Theoretical Chemistry
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OverviewSalary and DebtIs a Bachelor's EnoughCareersSchoolsRelated ProgramsGenderRace/Origin
Theoretical chemistry is a program that focuses on the study of mathematical and computational methods and fundamental laws of physics to describe chemical phenomena and to develop empirical models of molecules and their interactions. includes instruction in properties of small, isolated molecules; dynamics of elementary chemical processes; reaction pathways of organic molecules; hydrogen bonding patterns in liquids; reaction rates of biological pathways; and advanced computational techniques.
School with the highest reported median starting salary ($55K) with a Bachelor's Degree: University of North Alabama
Career with the highest median salary ($131K) where most workers have a Bachelor's Degree: Architectural and Engineering Managers
Explore Pathways
Careers for program graduates
Theoretical chemistry majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
PhysiciansChemists and materials scienti...Postsecondary TeachersSpecialized ManagersSpecialized Physical Scientist...Specialized Life ScientistsElementary and Middle School S...PharmacistsSecondary School TeachersDentistsLawyers, and judges, magistrat...Chief executives and legislato...Wholesale and Manufacturing Sa...Software DevelopersChemical TechniciansRegistered NursesManagement AnalystsMedical and Health Services Ma...Medical and Clinical Laborator...Project Management Specialists
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Current completions
What level of degree do most graduates achieve, and do they match what your goals?
02468Bachelor's DegreeResearch Doctorate
Completions over time
Have completions for chemistry changed over time? Increasing completions may mean you'll likely have an easier time finding a school that offers this degree, with the opposite being true as well.
Show percentages
Number of graduates
Research Doctorate
Bachelor's Degree
Salary and Debt
How are students who recently completed a degree in theoretical chemistry doing?
Below is the distribution of starting salaries along with accumulated federal and private education loans across schools that offer a degree in the field chemistry, which includes theoretical chemistry.
Median starting salaries
Median cumulative loan amount
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Context: median salaries
How does the median (middle) salary for chemistry majors compare to the median salaries for other college majors?
Distribution: chemistry majors' salaries by education level
What is the salary distribution for graduates with a bachelor's inchemistry by the level of their highest degree (Graduate degrees may not be in the same field as the bachelor’s)
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?
Education level of workers with a bachelor's in chemistry
Is a bachelor's degree going to be sufficient to make you competative in the job market? We can look at the education level of workers with a bachelors in this degree to see if there is a likely need for a graduate degree. You'll also want to check out the careers section on this page to where they are employed.
This chart shows the level of education of workers with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. The worker's graduate degree may have been completed in a different field.
Education level of workers
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
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Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree
About 63% of chemistry majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (possibly of a different major). The percentage of chemistry majors who also earned a graduate degree is higher than about 96% of other fields.
Context: Percentage salary boost obtained with a graduate degree
How important is a graduate degree for earning a higher salary? We can see the difference in salary of workers with a bachelors in this degree to workers with a bachelor’s AND a graduate degree.
36%73%62%0%20%40%60%80%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to DoctorateBachelor's to Professional
Top careers for those with a degree in chemistry
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry (which combines 7 programs), though may not be limited to just those with a bachelor’s.
  1. Physicians
  2. Chemists and materials scientists
  3. Postsecondary Teachers
  4. Specialized Managers
  5. Specialized Physical Scientists
  6. Elementary and Middle School School Teachers
  7. Specialized Life Scientists
  8. Pharmacists
  9. Dentists
  10. Secondary School Teachers
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Careers for chemistry majors
Where do chemistry majors work, and how well do those jobs pay? A ** in the job title indicates that the Department of Education recommends this job for this program.
Not so much?
The top ten careers for workers with a bachelor's in chemistry
Take a minute to interact with this sankey diagram. Follow the top ten jobs held by chemistry graduates through to their most hired majors. Learn where it may easiest to find work. Expand the careers to explore other majors that might lead to the job that excites you the most. *For many majors, the top ten jobs don't even include half of graduates!*
Expand careers
PhysiciansChemists and materia...Postsecondary Teache...Specialized ManagersSpecialized Physical...Elementary and Middl...Specialized Life Sci...PharmacistsDentistsSecondary School Tea...All othersThis degreeTop 10 Careers
What careers hire chemistry majors as one of their top 10?
To the left of this diagram, see all careers that hire chemistry majors as one of their top 10 majors, and on the right, see what proportion of openings for the jobs on the left are filled by chemistry majors.
ChemistryAll other degreesChemists and materials sc...Specialized Physical Scie...Specialized Life Scientis...Specialized Life, Physica...Natural Sciences ManagersAstronomers and physicist...PharmacistsBiological TechniciansBiological ScientistsChemical EngineersMedical and Clinical Labo...Postsecondary TeachersMaterials EngineersIndustrial Production Man...Agricultural and food sci...Geoscientists and Hydrolo...Specialized Healthcare Di...ChiropractorsAcupuncturistsEnvironmental Scientists ...Petroleum, mining, mining...Nurse AnesthetistsAll other careersDegreeDegree in top 10 employed
Where can I complete this degree
Explore schools that offer theoretical chemistry degrees and certificates
You can use this table to find schools that offer this program based on location and program level offered. Each entry goes to a school page similar to this one with all our information about that school.
Understanding the columns

The school list includes a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually.

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Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Related Programs
Top 10 similar programs
Following are related programs, ordered by those with the highest number of completions. You can explore a full list by pressing the more details button.
  1. Chemistry
  2. Physics
  3. Geology
  4. Physical Sciences
  5. Specialized Study in Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences
  6. Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
  7. Astronomy
  8. Materials Science
  9. Specialized Study in Chemistry
  10. Oceanography, Chemical and Physical
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Careers for chemistry majors
chemistry is part of a larger collection of programs: Physical Sciences. Is there a different program that's close to chemistry that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.
Gender of recent graduates
Of all people with any degree in theoretical chemistry earned in the last academic year, 25% were women.
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Completions over time
Have completions by gender changed over time, or at specific levels of education?
Award level
All levels
05101520Number of graduates2013201420152016201720182019
Context: Gender representation
How does the gender distribution in this major compare to all other majors?
Context: Percentage women
This major has a lower percentage of women than 77% other programs.
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary with this degree? The closer the bar are, the less discrepancy there is.
Context: Salary inequity
For chemistry graduates, men have a 27% higher median salary than women, This is high: 80% of programs have graduates with lower salary inequities.
Race/Origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all theoretical chemistry graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 78% of other programs.
Pacific Islander
American Indian
Not Reported
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Completions over time
Have completions by race/origin changed over time, or at specific levels of education?
Award level
All levels
05101520Number of graduates2013201420152016201720182019
Not Reported
American Indian
Pacific Islander
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 66% of other programs.