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Greetings from the Chair

Owen McDougal
Owen McDougal, Chemistry and Biochemistry, faculty/staff, studio portrait by Priscilla Grover

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Boise State University.  On behalf of the forty full time employees of the department, I invite you to explore the opportunities that our program offers.  Chemistry is the central science, meaning that over thirty academic majors require students to enroll in chemistry courses.  To foster critical thinking skills and independent training, we offer a wide range of in-person, low-enrollment, hands-on, laboratory experiences for students. The laboratory curriculum provides co-requisite experiential learning that reinforces complex topics introduced to students through coursework instruction.  Our team of passionate educators has the vision to promote student success through excellence in chemistry.  Instructors implement a wide array of evidenced based instructional practices, so students can select the learning style that best satisfies their needs. Support for students to perform well in chemistry courses is available through the Chemistry Instructional Center, an expertly staffed resource center for students.  The chemistry program introduces students to state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, technical training and proficiency, and fundamental knowledge required to thrive in any academic major.

For students that choose the chemistry major, we welcome you to our tight knit community of scholars.  Chemistry majors are an elite group of highly motivated intellectuals that are drawn to a challenge.  Upper division chemistry courses are small and focus on developing skills for students that align with the guidelines set by the American Chemical Society, our national accreditation certifying agency. Chemistry majors get to know the faculty on a first name basis and are encouraged to begin independent research by the end of their sophomore year.  Our students often spend two years in research labs, presenting their work at conferences, and often publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.  We offer an accelerated Master’s degree for students seeking to enhance their competitiveness to top tier PhD programs, professional schools (MD, DO, DDS, etc.), or gain employment directly in industry.  Faculty research groups range from undergraduate students to MS and transdisciplinary PhD students, technicians, and postdocs.  Chemistry offers a range of sub disciplines including inorganic, organic, biochemistry, analytical, and physical chemistry, and contributes to PhD programs in Biomolecular Sciences and Materials Science and Engineering.  A core strength of our program is the undergraduate student research experience that all students in our program perform.  We are proud of the work our students do, and we strive to provide an environment conducive to ensuring students achieve their academic and professional goals.  If this sounds like a good fit for you, please join me in a conversation to get you onboard with our program.


Owen M. McDougal
Chair, Professor