About The Department

As I begin my second year as chair, I am pleased to report that the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is still growing is size and excellence.  In addition to our traditional Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science (ACS Certified) and Masters of Science degrees, we offer innovative on-line Masters degrees (link to grad page).  In the 2013-2014 academic year we graduated 60 undergraduates (15 B.A. and 45 45 B.S.) as well as 24 graduate M.S. students.  We currently have approximately 240 chemistry majors and 245 minors.  Our program continues to be one of the most productive in the country.  This success is a direct result of the great work of our faculty and staff, who’s dedication to students and to outstanding research make “doing science” a vital and exciting experience. Last year our faculty directed 15 honors and 39 graduate projects and advised more than 75 students in DIS research. They also published 42 refereed articles with 31 student co-authors and made 46 presentations, all of which included student co-authors at national and regional meetings.

Our success in chemistry instruction has not gone unnoticed by the funding agencies. This past year, the department has active grants totaling approximately 3.5 million dollars, including new grants totally $430,000.  These include Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) awards for a new GC/MS/MS and GC/IRMS. These state-of-the-art instruments staff, will dramatically increase our research capabilities and provide students with experience with state-of-the-art equipment. The program officer from NSF indicated that the review committee was particularly impressed with the quality of proposed research and the involvement of large numbers of undergraduates in the research projects.

I am also pleased to report that last year a second option to our unique graduate distance education MS in Chemistry was approved.  This Chemical Studies track is a fully on-line, course work only option and does not require a laboratory research based thesis.  It does require 36 graduate credits, with a minimum of 21 coming from Chemistry and at least 9 credits from Clinical Sciences, Education or Business graduate on-line course work.  This option enables students who can’t fulfill thesis requirement to still earn a MS in Chemistry.  For this non-thesis option, applicants do not need to be employed in the chemical industry and additional coursework in an area of specialization allows students to gain knowledge in a field helpful to their professional goals.  The capstone course, CHM 597, was offered for the first time this past summer with an enrollment of 16 students who have transferred from the thesis based on-line option to the Chemical Studies option. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree online, or in taking one or two graduate courses, you can consult the Web site at www.uncw.edu/chem/DMS/ or contact John Tyrell (tyrellj@uncw.edu) for further information.

If you have any questions or want further information about the department, feel free to contact me.

Sincerely yours,

Pamela Seaton, Professor and Chair
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UNCW
601 S. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28403-5932

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