Abigail majored in chemistry with minors in English and psychology, and published four research journal publications working with chemistry faculty during her time at Ripon. After getting accepted to several chemistry Ph.D. programs, Abigail is currently attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

“Ripon taught me to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. You never know what will have a lasting impact on your life; for all you know, it could be advantageous for your career or could lay the foundations for an everlasting friendship.”

Abigail Stitgen '22, Ph.D. Student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Achieve More

5

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP OR HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS IN THE LAST 7 YEARS

>95%

ACCEPTANCE RATE INTO Ph.D. GRADUATE PROGRAMS (TUITION-FREE, SALARY INCLUDED)

77%

5-YR AVG ACCEPTANCE RATE TO MEDICAL SCHOOL

Department Mission Statement

Chemistry student presents summer research

Modern chemistry is the study of matter and its transformations. Our department presents the theory, concepts and laboratory experiences of chemistry in an intimate environment that allows for the personal professional development of students through both individual and team-based approaches. The department’s program is framed within the liberal arts model where we consider multiple perspectives to enhance our understanding of phenomena. Throughout the chemistry curriculum, students advance in their problem-solving, critical thinking, laboratory safety, communication and ethical skills and become prepared for careers as productive scientists and for lives as responsible citizens.

Icon for: At a Glance
Ripon College's chemistry program is distinctive in that organic chemistry is the initial course. This provides an accessible introduction to chemistry while also providing new experiences in chemical synthesis for students with advanced high school preparation.
Ripon also offers a variety of interdisciplinary majors and minors related to chemistry:
Chemistry-Biology
Physical Science

At a Glance

Ripon College’s chemistry program is distinctive in that organic chemistry is the initial course. This provides an accessible introduction to chemistry while also providing new experiences in chemical synthesis for students with advanced high school preparation.

Ripon also offers a variety of interdisciplinary majors and minors related to chemistry:

Icon for: Expect to Experience


 	Hands-on research with state-of-the-art instrumentation used by students at all levels, including three mass spectrometers for advanced organic and biomedical analysis and characterization. Instrumental characterization of inorganic and physical chemical properties are performed throughout the curriculum.
 	One-on-one research opportunities with Ripon chemistry faculty, often resulting in publication and available for interested students regardless of major
 	Opportunities to travel to National American Chemical Society meetings all over the country to present research and to network
 	Personal advising and individualized course navigation, including study-abroad opportunities, to ensure your readiness for future career and educational goals

Chemistry Facebook Page

Expect to Experience

  • Hands-on research with state-of-the-art instrumentation used by students at all levels, including three mass spectrometers for advanced organic and biomedical analysis and characterization. Instrumental characterization of inorganic and physical chemical properties are performed throughout the curriculum.
  • One-on-one research opportunities with Ripon chemistry faculty, often resulting in publication and available for interested students regardless of major
  • Opportunities to travel to National American Chemical Society meetings all over the country to present research and to network
  • Personal advising and individualized course navigation, including study-abroad opportunities, to ensure your readiness for future career and educational goals

Icon for: Leave Empowered To
Students who complete the chemistry program graduate with the skills necessary to:


 	Thrive in elite graduate programs and medical schools across the country from having experienced intense personal involvement with both science content and scientists
 	Effectively communicate scientific concepts and results through both oral and written formats
 	Become a critical reader of scientific journals, prepare and create experiments from this research, and work independently and in teams to effectively advance knowledge
 	Leverage a vast professional network of alumni across the entire scientific space through personal professional contacts made available by our lifelong relationships with alumni

Leave Empowered To

Students who complete the chemistry program graduate with the skills necessary to:

  • Thrive in elite graduate programs and medical schools across the country from having experienced intense personal involvement with both science content and scientists
  • Effectively communicate scientific concepts and results through both oral and written formats
  • Become a critical reader of scientific journals, prepare and create experiments from this research, and work independently and in teams to effectively advance knowledge
  • Leverage a vast professional network of alumni across the entire scientific space through personal professional contacts made available by our lifelong relationships with alumni

Latest News

Patrick Willoughby

Article by Patrick Willoughby, student collaborators published in journal

Associate Professor of Chemistry Patrick H. Willoughby and three of his students contributed to an article published in Chemistry: A European Journal. Contributors to “Nitrene […]

Zachary Morris '02

Zachary Morris ’02 named chair of the UW Department of Human Oncology

Zachary Morris ’02 has been named chair of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Human Oncology. A leading expert […]

Christina Othon, Patrick Willoughby

Othon, Willoughby among collaborators receiving major National Science Foundation grant

A National Science Foundation grant worth more than $259,000 over four years has been awarded for an interdisciplinary research study led by Associate Professor of […]

Faculty

Colleen Byron

Byron, Colleen

Professor of Chemistry, L. Leone Oyster 1919 Chair in Chemistry

Bryan Nell

Nell, Bryan

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Patrick Willoughby

Willoughby, Patrick

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Advising

Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon

Requirements

two students conducting a chemistry experiment in the lab at Ripon CollegeFeatured Course: CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I

All Ripon College chemistry students enroll in Organic Chemistry as a first-semester course, which allows for accelerated completion of introductory chemistry courses and poising students for early entry into advanced laboratory experiences.

