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Chemistry Lab

About the Program

The major emphasis of the SMSU Chemistry Program is quality teaching, both in formal classroom settings and in the laboratory. Within the Chemistry Program, a student may choose from the following options: a B.A. in Chemistry or B.S. in Chemistry Education. Students are given the unusual opportunity to obtain extensive hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation and to work closely with our professors on research projects. The SMSU Chemistry Program has been fully accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 1973, making quality education in the program a longstanding tradition.

See the Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes for Chemistry.


Prospective chemistry majors should have strong backgrounds in mathematics and English. Courses in the sciences are helpful but not necessary. Clarity and confidence in writing, speaking, and in the use of mathematics are the most valuable skills.


The Chemistry Program has five teaching laboratories, a cold-room, several instrumentation laboratories, a glassblowing laboratory and a study-research laboratory. Instrument acquisitions include a 200-MHz Varian Gemini 2000 FT-NMR Spectrometer, an Agilent 5975C Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer, an Enwave Optronics EZxB Raman Spectrometer, a Thermo Electron iS10 FT-IR Interferometer, a Perkin Elmer UV/Vis Spectrometer, a Turner Designs Filter Fluorometer, and a Waters Breeze High Performance Liquid Chromatograph. All of the equipment is available for students to use. Students have access to both e-mail and the Internet via Southwest Minnesota State’s computer labs. The on-line computer system is available for library research.

At SMSU, I actually felt like a person who was valued rather than just another student to lecture at. Because of this, I felt more inspired, and it really compelled me to do more and to develop myself more fully.

Darlene Guse, Class of 2005

Undergraduate Research Conference

The Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) was established in 2006 to for science majors to engage in a professional exchange of scientific ideas, as well as a means to showcase and celebrate their hard work and accomplishments. The URC is held annually on campus to include all disciplines across campus and continues to grow each year as we celebrate the intellectual achievements of our students.

Placement Opportunities

Completion of the B.A. degree in chemistry prepares a student to seek a career in areas in which a knowledge of matter, energy, and their transformation is important including the chemical, food, health, environmental, and energy industries. Students frequently combine the B.A. degree with a second major such as biology, mathematics, and management.

  • Academics
  • Medical Professions
  • Government
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental Testing
  • Chemical Patents
  • Petroleum Industry
  • Agrochemical Products

Contact Information

Chemistry Program - Office

SM 178, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258


Our Chemistry Club is one of the most active in the United States and has been awarded the highest rank of Outstanding by the American Chemical Society for their activities over the past three years. The Club performs many outreach activities in the community, including reaction shows and hands-on activities with area K-12 schools. They also participate in the SMSU Homecoming Parade, attend ACS-sponsored webinars, visit graduate programs at universities in our region, and invite area chemists and alumni to speak on campus. Each year the Club sends students to the Spring National ACS meeting to present research results, network with other student chapters and science professionals, and learn more about opportunities in chemistry.


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

Schedule Your Visit Today!


  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

Last Modified: 8/18/22 3:00 PM | Website Feedback