Chemistry | Earlham College - Earlham Chemistry Department Skip to Content


Modern Facilities

Stanley -hall -256

Stanley Hall was renovated in 2013 at a cost of $17.6 million, making the science facilities at Earlham College more collaborative, efficient and visible. The projects modernized and reconfigured labs for optimal collaboration between chemistry, biology and biochemistry, better reflecting the way science is conducted today and giving students more opportunities to participate in research across the disciplines.

Since opening in 2015, the adjoining 42,000-square-foot Center for Science and Technology (CST) is home to the mathematics, physics and computer science departments, and the Science and Technology Learning Commons — a shared space for all the sciences.


Student-Faculty Collaborative Research

Chemistry is a dynamic science, constantly changing with new discoveries, and is often referred to as the central science. The life sciences, physical sciences and earth sciences all demand an understanding of chemical principles. Chemistry seeks to answer fundamental questions about the makeup of all the materials that compose our world, from tiny atoms to biological molecules to giant galaxies.

From this knowledge, we learn to create and analyze new substances, from advanced materials to pharmaceuticals.  Along with the study of this exciting field, students find ample opportunities throughout our curriculum to develop the skills in problem solving, communication and critical thinking essential for success in today's world.

Earlham's Chemistry Program is accredited by the American Chemical Society.

Special Learning Opportunities

The Chemistry Department is housed in newly renovated spacious laboratories well-equipped with modern laboratory instrumentation and Macbook pro laptops. Through collaborations with the Computer Science Department, Chemistry also has access to extensive cluster computing resources used for computational chemistry. Earlham has an excellent science library housed within the science complex that includes extensive bibliographic resources, both locally and online.

The Earlham College Chemistry Department offers a thorough grounding across the entire range of subdisciplines: analytical, organic, inorganic, physical and biochemistry. Students interested in careers in biochemistry or health professions combine study in chemistry with additional courses in biology. A program in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Chemistry is also offered.

Chemistry majors have participated in a wide variety of off-campus study programs. Faculty have led several off-campus programs including New Zealand, Oak Ridge Semester and France. With early planning, it is easy to incorporate an off-campus program within the four-year plan.

Students in chemistry have participated in internships at Belden and at the Indianapolis Art Museum.   Both of these internships are in the analytical chemistry area as both Belden and the Indianapolis Art Museum have  extensive analytical laboratories.


Many of our chemistry graduates choose to pursue master and Ph.D. in programs such as Chemistry, Biochemistry. Biomedical Sciences, and Public Health.  Several of them were awarded prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.  Others have entered medical school or studied public health.

Recent graduates have gone on to Ph.D. programs at universities such as Harvard, Duke, Purdue, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Utah. Other graduates have entered M.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs at medical schools such as Case Western, Chicago, Harvard, Tulane, Baylor, Indiana, Johns Hopkins University and University of Pennsylvania.

Graduates have found employment at such organizations as Barrow Neurological Institute Chemstation, Lubrizol, Procter and Gamble, Roche, and Scheppens Eye Research Center. Others work as educators.

Related Links


 Departmental Learning Goals:
  1. Students will express a working knowledge of foundational chemical principles across the subfields of chemistry.
  2. Students will apply their understanding of core chemical concepts to solve problems using both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
  3. Students will demonstrate an ability to independently design and conduct experiments.  This includes recording, analyzing, and interpreting data, proper selection and utilization of modern instrumentation/ methods and communicating the results effectively.

Earlhamites in Chemistry

Justin Vadas
Science Scholar

Justin Vadas gained a rare combination of scientific skills and experience at Earlham. A double major in chemistry and physics, he earned the Outstanding Student Award for his work during a summer research experience at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Lori Watson
Inorganic Supporter

Associate Professor of Chemistry Lori Watson is a national leader in an effort to help inorganic chemistry professors include the latest developments in the field in their teaching.

Distinctively Earlham
More than 80 percent of our graduates go on to advanced study of chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, medicine or related fields.
Print Friendly and PDF