The word chemistry conjures up images of a mad scientist hunched over a table full of beakers and tubes, concocting potions to change metal into gold or people into animals. That's alchemy, silly. The chemist, with his white lab coat and wild hair, is difficult to define and yet endowed with seemingly mystical powers to change the physical structure of the world.
Often referred to as the central science, chemistry examines the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter, the stuff of the universe. It looks at the way the material world--petroleum, a tree, your hand--is arranged. What are the properties that make water? What do we need to sustain life? How do two chemicals react with each other? These are some of the basic questions a chemistry major tries to answer.
The skills you will learn as a chemistry major will be applicable to any number of fields, ranging from pharmaceuticals to biotechnology to environmentalism. You will gain a greater understanding as to how the physical world operates, and what we can do to improve and advance the way we live and work.