What You Can Do With a Chemistry Degree

Chemistry materials on a laboratory desk

If you’re fascinated by the chemical elements that make up the world around you, and not afraid of challenging course requirements, then a degree in chemistry is worth consideration. Chemistry is the scientific study of substances, including their composition and properties. Chemists also look at how substances interact, which means chemistry is a major part of the other life sciences like biology.

A chemistry student spends lots of time in the lab. They also undertake high-level math courses. These skills alone mean that a degree in chemistry is versatile and could lead to career paths in many related fields. Along with the lab work and math skills, chemistry degree majors are excellent problem solvers and innovators. They can tackle problems with unknown variables and work through them using hypothesis and experimentation.

Let's take a look at the different chemistry degrees and the various career paths each one can lead to.

Chemistry Degrees

Associate's Degree in Chemistry

A two-year associate's degree program in chemistry offers an introduction to field topics like biochemistry and molecular chemistry. Additionally, students in this program will take coursework in physics and calculus. Two-year chemistry degree program graduates can find work as biomedical technicians and research associates. They may also work in labs as assistants. Many two-year chemistry major grads go on to earn a bachelor's degree in chemistry or another science field.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree is typically a four-year program that includes the study of life sciences and math. Students who earn a chemistry degree study physics, biology and all of the sub-disciplines of chemistry. They also take advanced math courses in algebra and calculus. A four-year chemistry degree includes a number of hands-on laboratory experiences. This knowledge and experience allows a chemistry degree major to pursue a career as a chemist in a consumer research company, forensic scientist, toxicologist or lab researcher.

Master of Science in Chemistry

Master’s programs in chemistry include two years of advanced instruction in chemistry-related fields. Chemistry students in a master's program learn about organic, biochemical, environmental and analytical chemistry. They also use advanced research techniques and complete projects that demonstrate their knowledge in the fields. Many students who earn a master's degree in chemistry go on to pursue their PhD. They may use their master’s thesis project as the starting point for their doctoral studies. Other master’s of chemistry students can use their advanced degrees to become production chemists, medical chemists or hazardous material experts.

Interesting Careers For Chemistry Graduates

Agricultural Food Scientist

While food science careers are often associated with animal science degrees, a chemistry degree can lead to work in this area as well. Agricultural technicians can set out the lab equipment and collect samples from crops or animals. They may also collect specimens and prepare samples to record data. A chemistry degree major who works in the agricultural food sector may work with other scientists to run experiments and perform testing to determine the physical and chemical properties of food and ingredients.


An archaeologist studies the way of life of past human cultures. They examine remains, including tools, pottery and bones. A chemistry degree major who is interested in applying their scientific knowledge to history may want to also study anthropology or archaeology. They can work in a lab to determine the age of specimens, the origin of materials and learn more about how people lived.

Urban Planner

Professional urban planners generally need experience in fields such as architecture or public policy. But a chemistry degree major has an understanding of the environmental impact aspect of urban and regional planning.

An urban planner has a responsibility to determine how land is used in a community. They must understand the economic and environmental aspects of growth and development in an area. The work that a chemistry major does during their degree program can help them go on to earn more advanced degrees in urban planning and use their scientific knowledge to benefit their community.

If you are interested in the wide-range of career options that are open to you when you earn a Master of Science in Chemistry Education degree, join our program at Grand Canyon University or look into other Engineering and Technology to get started today.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.