly by students include those for UV-Visible, FT-IR, and FT-NMR spectroscopy; chromatography instruments, such as those for GC, GC/MS, and HPLC; and an assortment of others for calorimetry, fluorometry, and electrochemical analysis. UCM chemists strive to obtain the most up-to-date instrumentation; the FT-IR, fluorescence, and UV-Visible spectrophotometers, in addition to the HPLC chromatography system, are all recent acquisitions.

Opportunities for Involvement

It is always important to find a close-knit group of students pursuing similar career goals. There are plenty of opportunities to work within the department as a grader, a lab assistant, a stockroom assistant or a tutor. These paid positions can be supplemented by scholarships or loans that are available to students in chemistry. Becoming a member of the ACS student affiliates is attractive to many of our majors and minors, thus contributing more to the camaraderie among those in the department. Graduating from a program accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) assures you of the quality of education you will receive at UCM.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research experiences are encouraged for all chemistry majors at UCM and are required for students obtaining the B.S. ACS certified degree and the B.S. in Education degree. Many areas of research are available throughout the academic year and the summer, including work in biochemistry; organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry; and chemical education. Undergraduate research provides an opportunity for students to develop and utilize critical thinking skills, creativity, and essential research techniques for chemical, health, and other science-related disciplines. Students participating in research collaborate with faculty members and other student researchers, building important student-mentor relationships. Many students present their research at state, regional, and national meetings. Participation in professional meetings provides an opportunity to interact and share experiences with student and faculty researchers from around the country and the world. A list of the conferences where UCM undergraduates have presented over the past few years includes:

  • National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)
  • National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
  • Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Missouri Academy Sciences (MAS)
  • Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE)
  • Central Scholar's Symposium
  • Argonne Symposium


Dr. Jason Holland
Program Coordinator
WCM 406B
Tel: (660)543-8714


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