Career Opportunities

  • The range of jobs available to a chemist is vast.  With a B.S. in Chemistry, Gannon University graduates have the option to enter the workforce immediately, where they typically work for private companies or government agencies.  Those with graduate degrees are also qualified to hold several academic positions.

    Graduate and Professional Schools

    Nearly one-third of our chemistry alumni pursue advanced M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in graduate school.  Typically, graduate students complete a core curriculum and join a research laboratory where they conduct original research culminating in a thesis.  Graduate students in science, engineering and mathematics are provided an annual stipend that covers the cost of their living expenses.  Another one-third of our Gannon University chemistry alumni choose to continue their education by entering professional schools in the fields of medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, engineering, materials science, business or law.

    Industrial, Government and Academic Careers


    Different chemical industries include pharmaceuticals, materials science, polymers, metallurgy, industrial materials, electronics and petroleum.  Chemists who manage research groups will develop budgets, design experiments and market their products.  As part of developing new processes and materials, chemists are involved directly in the synthesis of materials, may generate computer models to better understand them and use a variety of analytical techniques and instrumentation to characterize the chemical identity and properties of these samples.


    All levels of government (federal, state and local) employ people with chemistry degrees.  Governments hire scientists to work in and manage their research labs (e.g., Los Alamos National Laboratory).  Other government chemists write and manage regulations or may be involved with patent review.  Importantly, chemists are also employed as liaisons that interact with industry or inform the public of important topics regarding environmental health and safety. 


    Academic chemists are employed at colleges and universities.  Typically, an academic chemist with a Ph.D. is responsible for teaching classes within the chemistry department, and is expected to carry out original research involving undergraduate or graduate students.  An academic chemist with a B.S. or M.S. degree may be employed as an instructor for laboratory courses.

    Employment Outlook

    The Chemistry Department recognizes the versatility of the chemistry degree and has designed its curriculum to prepare students for the many career opportunities in chemistry and related fields.  With a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, our Gannon University graduates are accepted to competitive graduate and professional programs, and enjoy nearly 100% job placement.  Because chemistry plays a key role in the advancement of new technologies and supplies materials needed for other industrial sectors, the job outlook is bright for students who earn chemistry degrees.

    A summary of current employment information is made available in the Employment and Salary Survey, conducted annually by the American Chemical Society.