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The chemistry department is among the nation’s top producers of chemistry graduates and a top baccalaureate origin for Ph.D.s in chemistry. The “Discovery Chemistry” lab-based guided inquiry style of teaching began at Holy Cross, and serves as a model for the national chemical education community. The curriculum provides students with a solid background in fundamental principles and theories of chemistry with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.

The overall curricular program in chemistry is laboratory intensive. The chemistry department takes a guided inquiry approach to introductory courses in general and organic chemistry. Through this method, students first encounter fundamental concepts in the laboratory. They follow up with discussion and further elaboration on those concepts during the lecture portion of the course. Faculty members have an open door policy which results in meaningful and dynamic relationships. The department has a very active research program, and faculty are committed to giving students opportunities within their research. As of result of these opportunities, Holy Cross undergraduates regularly contribute to scientific publications and travel to professional conferences.

Program Highlights

Students gain experience and knowledge in all the major areas of modern chemistry including organic, analytical, physical, inorganic, and biochemistry and have an opportunity to focus their program on a particular area of chemistry through research and elective courses.The department also provides: 
  • A flexible major that, when completed together with one year of research, allows students to become accredited by the American Chemical Society
  • The opportunity to join the biochemistry concentration
  • The opportunity to become certified as a secondary or middle school chemistry teacher in Massachusetts by participating in the Teacher Education Program

Chemistry News


Apr 04
Chemistry Department Informational Session
04:00 PM
Smith Laboratories 154
Apr 28
Prof. Sheehy - BIOL 114 Poster Session
09:00 AM
Smith Laboratories SPILLANE
May 01
Prof. Sheehy - BIOL 114 Poster Session
09:00 AM
Smith Laboratories SPILLANE