The Department of Chemistry at Ithaca College offers diverse coursework, innovative lab courses, opportunities for significant research, challenging and rewarding fieldwork, and a variety of extramural activities. The department is housed in the Center for Natural Sciences, a 125,000-square-foot building that features lab space dedicated for student/faculty collaborative research, labs for instruction, and space for an array of modern chemical instrumentation.
Our faculty are currently investigating such research topics as molecular modeling, the conversion of solar energy to electricity, catalysts to make compostable plastics, synthesis and characterization of ionic liquids, and the design of antibacterial and anticancer drugs. Over the last five years, the department has been awarded more than $400,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the American Chemical Society to support our research activity.
Our professors encourage and expect student collaboration on these projects. In fact, from their very first year here, our students are in the lab working closely with professors, who in turn encourage students to become as excited about chemistry as they are. Students may even present their research findings at national conferences and coauthor papers for professional journals.
The chemistry curriculum is approved and fully certified by the American Chemical Society and provides an exceptionally strong foundation for a wide range of career opportunities or further training at the graduate level. Our graduates have found work in such fields as medicine, dentistry, education, and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. They've gone on to the nation’s best Ph.D. programs in chemistry, including the Scripps Research Institute, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Harvard, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Pennsylvania.
The department supports a host of interdisciplinary programs and initiatives geared toward the academic and professional development of students. These include a biochemistry program offered in conjunction with the biology department; a 3-2 engineering program administered jointly by Ithaca, Clarkson, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and preparation for teaching at the secondary school level.