Chemistry

Enabling life as we know it.

Understand the world at a molecular level.

Maybe you want to create your own line of personal care products. Or help people with schizophrenia or depression. Or transform farming practices. As far apart as those professions may seem, chemistry is at the root of all of them.

If you’re considering a career (or a major) in any science field—biology, physics, neuroscience, psychology, even computer science—knowledge of chemistry provides an invaluable base. It is the central science.

Why Macalester? Great opportunities and, well, good chemistry.

Do the words “liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer” or “differential scanning calorimeter” mean anything to you? At Macalester, your professors will guide you in hands-on use of just such state-of-the-art instrumentation. Plus, our close relationship with the University of Minnesota gives you access to more specialized resources.

Internships (and future employers) are bountiful here, as the Twin Cities are home to dozens of biotechnology firms, materials engineering companies, and entrepreneurs.

In addition, many of our faculty members invite students to work with them in their own research projects, which creates close bonds between instructors, students, and peers. (It also means you might see your own work published while you’re still an undergraduate.)

Life after Macalester

Macalester chemistry majors go on to attend medical school; become educators; study engineering; work in industry;, and receive graduate degrees in chemistry, other sciences, and public health.

Chemistry in the cities

The U of MN and other colleges share their instrumentation, resources and seminars.


The Twin Cities are headquarters for 3M, Ecolab, Cargill, Boston Scientific, Medtronic and more.

Local alumni are available to answer questions about their fields and their careers.


Join our community

  • A four-year journey together—The classmates you meet year one will be friends until you graduate—or longer, thanks to a sequential curriculum.
  • Chemistry hub—Pop in, hang out, study together anytime in our space in Olin Rice.
  • ChemisTea—Join us every Wednesday afternoon for a lively exchange of ideas and fun.
  • Annual holiday party—A chance to mingle and jingle with chemistry cohorts and faculty.
  • Off-campus research seminars—Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge coming from academic institutions across the Twin Cities.
  • American Chemical Society national meeting—Represent Macalester and join 10,000 scientists from around the world as they share new ideas and innovations.
  • Visiting chemistry alumni—Find out what problems Macalester grads are solving in the real world.
Department happenings
Chemistry alum and University of Minnesota professor Christy Haynes ’98 named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

Christy Haynes is the Elmore H. Northey Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota where she leads the Haynes Research Group, a lab dedicated to applying analytical and nanomaterials chemistry in the context of biomedicine, ecology, and toxicology. Read more.