Serious. Fun.

The Warren Wilson chemistry program is serious and intense. But with the help of your faculty and the Chemistry Crew, you’ll learn the tools you need to exceed those challenges and thoroughly enjoy your exploration of the basis of our world.

We’ll prepare you for graduate school, for medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary school, as well as preparing you for good jobs as a traditional “bench chemist.”

Chemistry Instrumentation

We know that tools matter. As you work with faculty and develop your own independent research projects, you will have access to a variety of instrumentation. Just a few of our instruments are:

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP): A Perkin Elmer Optima 3100 XL ICP is used for multi-element environmental research by our students.
  • Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS): The Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) is used to separate mixtures and to characterize each component in the mixture.
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatographs (HPLC): The Department has two high performance chromatographs used by many students in their Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence (NSURS).
  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AA): The Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AA) is used to measure the concentration of metals such as lead, mercury, zinc and iron.

I love how intellectually demanding my work on Chemistry Crew is, how challenging it is to work behind the scenes making solutions and setting up experiments, and how rewarding it is to constantly deepen my understanding as I tutor students in introductory concepts.

Rebecca Hirsch '18

Explore Classes in This Program

CHM 2250

Organic Chemistry

You’ll gain a basic understanding of the structure and function of organic molecules with emphasis on biological implications. You’ll explore topics such as the principles of structure and bonding, functional groups, structural analysis, stereochemistry, and more. This course is taken in conjunction with a lab where you will learn purification, extraction of natural products, synthesis, chromatography, and spectroscopy.

CHM 3210

Instrumental Methods

In this course, you’ll design and execute targeted chemical analyses using instruments such as chromatographs (gas and liquid) and spectrometers (emission and mass). You’ll also use statistical methods to examine the quality of laboratory data and report on their experimentation in a digestible way for a variety of target audiences. You’ll also learn how to perform basic instrument maintenance and troubleshooting.

CHM 3320

Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy

Interested in quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and spectroscopy? In this you’ll learn to interpret and explain the fundamental principles governing the observed spectroscopic behavior of a quantum mechanical system as predicted by statistical mechanics. Translation, vibration, rotation, and nuclear states will be thoroughly explored and then applied.

Meet Our Faculty

In the classroom, I have two jobs as a professor. My first job is to confuse you. My second job is to un-confuse you: because that's how the learning happens!

Langdon J. Martin, Ph.D.
Langdon Martin
Langdon J. Martin, Ph.D.

Warren Wilson students are the most engaged and curious students I have ever had the privilege of teaching. I feel so fortunate to work with students who challenge me to learn and grow every day.

Kim Borges, Ph.D.
Kim Borges, Ph.D.
David Coffey teaching

I appreciate how the small class sizes at Wilson allow me to break a class from a physics problem and have a full class discussion on the beauty or application in our world.

David Coffey, Ph.D.
David Coffey teaching
David Coffey, Ph.D.

Warren Wilson students are curious and engaging. I am inspired by their questions and enthusiasm during class discussions. I love to teach them and learn with them.

Yuemei Zhang, Ph.D.
Yuemei Zhang, Ph.D.
Langdon Martin
Meet Our Students

Science and Art Collide

For Andrew Carnie, science and art are interwoven. His interest in the intersection of these two disciplines was evident as a student when he studied both chemistry and painting at Warren Wilson. He went on to expand his academic study of both science and art before becoming an artist, instructor, and speaker. His artistic practice involves interaction with scientists in different fields, and his work has been exhibited at both the Science Museum, London, and the Natural History Museum, Rotterdam.