Why Choose Nazareth for Chemistry?

Developing new medicines, solving forensic riddles, creating green technologies. The chemistry degree program at Nazareth College prepares you for numerous career opportunities, not only as research scientists and science teachers, but as problem solvers in a variety of fields.

You will not only learn science, but also how to be independent scientists. Research opportunities are offered as early as freshman year with a strong emphasis on modern lab techniques and problem solving. You also learn how to read and write like a scientist, so you can fully understand and utilize scientific journals and other key research. Close working relationships with the dynamic faculty makes work both challenging and fun.

Innovation is at the heart of our teaching. Undergraduate students have made biodiesel fuel from French fry oil, studied the chemical properties of wine making, and examined molecular design from the perspectives of biology, chemistry, and medicine. Under the guidance of faculty, you'll have the opportunity to do independent, inquiry-based research on your topic of interest.

Program Highlights

  • Be prepared for graduate study, careers in industry and research, professional programs in medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry, or elementary, middle, or high school (adolescent) science education.
  • Program is approved by the American Chemical Society.
  • Enjoy individualized attention from faculty, who closely supervise and guide you in the development and implementation of research projects.
  • Gain extensive training in modern lab techniques as well as experience managing projects.
  • Add in-demand analysis skills with a minor in analytics.
  • Participate in community service at Rochester Museum and Science Center and Lab Day, where you will mentor young students in chemistry.
  • Benefit from Nazareth's state-of-the-art Peckham Hall, ranked among the top 20 science labs in the nation by The Princeton Review's 2017 college guide, The Best 381 Colleges.

Contact Information

Stephen G. Tajc

Stephen G. Tajc

Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry & Department Chair
Peckham Hall 235

Education: B.S., Gannon University (Chemistry); M.S., University of Rochester (Biochemistry); Ph.D., University of Rochester (Biophysics); Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University (Biophysics)

Teaching and Research Interests: Organic chemistry, undergraduate research, and chemistry of drug design. My teaching philosophy for organic chemistry is to emphasize the importance of understanding chemical reactions, rather than memorization. If a student can comprehend how the chemistry works, they will hold a greater appreciation for the overall science. In addition, they will apply their knowledge base to more complex reactions as the course progresses. Current research projects include the understanding of the fundamental binding mechanism of HIV-1 viral entry inhibitor drugs and the synthesis of small molecules that target cations in water.

Tajc research seeks a solution to hydrofracking's ecological problems.

Shannon Bice Olsson, alumna of the chemistry major, bachelor of science degree at Nazareth College

Alumni Spotlight: Shannon Bice Olsson '99

Project leader, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany

“It was amazing to see that something I made from synthetic chemicals could have such a profound effect on a living organism. From then on, I was just fascinated.”

Example Careers

  • Chemist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Quality control
  • Research analyst
  • Pharmacist
  • Forensics
  • Materials science
  • Patent law
  • Polymers
  • Chemical sales

Undergraduate Research Topics

  • HIV drug therapy
  • Biodiesel fuel
  • Computational chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Pedagogical research
  • Ion mobility mass spectroscopy

Graduate Schools/Employers

  • University of Georgia
  • Notre Dame University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Southern California
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Bausch & Lomb
  • IBM
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.