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Science Building
CPO 2191

Office Hours:
M–F, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.


chemistry logo

Chemistry Program

Our next departmental speaker will be George M Whitesides from Harvard University speaking on March 26, 2018.

ACS Approval

On August 22nd of 2014, our department was informed that we had been unanimously given American Chemical Society Approved Department status from the Committee on Professional Training. This means that we now can certify majors that meet the requirements approved by the ACS, which for our students will be the professional BA track. We are excited to allow our students to gain this important benefit and hope it will catalyze further growth in our program.

About the Department

chemistry department picture

chemistry department picture

chemistry department picture

The Department of Chemistry offers a full set of courses designed to prepare a student for graduate study, medical school, secondary education, or work in the chemical industry. This coursework includes a foundational two-year program with associated labs in general, organic, and quantitative chemistry followed by intensive junior/senior laboratory courses in conjunction with advanced courses in biochemistry, physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. All of our majors assemble a Chemistry Portfolio over their junior and senior years that insure each student has conducted experiments in all areas of chemistry, has achieved proficiency in all major areas of instrumentation, and both attended and given seminars both inside and outside of Berea College. Our courses are grounded in problem solving using both practical and quantitative reasoning skills. We also are committed to the idea that students should conduct research as part of their undergraduate curriculum. All of our Faculty direct undergraduate research with our students as well as send some of our students to undergraduate research programs at other institutions. We hope to prepare our students to address chemical problems that have come to dominate the headlines of today's news from nuclear to biomedical issues and everything in between. Our students have gone on to work in many fields including chemical industrial research, medicine (including doctors, physician assistants, and pharmacists), and teaching (both college and secondary). Our courses also serve as collateral requirements in Biology, SENS, and Nursing, as well as provide general chemistry and environmental chemistry courses to serve the student body at large. Chemistry is central to many of the major issues that will face society for years to come from energy and waste management to medicine and biotechnology.

Article in Fall 2003 Chemistry Magazine published by the American Chemical Society which describes the Berea College chemistry department.

This Wordpress site will serve as the day to day information about comings and goings in the department of chemistry. Anyone who needs a user account should email Jay Baltisberger or Matt Saderholm. We hope you enjoy the ride.

Employment Opportunities
Berea College invites applications for a tenure-track appointment in Geology/Earth Science (or closely related field) starting fall 2018. Teaching responsibilities will consist of core introductory geology courses such as Physical Geology, more advanced Geology/Earth Science courses in the applicant’s area of expertise, and eventual contributions to Berea’s general studies program. While Berea College’s Geology program has been inactive recently, its long history started nearly a century ago and has produced many successful geologists. The successful applicant will have a Ph.D. in hand, help rebuild the Geology Program, and begin teaching and pursuing undergraduate research in Berea College’s brand-new Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, slated to open in summer 2018.
Berea College is committed in its mission to provide a quality education to high-ability students of limited economic means, to foster interracial and intercultural education, and to serve the Appalachian region. Berea seeks faculty committed to excellence in teaching, invested in scholarship and their discipline, dedicated to involving students in research, and who are also supportive of Berea’s core mission.
Interested applicants should send a curriculum vitae, graduate and undergraduate academic transcripts, a statement of teaching philosophy, research proposal, and three letters of recommendation to Applicants should also complete and send the Faculty Application available at along with other materials. Review of materials will begin November 15, 2017, and continue until the position is filled.
Berea College achieved national distinction as the first coeducational and interracial college in the South. With an emphasis on service to the people of Appalachia and beyond, Berea enrolls 1,600 students from 40 states and 70 countries. The College has a longstanding commitment to interracial education; here, people of different races seek to learn from and about each other, while also living together. Berea is among the most racially diverse private liberal arts colleges in the United States. It admits only students whose families are unable to afford the high cost of tuition and awards each of them a Tuition Promise Scholarship, meaning no student ever pays tuition.  Berea’s students excel in the College’s supportive but demanding academic environment, and many are the first in their families to graduate from college. The College is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, and all students hold a position in which they work 10-12 hours per week. Washington Monthly Magazine has consistently ranked Berea in the top 3 of Liberal Arts Colleges for its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities; in 2016 and 2017, the magazine ranked it number 1.
Located where the Bluegrass Region meets the Cumberland Mountains, the town of Berea (pop. 15,000) lies forty miles south of Lexington and is approximately two hours from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Knoxville. More information about Berea College is available at
Berea College, in light of its mission in the tradition of impartial love and social equality, welcomes all people of the earth to learn and work here.

Historical Information

The chemistry department has undergone many changes over the course of the history of the college. The first science instruction began at the turn of the century (circa 1900) and grew slowly. By the mid 60's we had three faculty members, Julian Capps, Gus Levey and Thomas Beebe. These three men combined to serve Berea College for over 100 total years of service time. Thomas Beebe was the first of the chemists at Berea to institute an undergraduate research program in the mid 60s. In the early 80's the department expanded to four fulltime members. By the late 90's we had embraced an active biochemistry requirement and had added a half-time member in the sustainability and environmental studies area.