Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry

Undergraduate Program

Why Chemistry?

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Chemists create.

Pursuing a chemistry degree can lead you to fascinating careers where you can create new drugs, new materials, new technologies, new theories, new policies, or new businesses. The next Kevlar (invented by a Carnegie Mellon alumna) or nanotechnology could be your invention.

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Chemistry is critical to solving today’s problems.

Each day's news contains issues where chemistry matters: faster and cheaper drug development, cleaner and more economical fuel sources, safer air and drinking water, biotechnology to improve health and food sources around the world, nanotechnology to reduce the size and environmental impact of many consumer goods, and green industrial processes to prevent pollution.

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Chemistry knowledge and skills are flexible.

Chemists have key knowledge and skills for the interdisciplinary, cutting-edge biotechnology research. Billion dollar industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and household and personal care products hire chemists in quality assurance, technical sales, research project management, and many other positions. The business world is increasingly interested in chemists who want to combine their science with policy development, technical writing, corporate communications, business development, or investment advising.

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Chemistry lets you see the world differently.

Studying the molecular world helps you learn to see more than what is obvious to others, to ask questions about how the current state came to be, to examine underlying mechanisms, to design experiments carefully, and to consider alternative explanations. This analytical rigor of a chemistry degree is already well known as a valuable foundation for professions such as medicine and law; these perspectives also turn out to be useful in many areas of life.