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. 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 his or her background in other sciences, interests, and goals. A student’s program might emphasize biochemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, or inorganic chemistry, with additional courses available in analytical chemistry, environmental science, and materials science. Students considering a major in chemistry should consult with the department as early as possible. More information can be found on the Chemistry website.