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Sandra Boatman, chair
(540) 362-6554

Hollins University
P.O. Box 9501
Roanoke, VA 24020

Think like a scientist.

Chemistry is an experimental science. A thorough understanding of its concepts and techniques comes only through their application in the laboratory. At Hollins, the laboratory is a natural extension of the classroom, where theory is reinforced by observation and analysis. Directed by the same professors who teach you in the classroom, laboratories are more than drill; they are the places where students begin to think like scientists.

Like classes, the laboratories have a low student/teacher ratio. For upper-level labs, the ratio is typically 3 or 4 to 1; in other classes, the ratio is approximately 15 to 1, although enrollment in general chemistry has been as high as 30.

Laboratories are equipped with some of the latest equipment, including gas chromatographs, Fourier Transform infrared spectrophotometers, and an atomic absorption spectrometer. Organic chemistry labs use microscale techniques, which use small reaction vessels in order to minimize the quantity of reagents, reducing reaction times and waste.


Program options

  • Chemistry (B.A., B.S.)
  • Chemistry with a biochemistry concentration (B.A., B.S.)
  • Chemistry with a business concentration (B.A.)

Depending on the program you complete, you will be qualified for graduate study in the following areas: chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, chemical engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. In addition, any of the three programs will prepare students for careers in teaching at the high school level or for work in the chemical industry.


Get real-world experience with hands-on internships

Students have interned at the following places:

  • National Science Foundation (at UCLA, University of Chicago, James Madison University, Colgate University, and Connecticut College)
  • NASA
  • ITT
  • Environmental Testing Services

The Hollins chemistry department encourages its students to intern at institutions of higher learning or other scientific labs. Here are some examples:

  • Kaitlyn M. Hall '16 interned in summer 2013 working on a project to develop a method for raw material variability screening in cell culture development at Biogen Idec in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
  • Adeiye Pilgrim '14 completed a summer internship studying the correlations between renal micro- and macro-anatomy in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Mayo Clinic.
  • Chunyan Hu '12 interned with the health center at the University of Texas at Houston on a project titled "Multivariate Vector of Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease."
  • Emily Klein '11 interned with Dow Agro Sciences in Indianapolis on a project titled "Method Development for Gas Chromatograph Methods."


Hollins Science Seminar

Each year, the Hollins Science Seminar highlights the many research projects Hollins students have carried out during the academic year. Students in psychology, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and environmental studies present posters that summarize their independent research initiatives, from field projects in the Caribbean to modeling interesting mathematical phenomena.