Through a variety of individual courses and sequential programs, the department provides an opportunity for students to explore the nature and significance of chemistry, an area of important achievement in our quest for knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. The student of chemistry is able to become aware of the special viewpoint of chemists, the general nature of chemical investigation, some of its important results, how these results are expressed, and something of their significance within the fields of science and in the area of human endeavor as a whole. The Chemistry major provides excellent preparation for graduate study in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, environmental science, materials science, medicine, and the medical sciences.
A major in chemistry can be achieved in several ways, preferably beginning in the student’s first year at Williams, but also beginning in the sophomore year. For students who are interested in fulfilling pre-medical requirements and/or pursuing study abroad, we strongly recommend consultation with the chemistry department as early as possible in order to plan a course of study. Building on a foundation in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry, a student elects additional advanced courses to complete a major that is consistent with their background in other sciences, interests, and goals. A student’s program can emphasize any subdiscipline of chemistry including biochemistry, environmental, inorganic, materials, organic, and physical chemistry. Students considering a major in chemistry should consult with a member of the department as early as possible in order to plan a program which best suits their interests and abilities and which makes full use of their previous preparation. More information can be found on the Chemistry site.