Chemistry: Minor


Chemistry is often called the central science because an understanding of chemistry is essential to understanding other sciences, such as biology, physiology, pharmacology, ecology and medicine.

Southern Virginia University offers a rich variety of chemistry classes in a stimulating academic setting. Courses are offered for the non-science majors, for the chemist enthusiast and for those pursing a pre-med track. These courses include general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and medicinal chemistry.

As a student at Southern Virginia you have the added advantage of intentionally small class sizes and the personal attention of your professors to equip yourself with the knowledge base, skills, habits of mind, and values to function effectively and productively in the unknown world of the 21st century.

The study of chemistry is also valuable for important reasons beyond mastery of this subject. Studying chemistry helps you learn logic as it helps you master methods of scientific discovery. Students who study chemistry learn how to approach and think through problems, to develop a disciplined mind and an ordered intellect.

In understanding and studying chemistry, you learn to understand biology, medicine and current issues in the news. It explains how researchers design new medications to help cure or control diseases and how and why those medications work. Chemistry seeks to answer what is it about medications that cause side effects or drug interactions and how and why various biological and physiological processes occur. What can cause disease? What causes tooth decay? How does the body maintain its homeostasis? The answers to questions like these require an understanding of chemistry.

All biological systems are made up of interacting molecules (chemicals). To understand how systems function (and malfunction), you must understand the fundamental underlying principles of how chemicals interact with each other.

Even issues about energy management, the environment, water quality and consumer product safety require an understanding of chemistry. That is because all matter, natural or synthetic, organic or inorganic, is made up of chemicals.

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  • Roger Johnson, Ph.D. – Program Coordinator
  • Barbara van Kuiken, Ph.D.