2019-2020 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    Nov 30, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Chemistry Department

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Chemistry is an integral part of the liberal arts tradition, offering students the opportunity to study the theoretical and practical basis of molecular sciences at both the introductory and advanced levels. As the central science, a strong foundation in chemistry is crucial in the understanding of biology, physics, molecular biology, neuroscience, material science, pharmacy, and medicine. We offer American Chemical Society (ACS) Certification for the chemistry bachelor of science (B.S.) and bachelor of arts (B.A.) programs in addition to a non-certified BA degree. Twelve to 18 chemistry majors graduate each year, 70 percent with an ACS-certified major. 

Postgraduate Opportunities

The Hamline University Department of Chemistry confidently prepares students for industry, teaching, advanced degree work in the natural sciences, professional schools as well as business opportunities.

In addition, advanced degree work and employment are available in many areas related to chemistry, including anthropology, agricultural and forestry science, bacteriology, biology, ecology, food science, forensic chemistry, geology, law, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, pollution control, public health, and veterinary medicine.

In the last 5 years, approximately 30% of Hamline’s chemistry graduates seek advanced degrees in chemistry 5% enter professional schools, 40% find employment in the STEM fields and the other 25% find positions in industry and teaching.


The department encourages all majors to experience research as undergraduates.  Students may work with a faculty advisor as early as the end of their first year on a collaborative project either during the academic year or during a competitive paid summer internship.  This experience can be counted towards the ACS accreditation and students may apply to earn academic credit.


All junior chemistry majors who have a GPA of 3.25 in major courses are invited to participate in the departmental honors program. The student selects a faculty member with whom to work on a research project and informs the department chair that he or she wishes to apply for departmental honors. An application form (available on the HU website) must be filled out and submitted to the department chair at least 9-12 months prior to graduation. If three members of the department approve the project as presented, the student may then carry out the work. After completion of the work, the student presents a written thesis to an examination committee and takes an oral examination. If both written thesis and oral examination are deemed worthy, departmental honors will be granted.


The chemistry department’s faculty has been recognized for its dedication to undergraduate teaching and research. The members of the teaching staff have Ph.D. degrees in the major fields of chemistry: analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical. The faculty maintain a high level of professional and research activity. During the past ten years, these activities have resulted in many research publications, additional research projects, and industrial experience. In addition to its research activities, the faculty has a strong commitment to quality education.

Rita Majerle, associate professor, chair. B.S. 1978, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Ph.D. 1989, University of Minnesota. Organic chemistry.

Larry Masterson, assistant professor, B.S. 2003 (A.C.S. Certification), University of Wisconsin La Crosse; Ph.D. 2008, University of Minnesota. Chemical biology.

John Matachek, professor, B.A. 1979, University of Minnesota; Ph.D. 1984, Iowa State University. Inorganic chemistry.

Deanna O’Donnell, associate professor, B.S. 2005, McMaster University; Ph.D. 2010, University of Notre Dame. Physical chemistry.

Julia Saunders, visiting teaching faculty, B.A. 2004 Hamline University; Ph.D. 2011, University of Minnesota, Inorganic/Materials chemistry.

Nicholas Schlotter, associate professor, B.A. 1974 Carleton College; Ph.D. 1980, Stanford University. Physical chemistry.

Marc Scholten, visiting teaching faculty, B.A. 2001, Grinnell College, Ph.D. 2008 Stanford University, Organic/Polymers/Materials chemistry.


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