University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Chemistry and Biochemistry

students in a lab

Instrumentation  |   Courses  |  Faculty  |  Undergraduate Research

The Chemistry Department

The Chemistry Department offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry or Biochemistry as well as a minor in Chemistry. Students may also choose to double major in Biochemistry and Biology, or Biochemistry and Chemistry. The department also provides advising and coursework for students interested in applying to pharmacy school. In collaboration with the Education Division, the department offers courses toward a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education – chemistry and certification to teach high school chemistry. Additionally, the Department is a proud member of BeyondBenign’s Green Chemistry Commitment.


B.S. in Chemistry

Chemistry teaches students to understand the composition, properties, and reactivity of matter. Pitt-Johnstown's chemistry program prepares students for employment at the bachelor's degree level, for graduate study, and for professional programs in health-related areas. Chemistry majors are highly sought after by companies that produce products made from chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, paints, plastics, cosmetics, food, and green energy industries. Graduates have gone on to work as:

  • Product Development Researchers
  • Formulation Chemists
  • Biotechnologists
  • Process Chemists
  • Quality Assurance Specialists
  • Quality Control Specialists
  • Teachers and Professors
  • Sales and Marketing Professionals
  • Patent Lawyers
  • Government Researchers

To learn more about career opportunities available to chemistry majors, visit the American Chemical Society.


B.S. in Biochemistry

Biochemistry is a major that teaches students to understand the composition, structure, chemical reactions, and behavior of matter as applied to living systems. This program enables students to develop their knowledge of the natural world, while also developing critical thinking skills. A degree in biochemistry will create a tremendous opportunity for various career paths including:

  • Medical Doctors
  • Pharmacists
  • Health Care Fields
  • Chemical Industry
  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Academia
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Development
  • Cancer Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Clinical Chemistry

To learn more about career opportunities available to biochemistry majors, visit the American Chemical Society.


Student Focused Learning

Small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio allow direct interactions between students and professors that enables students to gain hands-on experience with analytical methods, organic and inorganic synthesis, biochemical methods, and state-of-the-art instrumentation. Faculty are dedicated to ensuring that students are progressing toward their career goals through quality advising, mentoring, and research experiences. Many of our students participate in internships at local and national institutions. Because of highly trained and versatile faculty, multiple faculty-mentored research projects are available in a variety of disciplines. Students, as early as freshman, participating in research have been published in professional journals and have presented at local and national conferences. These opportunities help prepare students through real world experiences by creating competitive resumes. Students can also join the Chemistry Society Club, where they can meet other students and participate in monthly events such as movie nights, bowling, trivia, community outreach and service activities, and professional development events.

Request Information

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about our programs, you can request information through the Admissions Office or contact the department directly.
Ryan Bird, PhD
Department Chair
814-269-2903  |

First-Year Schedule

A sample of the likely first-year schedule for students in Pitt-Johnstown’s Biochemistry or Chemistry major.
Fall Term
  • Freshman Writing Seminar
  • General Chemistry with Lab
  • Precalculus or Calculus 1
  • General Biology with Lab or General Education Elective
Spring Term
  • Freshman Writing II
  • General Chemistry II with Lab
  • Calculus 1 or Calculus 2
  • General Biology II with Lab or General Education Elective

Please note that courses and course titles are subject to change.