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Even first-year students may get the chance to do research during the academic year or over the summer. Many students pursue summer research on campus, at other colleges and in government labs.

About the Major

At Hamilton, you and your peers won’t just study chemistry – you’ll help break new ground as members of a scientific community. Your studies will provide you with a strong background for a wide range of health-related professions or for graduate work in many specialized science fields. Half the College's chemistry alumni go on to do graduate study.

As a chemistry major at Hamilton, I have always been offered a degree of freedom to seek what I am interested in and learn more about it. I have had a very positive experience in chemistry because I never felt like I was limited to one research or topic; rather there were always countless resources to enhance my understanding of chemistry and apply them to my interests.

Aida Shadrav ’17 — chemistry and Hispanic studies major

Small classes and labs foster mentoring relationships and one-on-one dialogue. Faculty members encourage students to pursue independent projects, collaborating with them on original research.

Students whose primary interest lies elsewhere find that a basic grounding in chemistry provides a wealth of important knowledge about the everyday world. Chemistry is called the central science, and for good reason: The inquiry into how matter is composed and combined is a foundation of all fields of scientific knowledge.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Professor of Neurology & Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Engineer, Lockheed Martin
  • Global Skincare Development Coordinator, Estee Lauder
  • Public Relations Director, AT&T
  • Clinical Research Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Senior Food Technologist, Rich Products
  • Patent Attorney, The Eclipse Group
  • Vice President, Athenahealth

Contact Information


Chemistry Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4730 315-859-4744 chemistry@hamilton.edu Chemistry Website

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Principles of Chemistry 120F


Exploration of the central principles and theories of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and molecular structure and bonding. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Organic Chemistry I 190S


Structure and bonding of organic compounds and their acid-base properties, stereochemistry, introduction to reactions and reaction mechanisms of carbon compounds and the relationship of reactivity and structure. Three hours of class and four hours of laboratory.

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Inorganic Chemistry and Materials 265S


Topics in inorganic chemistry, including periodicity and descriptive chemistry of the elements, electrochemistry, transition metal coordination chemistry, and the structure and properties of solid state materials. Laboratories emphasize synthesis and characterization of inorganic coordination compounds, electrochemistry, and inorganic materials. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs.

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Biological Chemistry 270S


A survey of the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; biochemistry of enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms. Principles and techniques of experimental biochemistry, focusing on isolation methods and techniques for analyzing structure and function. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs, however, this course might not also satisfy a Health Profession program’s requirement for a course in Biochemistry. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Physical Chemistry I 321F


A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of quantum chemistry. Topics include the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics, the nature of the chemical bond, and applications of molecular quantum mechanics including spectroscopy and computational electronic structure methods. Laboratory focuses on experiments that lead to the development of quantum mechanics, on molecular modeling and on spectroscopy.

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Organic Synthesis Toward Improved Human Health 360F


An investigation into the concepts of organic synthesis as applied to small molecule drug and probe development for the treatment and understanding of human disease. Emphasis will be placed on modern organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology research aimed toward the realization of personalized therapeutics. The process of developing an original research proposal will be a primary mechanism to reinforce the concepts of this course. Writing-intensive.

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