Future Student Resources
Future Student Resources
Resources for Future Students
The UCCS Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is a leader in integrating students into groundbreaking research projects. Learn more about who we are, what we do, and how we support students here.
About Chemistry & Biochemistry
What is chemistry? Everything! “In simplest terms, chemistry is the science of matter. Anything that can be touched, tasted, smelled, seen, or felt is made of chemicals.” (acs.org, 22 Sep 2010)
Chemistry is the science of substances, their composition, structure, properties, and interactions. Chemistry helps explain the world and its workings and plays an important role in our lives. Chemists have contributed a great deal to technical advances of society and have made many important contributions to modern life. Everything is made from one or more chemical elements that occur in nature. Chemists use different kinds of chemical processes to make the elements found in nature more useful, and they create countless products that make our lives healthier, easier, and more enjoyable. There are as many specialties as there are areas of application of chemical principles.
Our faculty each conduct research and teach in one of the five subdisciplines of chemistry:
The art and science of determining what matter is and how much of it exists.
The study of the structure, composition, and chemical reactions of substances in living systems.
The study of properties and behavior of inorganic compounds, which include metals, minerals, and organometallic compounds.
The study of the structure, properties, and reactions of compounds and materials that contain carbon atoms.
The study of how matter behaves on atomic and molecular levels and how chemical reactions occur.
First-year Chemistry Labs
Our first-year lab courses incorporate green chemistry and use lessons our faculty have created that are free to students and that can be accessed in a variety of formats (print-and-fill, copy, complete as digital PDFs, etc.). Faculty are very student learning-focused, approachable, and innovative; students engage in projects that focus on people as well as chemical processes. Click on the links below for short videos to provide you with a glimpse of what these first year lab courses are like.
CHEM 1201, Introduction to Chemistry, and CHEM 1211, Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry, are introductory courses intended for non-science majors and Nursing Prep majors with an emphasis on chemical principles and practical applications.
CHEM 1402, General Chemistry Laboratory I, and CHEM 1412, General Chemistry Laboratory II, are first year courses intended for science majors to prepare them for subsequent chemistry courses such as organic, analytical, physical, and inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry.
Our department offers state-of-the-art teaching and research labs.
From L-R: General Chemistry teaching lab; Organic Chemistry teaching lab; Analytical Chemistry teaching lab
What Can I Do With a Degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry?
Our graduates go on to careers in chemistry and biochemistry, as well as to graduate programs around the country. Learn more here.
There are many career paths open to those who study chemistry and biochemistry. Here are just some of the positions and industries interested in our graduates:
- Applied Research and Product Development
- Chemical Engineering
- Chemical Information Management
- Chemical Technology
- Chemistry Professor
- Chemistry and the Law
- Chemistry in the Arts
- Environmental Protection
- Food Chemistry
- Forensic Chemistry
- Formulation Chemistry
- Hazardous Waste Management
- Health and Safety
- High School Chemistry Teacher
- Materials Science
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Military Science and Technology
- Nuclear Chemistry
- Oil and Petroleum
- Personal Care Chemistry
- Polymer Chemistry
- Process Chemistry
- Project Management
- Quality Assurance
- Quality Control
- Regulatory Affairs
- Science Policy
- Social Impact/Activism
- Technical Communication
- Technical Sales and Marketing
- Technical Support
- Textile Chemistry
- Water Chemistry
For more information:
- American Chemical Society – Careers
- ChemIDP – American Chemical Society's Career Planning Tool
- Chemical & Engineering News – Jobs
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Careers
- American Association for the Advancement of Science – Science Careers
- Career Cornerstone Center
In addition to the skills students gain in their laboratory courses, chemistry and biochemistry majors should consider electing CHEM 4904 Research: Upper Division, or CHEM 4905 Internship at least once during their academic career. Research provides a different kind of experience than traditional laboratory courses. Students must do sufficient planning to carry out experiments, and regular communication with their research supervisor is a necessary component of the research experience.
Accomplished students will be invited to present posters and research talks. Some presentations may be at local meetings such as our Mountain Lion Research Day or the Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum (CSURF, a collaboration between UCCS, the Colorado College, and the U.S. Air Force Academy), and some may be at national American Chemical Society meetings. Students may also be recommended as participants in sponsored summer programs at other universities.
How Can I Get Help With Science Courses?
UCCS offers five Excel Centers to support undergraduates in their coursework. Nearly all Chemistry & Biochemistry students make use of the Excel Science Center, conveniently located around the corner from our classrooms.
When you take lower-level courses in Chemistry, Physics, or Biology, the Science Center offers drop-in tutoring, scheduled problem-solving sessions, computers, and other resources to help you do well. They also help with many upper-level classes as well... ask them about specific courses.
The Science Center provides great services with an outstanding staff. It has computers, printers, and plenty of space to study and work with knowledgeable tutors. They offer an energized yet comfortable environment in which you can make friends and learn science!
Local Middle School Student Honored at PPRSEF
Each year, the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry sponsors a Special Award for Outstanding Project in Chemistry or Biochemistry at the Pikes Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair. This year's winner was Cameron Carlile, who presented in the Junior Division of Physical Sciences and represented Lewis-Palmer Middle School. Specifically, he presented a project about the observation of beta emission from radioactive sources visualized and quantified within a homemade cloud chamber.
Pictured is Cameron with Dr. James Kovacs.