BS Environmental Chemistry

Environmental chemists monitor what’s in the air, water and soil to study how chemicals enter and impact the environment. These scientists also study how human activity affects the environment. As an environmental chemist, you’ll monitor the source and extent of pollution and contamination, especially how it affects our human health, and promote sustainability, conservation and protection.

Marshall University in Huntington, WV, can start you on this path with the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Chemistry degree program. Completing the Environmental Chemistry major prepares you for career opportunities in environmental chemistry, toxicology, environmental policy, consulting and more.

The bachelor’s degree in Environmental Chemistry program also is an excellent choice for students who plan to go on for professional training in the fields of law, public policy, safety, industrial hygiene or business where they can apply their chemistry knowledge in new ways. According to the American Chemical Society (ACS), environmental chemists can be involved in analytical testing or new product development in the lab, or work with users of chemicals in the field, and oversee safety and regulatory issues in an office.

Because the environment is so complex, Environmental Chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary field, and environmental chemists must be ready to work with many other kinds of scientists and disciplines.

At Marshall University, Environmental Chemistry majors receive vital training as a chemist and build a solid foundation in the field of chemistry. As a result, while you major in Environmental Chemistry, you’ll be building a strong skillset that will enable you to work in any lab and use your training to follow other career paths.

In the Department of Chemistry, all chemistry majors complete courses taught directly by top-quality faculty. No graduate students teach courses in Chemistry at Marshall. In addition to offering a major in Environmental Chemistry, the chemistry department also offers bachelor’s degree programs in the following three areas: Chemical Sciences; Chemistry, ACS Certified; and Forensic Chemistry.

Marshall’s Department of Chemistry has been continuously certified since 1963 by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Marshall has just been recertified by ACS through 2026.

Focus on experience. Majors in Environmental Chemistry and other specialized chemistry programs must complete a research project or internship as a requirement to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. This also provides students with the opportunity to learn with Marshall chemistry faculty to do research or to get industry experience working with employers.

A hallmark of the Marshall Chemistry Department is the opportunity to learn in small classes that provide personalized attention from professors and regular interaction with classmates. Environmental Chemistry majors also get a head start on lab work by becoming part of a small research group as early as their first semester at Marshall. Through research, majors in the Environmental Chemistry degree program apply their innate creativity while strengthening their laboratory skills and problem-solving abilities. This experience is not only valuable academically but also provides students with training for lifelong success.

Environmental Chemistry degree majors are encouraged to complete an internship, working in an industrial setting where they can put their chemical training into practice, often in the role of laboratory technician. Environmental Chemistry majors follow Marshall internship guidelines to find a possible placement, and the chemistry department evaluates placements for appropriateness.

Employment opportunities for Environmental Chemistry majors will continue to grow because of increased environmental regulations being enforced by the EPA and state agencies, the ACS reports. The chemical industry employs a large number of environmental chemists to ensure that a given company is in compliance with government regulations.

Government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also hire chemists for environmental work. In addition, waste management companies and consulting firms hire environmental chemists to do consulting or remediation work. Colleges and universities are hiring more environmental chemists as they establish academic degree programs in Environmental Chemistry to comply with their own environmental regulations—and meet growing student demand for this specialized study.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of environmental scientists, including environmental chemists, is projected to grow 8 percent through 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Heightened public interest in environmental hazards and the increased impact of population growth on the environment are among the factors contributing to more jobs in the field of Environmental Chemistry, the BLS reports. Many jobs will remain concentrated in state and local governments, and in industries that provide consulting services. Scientists and specialists will continue to be needed in these industries to analyze environmental problems and develop solutions that ensure communities’ health.

Businesses are also expected to continue consulting with environmental chemists and specialists to help them minimize the impact of their operations on the environment, including developing practices that minimize waste, prevent pollution and conserve resources. In addition to growing demand, many job openings also will be created by environmental chemists and scientists who retire, advance to management positions, or change careers.

The median annual wage for environmental scientists, chemists and specialists was $73,230 in May 2020.

Forty-five percent of Marshall graduates with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry choose to go on to professional schools rather than graduate schools. Most focus on advanced study in health-related fields (e.g., medical, dental, pharmacy, etc.). Some chemistry graduates go to law school or earn their MBA. Conducting research while completing Marshall’s bachelor’s degree program in Environmental Chemistry gives majors the competitive advantage to earn admission into top professional schools after graduation.

The large majority of Marshall graduates attend medical school at a home state public institution such as Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Twenty-five percent of graduates pursue MS or PhD programs, typically in chemistry or a closely related field.

The Environmental Chemistry degree program includes a capstone graduation requirement for either a research project or internship. The large majority of Environmental Chemistry majors choose to complete research with a chemistry faculty member; other students work on chemistry-based projects in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Pharmacy or Forensic Science, or with faculty in the Biomedical Sciences program in Marshall’s medical school. Research with chemistry faculty includes such topics as: the study of biofuels; the surface science of synthetic DNA; diabetes research; microfluidics as applied to drug delivery devices; and electrically responsive surfaces among many projects.

Environmental Chemistry majors are able to work with the latest chemical instruments and resources as an essential component of studying modern chemistry. Marshall is one of the nation’s few medium-sized universities that provides its majors with an extensive collection of state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation. This ensures that graduates develop the analytical chemistry skills, especially with chromatography, spectroscopy and spectrophotometer, that are often required by employers, often at entry-level positions.

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$21,486 Per Year

International student tuition fee

4 Years


May 2024

Start Month

Apr 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • May 2024
  • August 2024
  • January 2025
  • May 2025
  • August 2025
  • January 2026
  • May 2026
  • August 2026

Mode of Study

  • Full Time