Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties and its transformations. Because every material in existence is made up of matter, chemistry is involved in everything we do, from driving a car to cooking dinner.

Why Choose Chemistry?

Chemistry is an exciting and diverse science that has relevance to hundreds of different industries and careers. A degree in chemistry is challenging and rewarding. You will spend a lot of time in the lab getting your hands dirty while doing experiments and seeing chemistry in action.

Our Faculty

Unlike what you may find at a large research institution, the chemistry faculty at Manhattan College offer each student personal attention and are focused on teaching exclusively undergraduate students. Our faculty are here because they are great teachers and because they love to teach. As a chemistry major, your courses will be taught by faculty members, never graduate students. And our small class sizes mean that you will really get to know your professors and they will get to know you, and how to best help you succeed.

State-of-the-Art Technology

The Kakos Center for Scientific Computing opened in 2014 and gives our students access to the same state-of-the-art technology used at the world’s top universities and research laboratories. It boasts a liquid-cooled 64GB high speed GNU/Linux server complete with four Tesla graphics processing units. Projects that our students and faculty use the Kakos Center for include:

  • Developing algorithms
  • Modeling 3D structures of molecules
  • Solving equations that require high performance computing

Undergraduate Research

As an undergraduate student, you will have the opportunity to do hands-on research directly with a faculty member, an experience that students at larger institutions may not have until graduate school. Our students present their research work at local and national conferences, including the American Chemical Society Conference, where they can network with industry professionals.

Recent research projects include:

  • Water remediation and applications of green synthetic technologies
  • Natural product synthesis
  • Solar energy conversion
  • Environmentally friendly synthesis of bio-fuels
  • Synthesis of ruthenium(II) and rhodium(III) complexes
  • Structure and properties of zeolites

Thanks to expanded research funding, students can also apply to College-wide research programs like Jasper Research Scholars or Summer Fellows.

  • Meet a Chemistry Major: Matt Feliciano
    Chemistry major Matt Feliciano

    "I started with chemistry in high school. I had a teacher who told us that everything around us has to do with chemistry. We did so many different experiments ranging from changing the color of flames based on the chemicals we had in a solution, to simple reactions that could explain everyday living. I wanted to explore chemistry more because I knew there were more branches within chemistry, so I decided to major in it.

    "The faculty within the Chemistry Department here are very open and they affirm the reason why I chose to be a chem. major. They given me so many interesting moments where I wonder how does that happen? Or how does that work? They take an interest in their students and are so responsive. A simple visit to their office or an email to them, and they’ll automatically be in contact with you.

    "When I was a junior, I took a course called analytical chemistry taught by Dr. Jianwei Fan. She asked, me after the first day of class, 'you look like your focused and serious with your work, have you done any research with any of the other professors?' I said, 'no.' She asked if I wanted to do research with her and I accepted. From the day we started, the research has been hands on. I was partnered up with two other research students who showed me the ropes of what to do. Within time, I eventually was isolated and starting to do things myself. Our research group collaborated with other colleges like Queens College, and we are now collaborating our current research with St. John’s University. We sent in our research to be published by the American Chemical Society Journal, so hopefully it will be accepted.

    "Chemistry is one those majors that people are intimidated by and it is challenging. The motto of our major is basically “go to the professors and ask if you need help.” We have small class sizes so we have better interactions with our professors, so the best thing to do is to take advantage of that and ask for help.

    "The chemistry and biochemistry department has a senior mentor program where upperclassmen meet with incoming to give advice on not only what classes to take, but who you should take the class with. We also bring in working professionals from within the industry to come in and talk about what they do so that students can learn more about different career paths.

    "After I graduate I want to go to grad school and focus on pharmaceutical chemistry, it’s a big field I’m interested in."

What Will You Learn?

Coursework includes in-depth study of general chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry. Through your research and classes, you will learn to:

  • Design and conduct experiments
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Understand the implication of scientific discoveries and their impact on humanity
  • Think analytically and independently
  • Understand your professional and ethical responsibilities as a scientist

Chemistry is also offered as a minor.

See degree requirements

What Will You Do?

Chemistry is a broad science, making it excellent preparation for numerous different careers. Many students plan to enter medical or dental school, or work in the health professions. A chemistry major can also lead to careers in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics, forensics and research industries.