SMU Department of Chemistry

With the award winning tradition of preparing students for future employment and further achievements in a variety of fields, the Department of Chemistry at Southern Methodist University (SMU) emphasizes personal interaction with students in the classroom and hands-on research experience in the laboratory.

earth in flask

Why Study Chemistry?

Chemistry plays a key role in solving economic, environmental and societal problems, which are intimately connected with the basic question how to guarantee the sustainability of our planet. By providing key tools, skills and knowledge, chemical research helps answer many of the important questions facing our society, including the origin of life, mortality, communication, energy, environmental sustainability, and national security. Not only is chemistry poised to address such issues of societal importance, chemists have the intellectual responsibility to do so by capitalizing on their unique and synthetic approach to science. Indeed, an often defining characteristic of research in the chemical sciences is that problems are solved by making something, importantly, from the most basic of raw materials - atoms and molecules.

Additionally, vital insight is gained by quantitatively unraveling the resulting complex systems and elucidating the fundamental principles that ultimately govern their behavior. Emerging industries based on advances in energy, medicine, biotechnology and national defense all have a significant chemistry component. It is an expectation that major advances in these areas will be enabled by new developments in chemistry. These expectations are clearly demonstrated by the growing investment in basic and applied chemistry research, by industry and federal sources and by the increasing enrollment in chemistry programs in the U.S.

Another way to determine the importance of a discipline in society is by considering enrollment trends within the discipline at educational institutions (i.e., increased enrollment is general a reflection of increased market demand). Inspection of the official CPT report of the American Chemical Society (ACS) for the academic years 2001-2002 through 2006-2007 reveals that the number of undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory chemistry class has increased from 287,760 to 531,702, which corresponds to a 1.85-fold increase.

Whether aspiring for a career in industry, medicine, or academia, our comprehensive curriculum, which includes B.S., B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, provides you with the necessary knowledge and experience to excel in your career. Our chemistry majors have the opportunity to work closely with our scientist scholars, who are experts in their fields and who pride themselves in providing a quality education. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about the exciting opportunities available through the Department.

Department of Chemistry
Southern Methodist University

Fondren Science - 231

3215 Daniel Avenue
P.O. Box 750314
Dallas, TX 75275-0314

phone: 214.768.2611
fax: 214.768.4089