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Chemistry, Concentration: Materials Science

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

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Program Intro

Materials science combines various disciplines to create new materials. As a chemistry student, you’ll learn about the structure and composition of materials, as well as the processes to synthesize and use them.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

As a materials scientist, you’ll combine an in-depth knowledge of chemistry with the engineering expertise that made the Purdue system famous. You will also receive a chemistry degree approved by the American Chemical Society, an assurance of its quality.

The program provides a strong background in chemistry with a focus in polymers, catalysis and materials engineering. You’ll graduate well prepared for cutting-edge jobs creating 21st-century materials.

Curriculum Overview

This ACS-certified chemistry degree focuses on the structure and dynamics of modern materials, ranging from enhanced steel to composites used in the space program to biodegradable plastics. The program prepares you for success in the material science workforce or graduate school.

You can currently complete this degree at PNW’s Hammond campus.

Begin your chemistry and general education sequences as well as courses in mathematics and physics.

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Sample Courses


Complete basic introductory courses and start focusing on material science-specific knowledge and techniques.

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Sample Courses

  • CHM 26505 – Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 26300 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • MA 26100 – Multivariate Calculus

Dig into advanced studies in chemistry and materials engineering. You’ll also begin an applied research project.

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Sample Courses

  • CHM 37300 – Physical Chemistry
  • CHM 34200 – Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM 34201 – Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

Complete your studies, including a year-long capstone research project and seminar.

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Sample Courses

  • CHM 49800 – Research In Chemistry
  • CHM 32100 – Analytical Chemistry I
  • CHM 35000 – Coatings And Resins


PNW is the only university in Northwest Indiana to specialize in the chemistry of materials. Chemistry graduates have high success rates in local industries and professional programs.

A lion sculpture on PNW's campus PNW graduates at commencement


As a student with the Material Studies concentration on your ACS-certified Chemistry degree, you’ll have an edge when pursuing career opportunities or professional programs in chemistry/chemical engineering.


Chemistry students have a number of scholarships specific to the discipline:


Beyond the Classroom

Our students participate in a number of organizations, including:

  • Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society
  • Chemistry & Physics Club
  • Science Olympiad

Career Paths

Materials scientists are employed by companies who make products from metals, ceramics and rubber. They also work in the coatings and biomedical industries.



Our alumni are employed by companies such as:

  • Pfizer
  • Monosol
  • CSL Behring
  • Elite Crete Systems


This program is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

I am majoring in Chemistry at PNW because I believe that it's a great program. Students have a strong network with professors. I also have the opportunity to intern at Kemira Water Solutions in East Chicago, IN.

Jacob Dockery
BS, Chemistry, Materials Science (Expected 2021), Hobart


Meet the Faculty

Michael Pelter

Michael W. Pelter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Michael Pelter is an associate professor of chemistry. His areas of expertise include organic, polymer and computational chemistry and chemical education. He has been at PNW since 1991.

Libbie S. W. Pelter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Libbie Pelter teaches organic and inorganic chemistry catalysis. She engages undergraduates in research in catalysis, computational chemistry and development of sustainable methodologies in synthesis.

Harvey Abramowitz, Eng.Sc.D

Harvey Abramowitz, Eng.Sc.D

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Harvey Abramowitz teaches materials courses on both the undergraduate and graduate level. He is also the advisor for the NASA Human Exploration Rover competition teams.

A PNW Student in the Classroom

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See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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