Chemistry

Do you get excited about learning how the physical world works? If so, Dordt’s chemistry major is for you.

As a chemistry major, you’ll have access to a wide range of instrumentation, and you’ll have the support of experienced faculty who are happy to help both in and out of class and lab. After taking a chemistry class or two, you’ll be able to work as a teacher’s assistant, gaining additional lab experience while developing relationships with your professors and your peers.

Studying chemistry at Dordt will prepare you to pursue medical, pharmacy, dentistry, and physical therapy programs, and it will equip you to enter the workforce as a lab technician or a research assistant.

Program Options

The chemistry major includes courses in biochemistry, organic, analytic, inorganic, environmental, and physical chemistry; courses in mathematics and physics; and courses that look at philosophical and historical perspectives on the physical sciences. Some students combine a chemistry major with a major in physics, math, biology, philosophy, or engineering. During the summer, you can earn credit toward the major by taking summer courses at the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. Students can earn a B.A. or B.S. degree in chemistry.

  • Chemistry major: A great option for those interested in a career in research or chemical analysis or in doing graduate work or entering pre-professional health programs.
  • Chemistry secondary education: An option that combines the chemistry program with education courses to prepare you for a career in teaching. The program offers a teaching endorsement in chemistry only or in combination with biology, physics, or earth science.
  • Chemistry minor: An option that combines an interest in chemistry with another major-for example, biology, business, or criminal justice.

Opportunities

Students can collaborate on research with chemistry faculty during the semester (for credit) or during the summer (as paid research assistants). Some examples include developing new catalysts for producing biodiesel fuel and creating computer models to explore the weather on exoplanets (planets orbing stars other than the sun). 

Students co-author peer-reviewed manuscripts and present at national and regional conferences. Chemistry students have also participated in research at other universities through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) and with federal laboratories.

Most majors serve as laboratory or classroom assistants, combining student employment income with on-the-job training in research and teaching.

Resources

Housed in the Science and Technology Center, Dordt's chemistry and physics facilities include three large laboratories for general use and four smaller ones for upper-level courses and individual and small-group projects.

Specialized equipment includes:

  • A nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
  • A Fourier-transform infrared spectrophotometer
  • A gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer
  • Ultraviolet/visible spectro-photometers
  • A high-pressure liquid chromatograph
  • An atomic absorption spectrophotometer
  • A LICOR DNA sequencer

Learn More

Check out our program strengths and get to know our facilities.

Dr. Carl Fictorie

Dr. Carl Fictorie
Professor of Chemistry
Department Chair

SB 2617
(712) 722-6283
Carl.Fictorie@dordt.edu

About Me

Dr. Channon Visscher

Dr. Channon Visscher
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Planetary Sciences

SB 2623
(712) 722-6249
Channon.Visscher@dordt.edu

About Me

Joshua Zhu

Joshua Zhu
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

SB SB2620
(712) 722-6284
Joshua.Zhu@dordt.edu

Brittany De Ruyter

Brittany De Ruyter
Biology/Chemistry Lab Instructor

SB 2702
(712) 722-6281
Brittany.DeRuyter@dordt.edu