Your degree makes a difference

When you earn a chemistry degree at Pacific, you will build skills to give you confidence and a competitive edge as you enter the workplace or pursue graduate degrees. Unlike many other universities, Pacific offers undergraduates the opportunity to conduct hands-on research. You can work alongside faculty whose labs are contributing to treatments for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.

“The undergraduate research opportunities that are presented here are unique to Pacific.”

Practical Training

When you earn a chemistry degree at Pacific, you can expect to receive training in all practical laboratory skills. These skills give you confidence and a competitive edge as you enter the workplace or pursue graduate degrees. Senior students (BS) compete very well nationally for admission to the best professional schools and are very competitive in the employment market after graduation. Our graduate students (MS/PhD) have secured leading positions in industry and academia nationally and internationally.


Unlike large universities, Pacific offers a student-centered learning experience. This holds true for the Department of Chemistry as well. If you major in chemistry or biochemistry, you will receive not only opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the subject, but you will be mentored by the faculty much more closely than at other universities.

Three-Year Option

You have the option to earn your bachelor's degree in three years. Do your part to stay on track, and you could shave a year off your undergraduate work. That means significant savings on tuition and you get a jumpstart on your career.

Success After Pacific
Alec Follmer

Alec Follmer graduated from Pacific in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He is now a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology where he studies biochemical physics, specifically bio-inorganic chemistry.

Alec Follmer with professor


Biochemistry is the study of the molecules, reactions and processes that produce life at the molecular level. Understanding biochemistry allows researchers to identify better drugs and develop more effective treatments to improve the human condition. Our biochemistry program offers you, as an undergraduate, opportunities to participate in research projects that focus on drug discovery and combating disease so you can make a real difference.

Why Brinnley Barthels came to Pacific

Research in Chemistry

The department offers a variety of exciting and future-oriented research topics, stretching from organic synthesis, biochemistry, theoretical chemistry, to physical chemistry and spectroscopy. Graduate students are required to engage in research, but we also encourage undergraduates to get involved. Between 2010 and 2019, our faculty has authored/co-authored 106 research papers in high-quality peer-reviewed journals, often co-authored with undergraduate and/or graduate student researchers. Faculty and students attend numerous national and international conferences and present their papers. Our students also have the opportunity to engage in paid summer research with faculty members.

Current grants (close to $1,000,000) support this research and have funded

  • the extremely well-equipped mass spectrometry facility (including a DART AccuTOF mass spectrometer)
  • the magnetic resonance facility (600 MHz NMR instrument)
  • the new SGI computer cluster
  • Standard instrumentation

Tuesday Seminar Series: The Tuesday seminars are intended to bring internationally recognized colleagues to the department to keep faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, informed about the latest developments in the field, establish a network of contacts, and develop collaborations.

Chemistry Graduate Students

Graduate students admitted to the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry Program earn salary as teaching assistants in undergraduate laboratories. They are required to carry out research, and they receive up to 9 units tuition remission per semester.

Despite its small size, the Department of Chemistry mentors 24 Graduate students and several post-doctoral fellows.


Chemistry/Biochemistry Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to join research groups in the department to fulfill the requirements of chemistry/biochemistry electives, but also in form of summer internships. In the research groups, they will work alongside Graduate students and the faculty supervisor on current projects. They either receive units for their work or (upon availability of funds and qualification) salary as research associates.


Graduate Research Focus Areas ("Tracks") in Chemistry

1) Synthesis and Drug Discovery/Design:  The track puts emphasis on the discovery and development of new compounds (synthetic and natural product sources) as potential drugs as well as new methods of chemical synthesis and structure elucidation.

2) Bioanalytical/Physical Chemistry/Biochemistry: The track puts emphasis on the investigation of chemical, biochemical, and biomedical questions with a broad range of experimental and computational tools. This includes state-of-the-art synthetic methodologies, instrumentation, and molecular techniques.

Cancer Treatment Development

Outstanding Student
Gabby Sonderegger '23

Gabby's goal is to become a research scientist at a national lab. In fact, she decided to study chemistry at Pacific because of the university’s new research opportunities. Last summer, as a recipient of Pacific’s Stauffer Charitable Trust Challenge Grant, she was able to work on synthesizing molecular switches which have a potential use in cancer drug delivery systems.

University of the Pacific's Stauffer grant recipient
Stauffer student
Stauffer Charitable Trust Challenge Grant

Six chemistry students each summer received stipends to pay for their research thanks to the John Stauffer Charitable Trust as well as donations from university alumni, friends and students who belong to the professional chemistry organization Alpha Chi Sigma. The trust matched donations, dollar for dollar, for a total of $1 million.

Teaching credential track

If you wish to qualify to teach chemistry at the secondary level, you should complete the Single Subject Credential.  Ask you adviser or the department chair for information on specific course requirements.  For other credential requirements, you should consult faculty in Benerd College.

Noyce Scholars
Pacific Noyce Scholars Program

The PacNoyce Scholars Program provides scholarships and other support for STEM majors at Pacific who become teachers in high-needs school districts, such as Stockton.

You could be eligible for the Robert Noyce Teachers Scholarship worth up to $13,750 a year, for juniors and seniors or $20,000 for the final MA/teaching credential year.

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
MS / PHD Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences
Chemistry Minor
Ready to take the next step?
Stauffer challenge winners

Contact Us

chemistry student in lab
Department of Chemistry

3601 Pacific Ave.
Stockton, CA 95211