The Invention of a Better World

Build your foundations in chemistry in the classroom, the laboratory and beyond at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. You will be trained in a curriculum approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society and be well-prepared for immediate employment as a chemist or for admission to graduate or professional school.

Scholars & Guides Exploring Together

Scholars and Guides

Elana Stenett, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Kara Gilleland ’23, Lauren Jackson ’23 and Alexandra Davidson ’24

Students in Assistant Professor of Chemistry Elana Stennett’s research group investigate chemical interactions that facilitate or hinder water purification — research with important but uncertain implications.

“Professor Stennett was the first person who encouraged me to do research at HWS and after working with her, I plan to continue that research during the school year.” –Alexandra Davidson '24


and Research

Chemistry students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in a chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Kaitlynn A Sockett ’20: The Synthesis of Novel 3,4-Bisindole Furanone Analogs of Staurosporinone
    Erin T. Pelkey, Adviser
  • Peter A. Banks ’18:Development of the Synthesis and Purification of Precursors for Potential Anticancer Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
    Justin Miller, Adviser
  • Sophia J. Melvin ’18: “Developing Synthetic Routes Towards Novel 3-Aryl-4-indolyl-furan-2-ones”
    Erin Pelkey, Adviser

Experiential EducationCreating Change

experiental learning

Educate policy makers about the effects humans have on local plant life or build on research you start in the classroom with local, national or international organizations.

At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

No Borders: Global Education

Study molecular chemistry in Australia or nanoscience in South Africa.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Global Education

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

Launched in 2021, the STEM Scholars program offers opportunities for academic support and financial aid to underrepresented students in science and mathematics programs.

Grow your understanding of chemistry to take on the challenges of today and create the solutions of tomorrow.

  • CHEM 240 Organic Chemistry I

    Gain the fundamentals in the study of organic molecules, in addition to structure, mechanism, reactions, synthesis, and practical methods for structure determination.

  • CHEM 302 Forensic Science

    Explore the scientific concepts and technologies that are used in solving crimes.

  • CHEM 448 Biochemistry I

    As the first of a two-part course, develop your understanding of the structure, function, and physical properties of biological macromolecules.



At HWS, you’ll study chemistry with some of the best equipment available, and that’s not just our word.

Rosenberg Hall, where the chemistry department is located, was described “among the best – if not the best-designed undergraduate science teaching-learning, research facilities we have ever seen” by The Council on Undergraduate Research.

Between Rosenberg Hall and adjoining Lansing Hall, there are six instructional labs, five student-faculty research laboratories, three instrument rooms, a prep room, chemical storage rooms and a computer lab.

Additionally, you can study chemistry on the water aboard the William Scandling research vessel and make use of equipment like a high-resolution sub bottom profiler, side-scan sonar and current meters.

Alum Impact Setting the Path for the Future

Yating “Sherry” Zhang '19
R&D UFLP at Unilever

With the help of chemistry faculty, Sherry was able to take her knowledge beyond the classroom, completing internships and finding her passion in chemical engineering. Zhang’s leadership experiences on campus helped her land those internships and become a competitive graduate candidate at Brown University.

Companies that employ our graduates

  • Atofina Chemical
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Buck Environmental
  • CombiMatrix
  • Elan Pharmaceuticals
  • FlavorChem
  • Glaxo SmithKline
  • Immunogen
  • Invitrogen
  • Los Alamos National Labs
  • Merck Pharmaceuticals
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases
  • The Peace Corps
  • Perkin-Elmer
  • Sanofi-Aventis
  • Schering-Plough Corporation
  • Seventh Generation Inc.
  • Unilever
  • Xerox Corporation

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • Albert Einstein Medical College
  • Armed Forces Medical College
  • Baylor University
  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Cal Tech
  • Cambridge University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dartmouth University
  • Georgia Tech University
  • Howard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oxford University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Stanford University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Florida
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Rochester
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Yale University