 

Requirements for a Major in Chemistry
Prerequisites Physics 131 General Physics I: Mechanics and 152 Introductory Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves or 172 General Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves and Mathematics (MTH) 201 Calculus I and 202 Calculus II are prerequisites for CHM 334 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics; MTH 202 Calculus II, PHY 131 General Physics I: Mechanics, and PHY 172 General Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves are prerequisites for PHY 251 General Physics III: Modern Physics, Optics or higher PHY course electives for the major.
Core Courses CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I, 112 Structure and Reactivity, 211 Analytical Chemistry: Equilibrium and Quantitative Analysis, 214 Organic Chemistry II, 321 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry, 334 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics, 342 Advanced Laboratory, three semesters of 501 Departmental Seminar and one semester of 502 Departmental Seminar.
Elective Courses One of the following (CHM 414 Chemical Instrumentation, PHY 251 General Physics III: Modern Physics, Optics, PHY 412 Quantum Mechanics, PHY 440 Advanced Laboratory and Computational Physics, or PHY 441 Experimental Laser Optics),
Additional Criteria CHM 111, 112, 211 and 214 constitute an introductory core and should be taken in sequence. Also majors must complete a research project which culminates in a substantial written thesis. Except in unusual circumstances, an experimental project is required. This thesis project can be initiated after the student’s exposure to the introductory core, but must be essentially complete at the end of the fall semester of the senior year. A directed summer research project, either at Ripon, on another campus, or in an industrial laboratory, also could provide the basis for an acceptable thesis. It is expected that the project will be the equivalent of a minimum of four semester hours of credit. Students planning to pursue graduate work should select advanced courses and research opportunities based on their post-graduation interests.
Requirements for a Minor in Chemistry
Core Courses CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I, 112 Structure and Reactivity, 211 Analytical Chemistry: Equilibrium and Quantitative Analysis, 214 Organic Chemistry II.
Elective Courses One course from CHM 321 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry, 334 Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics, 414 Chemical Instrumentation or 422 Biochemistry.
Requirements for Teaching Chemistry
Core Courses Students interested in teaching chemistry need to complete the Secondary Education Major and the Science Education licensure requirements which include: a major or minor in biology, chemistry, physics, or environmental studies and the following courses: BIO 122 Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity, 123 Molecules, Cells, and Genes, 211 Human Anatomy and Physiology I, CHM 111 Organic Chemistry I, 112 Structure and Reactivity, ENV 120 Environmental Studies, PHY 131 General Physics I: Mechanics,152 Introductory Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves, and EDU 337 .

Career Tracks

Our graduates are enrolled in a variety of graduate programs and medical schools at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities. Examples of positions occupied by our alumni include principal research investigator, wheat geneticist, physical chemistry professor, experience manager, pharmaceutical sales representative, environmental health specialist, radiation oncologist, project manager, senior scientist, vaccine researcher, chemical engineer, pharmacist, analytical chemist, clinical research specialist, pediatrician, patent litigation lawyer and small business owner.

Graduate and Medical Schools Attended by Ripon College Graduates
Baylor College of Medicine Purdue University University of Minnesota
Colorado State University Scripps University of Oregon
Duke University UCLA University of Pennsylvania
Harvard University University of Arizona University of Tennessee
Iowa State University University of California-Irvine University of Washington
Miami of Ohio University of Illinois University of Wisconsin
Northwestern University University of Iowa Washington State University
Penn State University of Massachusetts Yale University
Ph.D.'s Earned by Ripon College Chemistry Majors
Analytical Chemistry Immunology Organic Chemistry
Biochemistry Inorganic Chemistry Physical Chemistry
Chemical Biology Materials Science Polymer Science and Engineering
Chemical Oceanography Molecular Biology

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Unique Opportunities

Ripon College is here to provide unique experiences that will enhance your studies.

Students review chemistry lab data with Patrick Willoughby

Collaborative Research Opportunities

Research opportunities and internships, in collaboration with Ripon College professors. Paid summer internships are available through our Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR) Program, and often this collaborative work is published.

Two female students conducting experiment in chemistry lab

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The purpose of this program is to ensure quality, vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support inclusive of an annual stipend of $37,000 for graduate students. Ripon College faculty have a track record of success in working with interested students to secure this and other research grants.

Ripon College student works with rotifers in Farr Hall of Science

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The Oak Ridge Science Semester enables students to join ongoing investigations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology and more.


Facilities

Rendering of the Ripon College Science Center, exterior view of the building

Rendering of the Ripon College Science Center, exterior view of the building Rendering of the Ripon College Science Center, interior view of the lobby

Franzen Science Center Coming Fall 2024!

Breaking ground in spring of 2023, the Franzen Science Center is a complete renovation of Farr Hall including 19,000 square feet of new construction featuring new laboratory, classroom and collaboration spaces throughout. The space, originally built in 1961, is designed to meet the STEM learning needs of science students today and with the flexibility to adapt to needs in the future. Click here to learn more about Ripon's ongoing investment in our campus.

Outside entrance to Farr Hall of Science on Ripon College's campus Students working collaboratively in Farr Hall of Science classroom at Ripon College Brett Barwick, Lydia Wiley Deal and Garrett Radtke in Physics Lab in Farr Hall

Farr Hall of Science

Home to the science department, Farr Hall contains classrooms, labs, faculty offices, Bear Auditorium and a greenhouse. Departmental instrumentation includes LC/MS, GC/MS, 300 MHz NMR, FTIR, digital polarimetry with campus wide spectroscopic and molecular biology instrumentation available.