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Major Areas of Study: CHEMISTRY

Student Opportunities


Most chemistry majors apply for NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates, as well as for other research internships at various universities around the country.  All of these internships involve original research into a chemical problem.  A couple of examples of universities where students have worked in the past couple of years are Bowling Green State University and the University of Oregon.


All students who major in chemistry must complete a capstone requirement in chemistry research.  In addition, students have the opportunity to work on research projects in the department beginning as early as their freshman year.  The projects that the students work on can be research ideas that the students themselves have proposed, or they can work on a research project proposed by the faculty members in the department.  Students can also work on joint research projects that involve other programs such as biology, geology, psychology, environmental science and molecular biology. 

Some examples of research projects conducted by students within the chemistry department in the past year are the following:

  • Polymer/Catalyst Composites for the Removal of Organic Pollutants in Wastewater
  • Investigation of Oxidase-Associated Reactions by an Enzyme-Coupling Fluorescent method
  • Removal of Heavy Metals from Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Lumber via Chelating Ligand Extraction
  • Preparation of Anhydrous Lanthanide Complexes as Precursors for the Synthesis of new Homoleptic M-Cyanide Complexes
  • The Muskie Summer Fellows Program also provides opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty members.  Students receive a stipend as well as free housing for the twelve-week fellowship

Other Examples:

  • Seth Barrett studied the chemical properties of ceramic glazes under the direction of Dr. Ray Rataiczak, Professor of Chemistry, and Mr. Ken McCollum, Associate Professor of Art as part of the summer 2009 Muskie Fellows program.
  • Troy Gessner and Trevor Lutz, both current students majoring in chemistry and molecular biology, are conducting research with faculty member, Dr. Eric Schurter, on the modification of lignin.
  • Mai Dang is currently a senior Chemistry and Molecular Biology major at Muskingum. She engaged in research on Gene Imprinting at the Beckman Research Institute, in City of Hope, CA, during Summer 2008.
  • Brittany Weaver, a senior Chemistry major, conducted research on “Uranyl Peroxide Nanospheres” at Notre Dame University during Summer 2008.


The Muskingum University Chapter of the Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society has been active on campus for many years.  Students may join this group as early as their first year.  This group sponsors many activities, including field trips, chemical demonstrations, and fund-raising projects, and coordinates social activities at the beginning and end of the academic year and at Christmas.


The department typically employs 10-12 students each semester to work as tutors and graders for the introductory chemistry classes, and as stockroom assistants, preparing solutions for various lab courses as well as setting up equipment for these labs.

Professional Activities

Students periodically accompany faculty to regional and national professional meetings to present their research in the form of posters or papers.  In addition, the department faculty arrange several opportunities throughout the year for students to attend seminars held by chemistry programs at nearby institutions.

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