About the Program

What is distinctive about studying chemistry at Sweet Briar?

  • Beginning in introductory courses, students gain experience with sophisticated, research-quality equipment.
  • Students learn to present their results in both written and oral form.
  • The culmination of the chemistry major is the completion of a semester-long independent research project.
  • Our small class sizes ensure that faculty are more than teachers; they are mentors who are committed to your success at Sweet Briar and beyond. Five to eight students per section is typical for intermediate and advanced courses. The maximum for intermediate level is fifteen students; each section in advanced labs is typically six to eight students.
  • For students motivated to pursue graduate study after Sweet Briar, the Honors Program provides an opportunity to earn an Honors Degree through advanced core classes and a 3-semester independent research study with a faculty mentor. The research culminates in a written thesis and an oral defense in front of a thesis committee. Students not in the Honors Program are also encouraged to conduct independent research, though not necessarily defend a thesis, with a faculty mentor.
  • The program has a strong record of obtaining funding from major federal grant sources such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as regional sources.
  • Faculty members stay active in their disciplines by participating in professional organizations and by attending a variety of professional meetings, focusing on research and education.