Chemistry Department

Chemistry is the study of the physical world and the natural processes that occur all around us. Explore majors in chemistry and biochemistry at Saint Mary’s — and discover a world of possibilities and career opportunities.

Enter the world of chemistry with the fundamental knowledge of the most central of sciences. By combining research, laboratory projects, and chemistry principles, a chemistry or biochemistry degree will prepare you for entry-level careers in the chemical sciences. A major in chemistry or biochemistry is also excellent preparation for medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, and other graduate programs.

Why Study Chemistry at Saint Mary’s?

A chemistry or biochemistry major offers a comprehensive chemistry education combined with the liberal arts. The programs in the natural sciences at Saint Mary’s offer many rewarding benefits:

  • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).
  • Use of advanced instrumentation is built into the curriculum starting as a first-year student, allowing theory and practice to be built throughout the educational career.
  • State-of-the-art labs and classrooms in the Science and Learning Center and current renovation of Hoffman Hall.
  • Coordinated curriculum at all levels, which allows for seamless transitions between courses and is continually updated to reflect the needs of a graduate in the ever-changing world.
  • Personalized, one-on-one mentorship and advising to help you achieve your goals.
  • Working with a professor to plan, carry out, and present a Senior Research project.
  • Outreach opportunities to engage local area high school students and the broader community.
  • Summer research at major medical facilities like Winona Health, Gundersen Health System, and the leading hospital in the nation, Mayo Clinic.
  • Support in pursuing summer undergraduate research experiences/fellowships at large research universities.
  • The Chemistry Department was a grant recipient of the Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grant Program in 2013 and 2020.

Career Outlook and Advanced Studies

Chemistry graduates find immediate opportunities with environmental, medical, industrial, pharmaceutical, and corporate careers. Go even further. Take the first step toward professional and graduate school programs with your chemistry education from Saint Mary’s. Take it wherever you go, or as far you want to go. The world is all yours.

Enrich Your Experience

Connect with others and become involved with the department through activities and events. Join the Chemistry Club and the Student Chapter of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). These student-led clubs sponsor field trips, fundraisers, education programs, outreach, and social events. Student members also promote National Chemistry Week each fall.


The Chemistry Department’s instrumentation is housed on the third floor of the Science and Learning Center, which was completed in the Fall of 2017. Instrumentation is built into the curriculum starting as a first-year student, allowing theory and practice to be built throughout your educational career.

You will gain hands-on experience with modern, research-grade instrumentation such as the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer, and gas chromatograph with a mass spectrometer. Students may choose to use this instrumentation as part of their Senior Research Projects.


  • Thermo 1300/ISQ700 GC-MS with TriPlus Robotic Sample Handling
  • Thermo P2000 HPLC system


  • Agilent 4210 Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer
  • StellarNet 785 nm Raman Spectrometer
  • Varian EM360 with Anasazi EFT-60 Upgrade NMR Spectrometer
  • Thermo Evolution 300 UV-Vis Spectrometer
  • Thermo Evolution Array UV-Vis Spectrometer
  • Thermo Nicolet 380 IR Spectrometer


  • 10-node Linux Beowulf computer cluster
  • Instrument Specialists Inc. 550 Differential Scanning Calorimeter

The Department of Chemistry at Saint Mary's sees its focus as providing students with the liberal arts background and comprehensive chemical education necessary to succeed in graduate or professional school or in entry-level careers in the chemical sciences.


Nathan Lien, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


HABC, 326

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-1558

Nathan Lien Ph.D.
Brett Bodsgard, Ph.D.



HABC, 334

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-6972

Brett Bodsgard Ph.D.
Heidi Dahlmann, D.S.

Assistant Professor


HABC, 332

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-1507

Christopher Jordan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


St. Mary's Press, SMP B

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-1556

Christopher Jordan Ph.D.
Jaime Mueller, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Fine and Performing Arts

HABC, 330

Campus Box: # 14

(507) 457-6935

Jaime Mueller Ph.D.