Franklin and Marshall College's Chemistry Department ranks 6th among liberal arts colleges (LACs) in the number of research articles published since 2006 (many with student coauthors), and F&M was among the top 10 predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs) in terms of research grants received from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. From 2007 to 2017, F&M's Chemistry Department has been awarded $3.4 million, from external funding sources, to support its programs and ranks 3rd among LACs as the baccalaureate origin of PhDs awarded 2008–2012.

Why Chemistry at F&M

Studying Chemistry at F&M is a combination of:

  • learning rigorous content applicable to the pursuit of chemistry and the liberal arts from professors who are concerned with how YOU learn chemistry,
  • having access to one of the oldest and largest undergraduate research programs in the country,
  • the confidence of being trained for graduate and medical school in a department that ranks in the top 10 liberals arts colleges in the numbers of students who obtain PhDs and MDs,
  • being able to coauthor research publications with faculty members.

How to find us:

Office Location: HAC 301
Phone: 717-358-4123

The Chemistry Department is located on the 3rd & 4th floors of the Hackman Physical Sciences Laboratories Building.

Mailing address:
Chemistry Department
Franklin & Marshall College
P. O. Box 3003
415 Harrisburg Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003


Research Connections

Materials Studies

The Most Interdisciplinary Physical Science:  At F&M we recognize that the study of materials can lead to new sources of energy, to new devices and materials, to new ways to characterize matter, or to a more sophisticated understanding of matter and our environment. We also recognize that it is the fundamental principles underlying the...

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Where Chemistry and Biology Meet:  The Chemistry Department at F&M has a strong history of research that seeks to illuminate the atomic and molecular world. In applying this molecular view to living things, biological chemistry seeks a greater understanding of the mechanisms of life itself.

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Synthesis of OrganicMolecules

Chemistry is the molecular science. In order to study a molecule directly it must be available to us, but many molecules that may be interesting are in short supply or do not exist. The study of such molecules requires their synthesis. Organic synthesis is the artificial construction of many complex organic molecules from simpler ones using...

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Student Information

Curriculum and Courses

Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes and, as such, is essential to the study and understanding of physical, geological and biological phenomena. Because of its place among the sciences, chemistry is inherently interdisciplinary and attracts students to its study from a broad range of related interests. 

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Research Opportunities

Undergraduates have participated in original research in chemistry at F&M for more than 50 years, and chemistry research at F&M has a long history of excellence. The Chemistry faculty believes research can be one of the most important educational experiences for students, and many of our graduates find it to be one of the most worthwhile...

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Independent Study & Honors

Independent Research (Chemistry 490) is strongly recommended for senior Chemistry majors. During the past decade 90% of the senior majors have taken advantage of this opportunity.  Students can also accomplish a great deal during summers or by working several afternoons a week during the academic year. 

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ACS Affiliation

Nearly 900 ACS Student Affiliate chapters are established in two- or four-year colleges and universities. These chapters serve as leadership organizations for undergraduate chemical sciences students, providing professional experiences, graduate school information, and other career development resources.

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Study Abroad

Over the past 10 years more than 20 chemistry students have participated in one- or two-semester study abroad experiences.  Students have studied at universities in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, and Australia, often through traditional approved study abroad programs.

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After F&M with a Chemistry Degree 

What can you do with your Chemistry degree?

A degree in Chemistry leads to many opportunities following graduation, whether in graduate studies in several fields of science, medical school, employment in an active and exciting field of chemistry based  industries, or other careers... 

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The Central Science

Chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of the properties and reactions of matter. It is critical for the development of new drugs, compounds with new properties such as superconductors and nanomaterials, and the continual refinement of substances that make our lives more enjoyable.

Chemistry, the Central Science, is inherently interdisciplinary and is at the interface of many disciplines such as molecular biology, solid-state physics, and geology. The Chemistry Major is taught by dedicated and productive faculty who are committed to helping the student acquire:

  • skills necessary for critical and analytical thinking
  • an understanding of the basic concepts of chemistry
  • a feeling for the joys and frustrations of original research
  • the ability to communicate observations and discoveries

Chemistry majors routinely co-author research articles published in well-respected journals, and present their research at local and national meetings.  The student who majors in Chemistry at F&M receives an excellent, balanced education and is well-prepared for graduate work in chemistry, the pursuit of medicine, opportunities in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and a variety of other career paths.


The Pulse

Story 6/29/2017

Building the Biofuel of the Future

This summer, student researcher Connor Protter and Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Alex Davis toil away on computations that could one day bring a more efficient and accessible biofuel to...

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Story 3/20/2017

A Focus on Training the Next Generation of Scientists

At first glance, the large instrument, which has its own room in Franklin & Marshall College’s Barshinger Life Sciences and Philosophy Building, appears like an ordinary microscope. 

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Story 12/14/2016

F&M Professor Kate Plass Awarded Grant for NSF Chemistry...

Franklin & Marshall College has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry to help new chemistry faculty successfully apply for their first federal grant.

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Story 12/7/2016

Making a Molecule to Help Sustain Life

A chemistry professor and his students at Franklin & Marshall College are working on producing a molecule to treat a rare, but devastating genetic disorder that’s fatal in children before they reach...

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Story 11/10/2016

Grant-Funded Chemistry Research Could Lead to Synthetic...

The research work of a Franklin & Marshall College professor and her students could one day lead to such developments as a blood substitute. 

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Story 8/16/2016

F&M Recipient of National Teaching Award Makes Science...

Franklin & Marshall College's Associate Professor of Chemistry Kate Plass has been named a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, a national honor recognizing instructors committed to engaging undergraduate...

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Story 6/2/2016

Welcome Oliver Piro!

Assistant Professor Christine Phillips-Piro, and her husband, Nick, welcomed their second son, Oliver Piro!

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Story 4/29/2016

Senior Spotlight: Inspired by Seeing the Obstacles Others...

Cameron Rutledge: "It has been my honor to learn the obstacles many of my closest friends have overcome to be here at F&M today. It has truly been inspiring and life changing."

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Story 3/11/2016

Chemistry Project Looks for Water in the Protein Pocket

Senior biochemistry major Daniyal Tariq manipulated the heme pocket of a gas-binding protein with an unnatural amino acid to address the question: can water get into the pocket or just gases?

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Story 1/28/2016

F&M Chemistry's Annual Newsletters

The 2016 Chemistry Newsletter is available online.

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Story 5/4/2015

Senior Spotlight: Hanyu 'Peter' Sun

China native Peter Sun says doing research in chemistry and independent study in math were challenging and rewarding moments.

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Story 1/28/2016

F&M Chemistry's Annual Newsletters

The 2016 Chemistry Newsletter is available online.

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