Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of the Incarnate Word. One of six departments in the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering, it is designed to help develop the next generation of chemists, biochemists and chemically literate citizens by an integrated program of teaching and research.

Degree programs provide its students with a quality education and prepare students for productive careers in fields related to chemistry and biochemistry as well as further study in graduate programs and professional school. The department currently offers three different degree options and a minor to suit students’ wide range of career goals. With a complete array of instrumentation, the American Chemical Society certified department is comprised of 10 full-time faculty and additional support staff.

Chemistry and biochemistry faculty actively engage undergraduates in collaborative research projects including an array of projects. Students may also be supported through our NSF Chemical Scholars program and the Welch foundation. Faculty and staff throughout the department aim to successfully guide students in the fulfillment of any of their future goals including teaching, research, professional school, graduate school, or other employment.

Students majoring in chemistry and related sciences are invited to participate in research with chemistry faculty. Under the direction of one or two faculty members, participants gain practical experience with chemistry by working on a project focused on a current topic in research. There are a variety of different projects going on in the department, some of which are briefly described below.

Students can enroll in the research course CHEM 4160/4260, participate in the Welch Summer Research Program or volunteer research time with chemistry faculty. Projects started by one of these modes can be continued through others; a project started one summer in the Welch program can continue in the fall through CHEM 4260.

Chemistry Research Course CHEM 4160/4260

Students who want to enroll in the research course should talk to different faculty members to find a project they are interested in with a professor who can supervise them. Students taking the course generally coordinate the times they will work each week with their supervising faculty members. Students invest an average of five to six hours per week for their work in CHEM 4260, though that varies depending on the supervising faculty and project. Either of these courses can be taken by students who have completed CHEM 1302 and 1102 (Chemical Principles II and Lab). CHEM 4260 is generally offered every fall and spring.



Students can choose from two chemistry degree programs. The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree, certified by the American Chemical Society, is designed to give students a strong foundation in the chemical sciences providing for employment or future study in a variety of specialized areas. This degree is recommended for students pursuing a career in chemical research, industry or the health professions. The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry degree provides a solid chemical foundation and allows flexibility to study other areas. Many students who are completing a B.A. in Chemistry also pursue minors such as education or Business.



The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biochemistry is designed to give students a strong foundation in the chemical and biological sciences providing for employment or future study in a variety of specialized areas. This degree is recommended for students pursuing careers in biotechnology, medical research, pharmaceutical chemistry or the health professions.

The B.S. in Biochemistry program offers a Pre-Medicine (pre-med) concentration for students wanting to pursue medical school after graduating with their bachelor's degree. The courses in the pre-med program are aligned with the admissions criteria for all medical schools in Texas and a large number in other states. This concentration is designed to prepare students for the medical school admissions exam (MCAT) and equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed once in medical school.