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Chemistry is a vital, creative field, intellectually challenging and a solid foundation for a number of careers.


(USA Today College Guide 2017)

The Union College chemistry department, certified by the American Chemical Society, offers small classes and laboratory settings. Our faculty members are dedicated teachers with a wide range of expertise in everything from organic and inorganic chemistry to analytical, forensic and environmental chemistry.

At Union, you will enjoy extraordinary opportunities for research. In addition to participating in the campus wide Steinmetz Research Symposium, many students present at national and regional conferences. Students also can be involved in summer research with faculty mentors; some 30-40 summer research fellowships in chemistry are awarded each year.

Research facilities

Our facilities and instrumentation are top-notch. Major instruments available to undergraduates include: a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, research-grade mass spectrometers, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, thermogravimetric analyzer, scanning electron microscope, atomic absorption spectrometer, voltammetric analyzer, atomic force microscope, IR and Raman microscopes and much more.

In addition, the Peter Irving Wold Center is home to the Aerogel Fabrication, Characterization and Applications Lab, an interdisciplinary facility for faculty and student researchers in chemistry and mechanical engineering that includes state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Special learning opportunities

Beyond campus, many chemistry majors go on Union's Sicily term abroad, where they engage in research projects with scientists and graduate students at the National Research Council in Palermo. Others hold internships at local chemical and technical firms. Our national award-winning Chemistry Club is involved in numerous activities, including professional society meetings and volunteer work at local schools.


Union students who graduate with a major in chemistry enroll in medical school or other health-related graduate programs, and they go on to further study and careers in business, education and law. About a third of our graduates go directly to jobs in chemical or biotechnology corporations.

Meet some of our faculty

Laurie Tyler

Laurie Tyler

Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
Special interests: Synthetic bioinorganic chemistry

Laura MacManus-Spencer

Laura MacManus-Spencer

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Special interests: The fate and transport of such organic contaminants in natural waters and soils

Mary Carroll

Mary Carroll

Ph.D., Indiana University
Special interests: Dye interactions within sol-gel matrices and with surfactants in solution, using molecular spectroscopic methods

Michael Hagerman

Michael Hagerman

Ph.D., Northwestern University
Special interests: Inorganic and materials chemistry applied to the synthesis of inorganic and organic nanocomposites

After Union

Senior research chemist, Nalco Chemical Company

Physician, Christiana Care

Assistant professor, Duke University

Science teacher, Cohoes High School

Senior scientist, Base Pair Biotechnologies

Chemical research scientist, Roche Pharmaceutical