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All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. Chemistry has been called “the central science” because of its impact on and connection to all other scientific disciplines, from engineering to life sciences. As a Chemistry major, you will learn to observe nature closely, ask questions about your observations, and then develop experiments to answer those questions. Thus, a degree in Chemistry will prepare you to apply fundamental analytic and problem-solving skills across a wide range of professions.

Related fields include Physics, Math, Biology, Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Statistics, and Computer Science.


Analytical Skills
Summarizing research findings
Attending to details
Analyzing data
Testing hypotheses
Developing theories
Clarifying problems
Identifying relationships between problems and solutions
Reasoning by analogy
Perceiving patterns and structures
Applying logic to problems
Evaluating results

Investigative Skills

Remaining objective
Reviewing relevant data
Applying concepts
Utilizing formulae
Researching information
Observing carefully
Asking questions
Designing experiments
Applying knowledge creatively

Technical Skills

Processing data
Solving quantitative problems
Tabulating data
Sampling for surveys
Using laboratory equipment
Maintaining precision and accuracy

Communication Skills

Writing clearly
Explaining complex ideas for technical and nontechnical audiences
Organizing and reporting data
Designing charts/graphs
Reporting results and conclusions orally and in writing
Presenting alternative explanations


Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. The Chemistry Department provides numerous ways for undergraduates to get extensive research experience. Student organizations and campus employment offer additional valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.


As a Chemistry concentrator you will develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, close attention to detail and accuracy may be equally useful whether working as a research chemist for a pharmaceutical company, a patent lawyer, or an editor at a scientific publication. Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Chemistry graduates.

Analytical Skills

Laboratory manager
Hospital administrator
Information systems manager
Bioinformatics researcher
Pharmaceutical research chemist open book icon
Patent lawyer open book icon
Physician open book icon
Research scientist open book icon
Analytical chemist
Market research analyst
Sales manager
Biochemist green leaf icon

Investigative Skills

Regulatory chemist open book icon
Safety inspector
Agronomist open book icon green leaf icon
County health department inspector green leaf icon
Water works supervisor green leaf icon
Quality assurance manager
Federal drug administration inspector
Sewer system supervisor green leaf icon
OSHA enforcement agent
Environmental risk assessor green leaf icon
Environmental compliance officer green leaf icon
Forensic scientist
Industrial hygienist

Technical Skills

Art conservator
Veterinarian open book icon
Toxicologist open book icon
Radiation health specialist
Nurse-anesthetist open book icon
Pathologist open book icon
Medical examiner open book icon
Serologist open book icon
Polymer chemist open book icon
Textile dyes analyst
Chemical engineer open book icon
Hazardous materials manager green leaf icon

Communication Skills

College instructor open book icon
Science teacher, K-12
Scientific editor /writer
Museum education coordinator
Chemical information specialist

open book icon = Further Study Required
green leaf icon = Green Jobs

For more career information, see O*Net at


The department offers majors in Chemistry and Biochemistry.  Complete information on course offerings and requirements may be found on the Chemistry website or the LSA Bulletin.  Prerequisites include two years of chemistry and mathematics and one year of physics.

Department of Chemistry
Student Administrative Assistant
1500 Chemistry Building

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall


To visit the Chemistry Department career page of internship, jobs, and graduate school information:

To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake:

On campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:

Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building


The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan