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Department of Biochemistry & Chemistry

Experiences & Opportunities


Research with Faculty Members

At Westminster, biochemistry and chemistry students have the opportunity to work in faculty research groups as early as their second semester. Students who pursue research gain valuable laboratory and time management skills. Ask any faculty member about opportunities to work in their research group.


Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research

The Drinko Center supports student research and creative work in all majors and at all academic levels. Drinko provides financial grants that support student projects or travel to national conferences, including the Summer Research Fellows, which provides stipends to student-faculty research teams.

The Center also organizes the Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration (URAC), a day-long event showcasing the collaborative work between Westminster faculty and students.

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Research Experiences for Undergraduates

One of the best ways to develop research skills and stimulate your intellectual curiosity is to work as an undergraduate researcher during the summer. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a very active and reputable Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in which students get paid for performing research at a variety of universities across the United States and around the world.

Biochemistry and Chemistry students have participated in REU programs hosted by Duquesne University, MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX), Boston University, and the University of Southern Queensland (Australia).

For more information, please contact the Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Dr. Jessica Sarver.

Jessica L. Sarver

Associate Professor/Chair
Jessica L. Sarver


Health Professions Advising

The Health Professions Advisor on campus provides developmentally appropriate advising and career information to Westminster College students considering careers as health professionals, regardless of major. Westminster’s curriculum and advising program have been highly successful in helping students gain admittance to medical, dental, and other health science programs.

Health professions advising includes, but is not limited to, Allopathic Medicine (MD), Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Podiatry, Physician Assistant (PA), and Physical Therapy (PT). General advising over the first two years at Westminster transitions into more specific guidance by the junior year when students commit to pursuing their programs of choice.

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Research Professions Advisory Committee

ResPAC was founded at Westminster College in 2009 to serve the needs of students who have an interest in a career in scientific research. ResPAC membership includes students from Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Neuroscience, Physics, Math, and Computer Science.

The ResPAC faculty committee organizes regular workshops that provide students with information about career and internship opportunities, helps students find and apply for appropriate graduate programs, helps them prepare for standardized tests, and offers some professional services such as mock interviews and resume advice.

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Center for the Environment

The mission of the Center for the Environment is to connect people with each other and the natural world. CfE strives to create an understanding of the dynamic relationships among society, our environment, and the economy. Students from all majors benefit from the Center’s programming and resources, which are designed to foster critical thinking, creative expression, data collection and analysis, ethical judgements, entrepreneurial endeavors, and human wellbeing.

CfE initiatives include the Westminster Bee Company, a student-led business that hand-bottles and sells the honey produced in the almost 30 beehives that make up the Westminster College apiary.

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Student Symposium on the Environment

The Student Symposium on the Environment is a regional event hosted by Westminster College to highlight environmental study, research, artistic expression, and service. Individual, group, and class projects are welcome.

Students from all disciplines, ranging from high school through graduate school, are encouraged to participate. Research posters, art work, oral presentations, and even performances are welcome.

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Tiny House Project

Our 160-square-foot house was designed and built by the hard work and collaboration of students, faculty, alumni, professionals, and community members. The Tiny House Project allows students to develop a unique experience that integrates concepts of sustainability, simple living, and environmental studies into their coursework and lifestyles.

A project managed by the Center for the Environment, students from all majors are welcome to propose a unique tiny living-learning experience.

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Professional experiences like internships provide a meaningful real-world component to your education and your resume. Internships can also lead to valuable networking opportunities and can even lead to full-time employment after graduation.

Chemistry and Biochemistry majors have completed internships for manufacturing companies such as Sonneborn, LLC and Becton, Dickinson and Company, as well as the Dairy Farmers of America.

Learn more about internships and the other opportunities available through our Office of Professional Development & Community Engagement .

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Honors Program

Westminster College’s Honors Program believes that the life of the mind is best cultivated when students take what they have learned in the classroom and go out into the world. That’s why our program builds international travel into its sequence of interdisciplinary, global honors seminars with a trip to Greece.

The curriculum gives you the opportunity to learn about human history and nature from multiple perspectives, while also supporting the development of strong leadership, communication, and writing skills. It will also connect you to a vibrant community of students from across campus who are excited about learning.

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Professional Networking Symposium

Open to all majors, the Professional Networking Symposium is an annual event designed to help students and young alumni better understand potential paths after graduation, including career and graduate school options.

The Symposium includes a career fair, breakout sessions, and the opportunity to learn to network. Sessions are designed to address specific topics and interests and are moderated by experienced professionals.

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Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a life-changing educational experience for many of our students. Our Office of Global Engagement developed different kinds of study abroad opportunities, designed to meet varying curricular and economic situations.

We offer traditional semester-long, individual study abroad opportunities in more than 30 countries. Also, students can elect to take short-term study abroad opportunities, such as a May travel course, or a Study Tour, which is a travel experience tied to a regular on-campus course or co-curricular program.

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Westminster Entrepreneurship Center (WEC)

WEC offers students in any major the opportunity to be exposed to concept creation, innovation of ideas and business ownership strategies. These activities are nurtured through practiced entrepreneurial exposures, state-of-the-art facilities, leadership collaboration, dynamic entrepreneurial engagements, competitions and events designed to offer students an unparalleled exposure to real world practical experiences.

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Student Organizations & Honor Societies


American Chemical Society, Student Affiliates

The objectives of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemistry Society, or Chem Club, are to afford an opportunity for students with interest in the chemical sciences to become better acquainted, to secure the intellectual stimulation that arises from the professional association, to obtain experience in preparing and presenting technical material before chemical audiences, to foster a professional spirit among the members, to instill a professional pride in the chemical sciences, to foster an awareness of the responsibilities and challenges facing the modern chemist, and to provide a venue to serve as representatives of the chemical sciences to the community through outreach and community service.


American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) is an organization whose purpose is to advance research, education, and scientific outreach as well as foster networking and career development opportunities at local, regional, and national levels for undergraduate students with interests in biochemical and molecular biological fields of study. Membership is open to all Westminster College students who have declared a major in either Molecular Biology or Biochemistry.


Pre-Health Society

The Pre-Health Society is an organization whose purpose is to support and engage students preparing for health professions and to provide skills that will aid them in post-baccalaureate education and eventual careers in healthcare fields.


Pre-Veterinary Society

The Pre-Veterinary Society, founded in 2007, seeks to encourage student interests in achieving goals and advancing studies in the field of veterinary medicine.



The Society for the Protection of Outdoor Resources and Environmental Sustainability.