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    Hamline University
    Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

Chemistry Department

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Chemistry is an integral part of the liberal arts tradition and offers students the opportunity to study the theoretical and practical basis of molecular sciences at both the introductory and advanced levels. Chemistry is truly interdisciplinary as medicine, physics, biology, material science, biochemistry, exercise science, neuroscience and many other fields require a foundation in chemistry.  Our program’s learning outcomes are aligned with one of the seven Hamline University learning outcomes and are as follows:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental and evolving chemical properties and processes. Apply theories and principles from the field of chemistry.
  2. Plan and safely execute experiments using the literature, modern techniques and instrumentation and interpret the results.
  3. Solve problems collaboratively. Write effective scientific reports. Present effective scientific talks.
  4. Understand the evolving political, economic, and sociological aspects of chemical problems and solutions. Explain the benefits and problems of modern chemistry for society.

Postgraduate Opportunities

The Hamline University Department of Chemistry confidently prepares students for industry, teaching, advanced degree work in the natural sciences, and professional schools, as well as business opportunities. Employment opportunities are available in many areas related to chemistry, including anthropology, agricultural and forestry science, biology, ecology, food science, forensic chemistry, geology, law, medicine, microbiology, pharmacology, psychology, pollution control, public health, and veterinary medicine.

In the last 5 years, approximately 30% of Hamline’s chemistry graduates have gone on to advanced degrees in chemistry, 5% entered professional schools, 40% found employment in the STEM fields, and the other 25% found 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 American Chemical Society (ACS) accreditation and students may apply to earn academic credit (see CHEM 3965, 4010, 5960, and 5965).

Summer research in chemistry at Hamline is by application, which can be found on the Chemistry page on the Hamline website.  This is a paid position with free campus housing if needed.  In addition there are various research opportunities off campus  such as the National Science Foundations REU programs that are hosted at many major research universities.


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 following traditional areas of chemistry: analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical, and have experience in many of the interdisciplinary fields such as material science and medicinal chemistry. The faculty maintain a high level of professional and research activity. During the past ten years, these activities have resulted in research publications, presentations at regional and national professional meetings, additional research projects, and industrial experience.

Francesca Ippoliti, assistant professor, B.S. 2017, chemistry, University of Saint Thomas; Ph.D. 2023, organic chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles.

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

Sydney Povilaitis, assistant professor, B.A. 2018, chemistry, Saint Olaf College; Ph.D. 2023, chemistry, The University of Texas at Austin.

Urvashi Sandhir, visiting teaching faculty, M.Sc. 1993, physical chemistry, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India; Ph.D. 1998, chemistry, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

Nicholas Schlotter, associate professor, chair. B.A. 1974, chemistry, Carleton College; M.S. 1978, physics, Stanford University; Ph.D. 1980, physical chemistry, Stanford University.


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