Our mission is to provide students with a liberal arts and professional education in chemistry to prepare them for their specific scientific career paths in the fields of science, health care, education and industrial and governmental services.  We follow a progressive independence curriculum that has been proven to successfully guide and encourage our students to transition from 'student chemists' to strong, confident and mature scientists.

Our goal is to provide our students in their early years with a broad but thorough foundation in the fundamental areas of modern chemistry, and to continue to prepare them for more specialized sub-fields of chemistry by their senior year. By the end of our program, our students will develop lifelong skills and are expected to:

  • Gain the ability to think logically and work efficiently
  • Solve problems both quantitatively and qualitatively
  • Become familiar with chemical principles and to apply them to everyday life
  • Learn how to search the chemical literature, to understand the current problems in the scientific world, and to develop their own unique scientific inquiry projects based on their literature research
  • Constructively criticize experimental data and scientific literature
  • Articulate their scientific discoveries both in written and oral presentations with clarity, confidence and enthusiasm
  • Utilize modern technology, state-of-the-art analytical instrumentations and up-to-date scientific software to successfully carry through their proposed projects
  • Be mature individuals for careers in chemistry, biochemistry and other related fields

The chemistry department is dedicated to teaching chemistry in a challenging and stimulating environment. We provide our students with:

  • Innovative course materials and enthusiastic lectures to help them think outside the box
  • Instructional guidance and advice to further their scientific career beyond Sweet Briar
  • Adequate training in pre-professional careers, such as pre-med, pre-vet, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy and pre-chemical engineering
  • Research projects tailored to their specific interest that prepare them for their individual future 

Our department also encourages our students to become active members in the Sweet Briar community and the surrounding Lynchburg community by:

  • Participating in our community-wide outreach programs to develop their leadership skills, to increase confidence in their scientific knowledge and to provide a setting where they become role models to nearby grade-school children
  • Becoming members of SAACS (Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society Chapter), where our students interact with other SAACS members from nearby colleges and universities in increasing the awareness of chemistry
  • Connecting with students in other disciplines across campus through demonstrations and in-depth discussions on global concerns related to science and technology

The Department of Chemistry takes special pride in participating in the education of undergraduates, the larger community and the next generation by providing tailor-made courses and events for our individual students.