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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

    Sep 12, 2018

    Dr. Scott Simpson
    Assistant Professor, Chemistry
    Dr. Scott Simpson has been awarded a research grant from the American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF) for his grant titled "Using Density Functional Theory to Predict Heterogeneous Catalysts for the Selective Formation of cis-2-butene from 1,2-butadiene." The Petroleum Research Fund is an endowed fund that supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels at nonprofit institutions. The goal of Simpson's research is to develop new heterogeneous catalysts to produce chemicals in a more inexpensive way. The grant totals $55,000.

    Simpson and his research student, Alexandra Izydorczak, had an article published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Chemical Education. The article investigates how linearly polarized light interacts with amino acids under neutral and acidic conditions, otherwise known as the CLJ rule. Additionally, the study provides educators around the globe with tested materials to be used in their classrooms. The Leo E. Keenan Faculty Endowment supported the purchase of all materials and equipment to conduct the study. These funds were made available through a $2 million gift from Leslie C. and Eileen Quick III.

    Simpson and his colleagues had their article titled "Electrochemical Atomic Force Microscopy and First Principles Calculations of Ferriprotoporphyrin Adsorption and Polymerization" accepted to the American Chemical Society's journal Langmuir. Their work discusses the assembly of ferriprotoporphyrin on different materials. The potential application of this research may impact nanotechnology and the construction of chemical sensors to be used in the human body.

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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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