Undergraduate Programs in Chemistry

Many Chemistry students are drawn to ESF because of the department's focus on using our varied specialties to find ways to improve our world:

  • finding better ways to generate energy
  • discovering new, useful natural and synthetic materials
  • making better use of our natural resources
  • finding new medications and ways to deliver medicines
  • understanding natural processes and the impacts of human activities on our environment

ESF Chemistry graduates find outstanding employment opportunities all over the country and right here in Central New York. Many go on to earn advanced degrees in chemistry and related fields, medicine and law. Some continue study at ESF, while others are accepted at top graduate and medical schools such as MIT, Yale, Cal Tech, and Cornell.

ESF Chemistry graduates go on to leadership roles in industry, government, and academia, in roles as varied as biotechnology, forensic chemistry, new process development, etc.

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Why ESF for Chemistry?

A Rigorous Education

Chemistry faculty bring their expertise in cutting edge research to the classroom, providing an education that is grounded in the latest knowledge and real-world examples. Also, in addition to the usual chemistry courses, undergraduates take three introductory graduate level classes, which looks very attractive to employers. Opportunites exist to participate in research projects leading to co-authorship of papers in major scientific journals.

Employers value the education our students receive—ESF Chemistry undergrads have been highly successful in gaining employment or acceptance into graduate or medical schools soon after earning their degrees.

Personal Attention

Upper-level courses for chemistry majors usually have enrollments of only 5-15 students, so chemistry majors get personal attention from the professors. All courses are taught by professors, not graduate students.

Jahn Laboratory

The department’s home is the 71,000 square foot, Edwin C. Jahn Laboratory, which was completed in October, 1997. In addition to normal classroom and laboratory instruction, students perform cutting-edge research. Students at all levels are encouraged to become involved with research, and two out of three students do so before their senior year. All seniors must perform an independent research project. Students commonly present their research results at local and even national scientific meetings.

Undergraduate Resources

SUNY-ESF and SU Class Schedules
Some Additional Choices/Possibilities for Undergraduates

two students working in lab

Contact us

For more information, contact:

Department of Chemistry
Jahn Laboratory
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210
315-470-6856 (fax)

Ivan Gitsov, Chair

David J. Kieber, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Laboratories

Theodore S. Dibble, Associate Chair for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

Mark Teece, Undergraduate Curriculum Coordinator

Chemistry undergrad in antarctica website

Chemistry Undergrad in Antarctica

Chemistry Professor David Kieber researched chemical and biological transformations in Antarctica, along with grad students George Westby and Jordan Brinkley, and undergrad John Bisgrove. Read more!

“I have been meaning to write to Dr. Hassett to tell him how grateful I am to the chemistry department at ESF. There have been so many times in the last two semesters that I have silently thanked one professor or another for some specific skill I learned there. I had a really good experience there; it is a very, very good place to learn!”

Katherine Kitney
Graduate student in physical chemistry
University of Colorado at Boulder
student working with chemicals in lab


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