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For more information, please contact the Chair of the Chemistry Department:

Dr. Donna Brestensky
(716) 375-2132
De La Roche 312E

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What Can I Do With This Major?


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Umar Asif and Tina Boortalary work with Dr. David Hilmey in Dr. Hilmey's lab


The Chemistry Department provides courses to serve a variety of students. The chemistry major finds a curriculum designed to impart a broad competence in the traditional areas of chemistry. Sufficient flexibility remains to allow secondary concentrations in a wide variety of other areas, such as biology, mathematics, or foreign language. The university's general requirements in Clare College guarantee a well-rounded, liberal arts education. Possible career goals include graduate school, medical school, dental school, law school, positions in the chemical industry, government, and teaching.

The chemistry major provides excellent preparation for secondary school teaching. Please see the Secondary Education page for details about the two paths students may take at St. Bonaventure to obtain certification.

Science students, who are not chemistry majors, but take chemistry courses as part of their departmental requirements, develop an understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry to aid in the understanding of their major field.

In all cases, the emphasis is on personal interaction between students and faculty.

Combined Degree Program

St. Bonaventure’s affiliation with the Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM) School of Pharmacy allows the possibility of a chemistry major entering SBU with a reserved seat in LECOM’s Doctor of Pharmacy (D. Pharm) program. For details, please see the SBU-LECOM Combined Degree Program in Pharmacy page.

Our affiliation with George Washington University School of Medicine allows for qualified chemistry students to reserve a seat within the prestigious GW Medical Program upon admittance to St. Bonaventure for their undergraduate degree. Please see the SBU-GW Combined Degree Program page for more information.

Even more affiliations with SBU allow for reserved seating for chemistry majors at medical schools through our Franciscan Health Care Program.

100% placement rate for SBU chemistry majors in STEM fields

Our chemistry graduates have been 100% successful in obtaining science-related jobs, entry into health professional schools, and chemistry graduate programs over the past five years. Our graduates have gone on to Johns Hopkins, SUNY Buffalo, and RIT chemistry graduate programs. Our majors have also gone on to medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Faculty Research & Honors

    Feb 8, 2017

    Dr. Scott Simpson
    Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    Dr. Scott Simpson, assistant professor of chemistry, had an article published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Published on November 30, 2016, the article investigated how to theoretically model iron porphyrin on a metal surface. Simpson’s research determined that this molecule can be switched between two spin states, similar to how a light switch is turned on and off.

    “These molecules (porphyrins) have great potential to be used as molecular spintronics,” Simpson said. “Understanding and determining molecules that can be spintronics is necessary for producing quantum computers. Quantum computers have the potential to perform calculations faster than currently used silicon-based computers.” Simpson said the findings are important not only because of the speed of the computers, but also the size of them. “Current computers have a size restriction due to the physical limitations of the transistors that are used in them,” he said. “However, quantum computers can get past this limitation.”

    Simpson worked with collaborators from the University at Buffalo (notably, Dan Miller and Prof. Eva Zurek), Jagiellonian University in Poland, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Penn State-Behrend, and the Univerität Bayreuth in Germany.

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Science & art

Encouraged by SBU to "keep doing what you're passionate about," Griffin Kramer is majoring in chemistry and music.

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