Major in Chemistry - Medicinal Chemistry Concentration

The Medicinal Chemistry concentration focuses the curriculum on organic and analytical areas to complement the medicinal chemistry courses.  Students will learn about drug design, mechanism of action of drugs, classes of drugs, and modern methods of synthesis.  Major elective hours allow customization of the degree and facilitate the ability to satisfy prerequisite courses for pre-medical, pre-dental, or pre-pharmacy preparation.  Participation in undergraduate research may be completed for credit towards major electives and is highly recommended.

Career Information/Opportunities

Healthcare related professions are the fastest growing sector of the economy and are among the highest paying jobs.  Medicinal chemistry is on the front lines of healthcare as the discipline responsible for the creation of new drugs, with medicinal chemists as the third most abundant chemistry occupation behind analytical and organic chemists according to a recent American Chemical Society survey.  The Medicinal Chemistry concentration provides a focus on the design, synthesis, and mechanism of action of drugs as part of an overall broad-based chemical education that emphasizes organic and analytical areas to complement the specific medicinal chemistry coursework.  This understanding will be valuable to students interested in, for example, a career in the pharmaceutical industry, a career as a drug rep, or as excellent preparation for a healthcare profession such as medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy.  Interestingly, while the average BS  Chemistry  graduate earns a 23% higher salary than the average BS degree graduate, a medicinal chemist earns an average 48% higher salary than the average BS chemist ( ).

See the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry webpage for more information about Med Chem and the many opportunities associated with the exciting area of drug discovery.