Professional Development, Careers, & Success

Chemists are the people who transform the everyday materials around us into amazing things. Some chemists work on cures for cancer while others monitor the ozone protecting us from the sun. Still others discover new materials to make our homes warmer in the winter, or new textiles to be used in the latest fashions. The knowledge gained through the study of chemistry opens many career pathways.


Professional Development


  • SMACS: Our award-winning student organization, the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS), engages in active outreach to the community, visits local schools to discuss environmentally friendly chemistry, conducts fun experiments, and more. Augustana SMACS has been awarded a Green Chapter designation multiple times and regularly places in the top tier of ACS student groups in the country. Students have traveled to ACS National Meetings to accept awards - most recently in San Francisco, Orlando, and Philadelphia. 
  • Laboratory Assistants & Tutors: Each year, over 40 student laboratory assistants and tutors are hired by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Students offered these paid positions are provided the opportunity to work intimately with faculty and learn valuable teaching skills.
  • Study Abroad: As a liberal arts institution, Augustana aims to create well-rounded students. As such, students are encouraged to participate in one of the numerous study-abroad opportunities Augustana provides. Students have studied in Africa, Australia, Central and South America, and Europe. Students considering chemistry, biochemistry, and/or pre-health profession studies are encouraged to talk with their advisor early on about when to participate, as these curricula are rigorous and sequence-driven.
  • Mentoring: Augustana faculty members strive to provide a strong, positive mentoring experience for all of our chemistry and biochemistry majors that include exciting research and internship experiences, along with personalized advanced classes.
  • Off-Campus Internships: The location of Augustana in the heart of Sioux Falls offers an advantage for vocation-related experience through job shadowing, internship, and employment. Our students have gained valuable experience at Avera McKennan Hospital, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Children’s Care Hospital, EROS Data Center, POET Research, the Sioux Falls Crime Lab, Hemetech, Sanford Medical Center, the Sioux Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Veterans Affairs Hospital, among many other regional businesses. These individually-designed experiences, which can taken for Augustana credit, enable students to experience what a particular career is like by spending time with professionals in work settings. Internships are available in most areas of chemistry & biochemistry, including environmental science, veterinary medicine, and all of the major health professions.


Careers in Chemistry & Biochemistry

Our majors will achieve a broad background in the natural sciences that prepares them for a variety of post-graduation options, including research positions, graduate studies, professional health disciplines, biotechnology, chemical industry, and other professions. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry prepares students for employment with many skills, the most important of which is how to approach unanswered questions. 

Training in chemistry or biochemistry facilitates entry to a wide range of careers, including:


  • Agricultural Chemistry
  • Basic and applied industrial research
  • Biotechnology
  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Education
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Information Specialists
  • Chemical Sales
  • Chemical Technology
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Product Chemistry
  • Dentistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Food and Flavor Chemistry
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Green Chemistry
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Material Science
  • Medicine
  • Oil and Petroleum
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Polymers
  • R&D Management
  • Science Writing
  • Scientific Patent Law
  • Teaching
  • Textiles and Water Chemistry

Chemists and chemical engineers are employed in plastic, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and other chemical industries in testing, forensic, and quality control labs and for federal agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency as well as state crime labs.

A strong liberal arts background combined with our serious, rigorous curriculum ensures the breadth and depth of preparation you need for any career — or continued study at some of the country’s top graduate schools.