2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Sep 30, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Chemistry

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  • To prepare students for entrance into graduate school and eventually for professional work in chemistry or related fields;
  • To prepare students, who don’t wish to attend graduate school, to enter the field of industrial chemistry immediately after graduation;
  • To prepare students to teach chemistry or physical science at the secondary education level;
  • To provide students with the opportunity to participate as partners with their professors in nationally reported research projects;
  • To provide students with a general knowledge of chemistry and its relation to society.

Tradition of Excellence

The strength and reputation of the Chemistry program has been well established over the past five decades. Quality classroom instruction coupled with personal contact with caring faculty lays the foundation for students’ success. Small classes and deliberate faculty mentoring provide students the knowledge and confidence to pursue their career goals. At PLNU, the faculty understand that chemistry is a laboratory science, and almost all courses in the major have a significant laboratory component. Students become very familiar with the instrumental tools of modern chemical investigation.

Undergraduate research has, and continues to be, the hallmark of the Chemistry department. Hundreds of students have had the opportunity to work side by side with university faculty in the summer research programs. Results of these studies are published in peer-reviewed professional journals with students included as co-authors. Over 150 such articles have been published since 1965 as part of the Chemistry department undergraduate research program. Most importantly, students learn to think like scientists as they tackle their own research project. Undergraduate research requires funding and the Chemistry faculty has been very successful in competing for public and private grants (the total exceeds $2 million). As remarkable evidence of loyalty and support, Department alumni also contribute nearly $40,000 annually to partially fund the kind of research from which they themselves benefited. Students, faculty, and alumni connect in significant ways to  make chemistry education at PLNU a respected and vital experience.

Career Opportunities

The professional success of graduates in the Department of Chemistry attests to the quality of the program. More than 90 percent of students who have applied to health profession schools (medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary) were accepted. Higher percentages are accepted into Ph.D. programs in Chemistry and related fields. PLNU alumni can be found on the faculty of numerous medical schools and universities. They are also making important contributions in the practice of medicine, in school classrooms and industrial labs. The same quality undergraduate education is available to all students, and the department is proud of each of our graduates.


Laurance Beauvais, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Sara Choung, Ph.D., Co-Chair
University of California, Berkeley

Ariane Jansma, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego

Katherine Maloney, Ph.D.
Cornell University

Marc Perry, Ph.D.
New Mexico State University

Matthieu Rouffet, Ph.D., Co-Chair
School of Pharmacy, Reims, France

Lane Votapka, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego



    Point Loma Nazarene University offers four baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Many of the 50+ major programs also offer in-depth concentrations.

    If a second major area of study is desired, all requirements for both majors must be met with a minimum of 24 units distinguishing the two areas of study. While working on a single baccalaureate degree, the maximum number of pursuits is two majors and two minors.

    Students should review the majors and minors list in the catalog.


     Optional minors are offered in several schools and departments. The requirements governing minors are as follows:

    • Only minors that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation;
    • A minor is at least 16 units and is under the direct auspices of the respective school/department;
    • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor for it to be granted;
    • The minor must show a minimum of nine (9) units in residence;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, nine (9) must be distinct from and not counted in the major;
    • Of the 16+ units in the minor, 12 must be at the upper-division level;
    • The pass/no credit option is not available for courses within the minor; and
    • A second minor, when feasible, requires a minimum of nine (9) units distinct from and not counted either in the major or in the first minor.



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