Why Study Chemistry?

The federal government has stated that Science and Technology (S&T) are central to the success and growth of the economy of Canada (see "Science & Technology for the New Century: A Federal Strategy," March 1996). Moreover, it is recognized by students that a university education in science will prepare them for the challenges of an S&T- based economy. The three areas of focus for future economic development are biotechnology, communications, and the environment. Chemistry is fundamental to environmental science and biotechnology.

Chemistry is seen as a central discipline in science, required at various levels for undergraduate programs in physics, biology, biochemistry, family and nutritional sciences, engineering, physiotherapy, and pharmacy, as well as others.

A Bachelor of Science degree with a major in chemistry provides graduates with invaluable problem-solving skills, and prepares them for professional programs such as business administration, law, education, medicine, library science, or journalism. In the workplace, majors graduates may find employment in government labs or in industry as laboratory technologists or plant chemists in pharmaceuticals, the petroleum field, or analytical laboratories.

Graduates of the honours program will pursue graduate degrees (MSc, PhD) at graduate school in chemistry or environmental science. Indeed, many schools offering post-secondary degrees in environmental science require a first degree in a mainstream discipline such as chemistry. In industry or government labs, the honours graduate would pursue a career as a "professional" chemist, with career advancement in research or management.

It is crucial that today's graduates are well-prepared to compete in the real world. At UPEI we are in a unique position - we have the opportunity to provide a progressive, state-of-the-art chemistry program that addresses the needs of students in a small, friendly, and interactive environment.

Rabin Bissessur
Chair, Department of Chemistry
(902) 566-0510
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