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Chemistry

Chemistry: Major

Holy Cross is a leader in chemistry education. In fact, 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 strong background in fundamental principles and theories of chemistry with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. The program is laboratory intensive, beginning with the Discovery Chemistry core courses in general and organic chemistry. Advanced courses allow students to develop the skills and gain knowledge needed to become effective scientists and independent researchers. The department has a very active research program, and faculty members 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. 

Our formula for success has led the chemistry department to produce among the nation’s highest number of chemistry graduates and is a top baccalaureate origin for Ph.D.s in chemistry.

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
Classroom
Learn more about the lab-based approach to teaching chemistry that began at Holy Cross and serves as a national model.
Students working in a lab
Collaborate on innovative research with professors on a range of topics in the field.
Smith Labs
The department is housed in the state-of-the-art integrated science complex and features modern instrumentation.

Chemistry News

L. Gaby Avila-Bront

Associate Professor of Chemistry Awarded NSF CAREER Award

May 10, 2021

L. Gaby Avila-Bront, Holy Cross professor of chemistry, was recently awarded over $400,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award was given through the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program and is the most prestigious award in support of …

From left to right: L. Gaby Avila-Bront; Melissa Schoenberger; Daniel Tortorice; Olena Staveley-O'Carroll

Four Faculty Members Promoted to Associate Professor With Tenure

Apr 16, 2021

Whether researching 18th-century British literature or economic fluctuations and asset pricing, Holy Cross faculty members are making significant, lasting impacts on their fields. Learn more about the four recently promoted faculty members from the departments of chemistry, English and economics …