Hear What Our Undergraduates Say

Our students are great indicators of our successes as educators and researchers!

Read the opinions of our students on a variety of topics, from learning, to professors, research, and clubs, to get the best information about why Duquesne offers such a great education in chemistry and related fields. Also look into where our graduates have gone to get an idea of the success that comes from the education you can get at Duquesne.

Describe something that has impressed you about the chemistry or biochemistry major program:

  • If you want to be a Chemistry major with a program that challenges intellectually and has state of the art technology and resources for research, then Duquesne is the place for you.
  • An aspect of the chemistry/biochemistry that has really impressed me was the passion the instructors demonstrate for the field of chemistry; you feel compelled to learn because of the interesting the instructors display the material.
  • I am impressed by how unique the chemistry and biochemistry major program is. In other words, I like that our major classes are organized so that it is just the chemistry and biochemistry majors. This allows us to really get to know each other and develop more meaningful friendships. Overall, since the chemistry and biochemistry program is organized in this way, it gives a nice sense of community and an all-around supportive and pleasant working environment.
  • I believe everyone who is a chemistry/ biochemistry major acts like one BIG family. I have been with the same people throughout my four years of college which created a comfortable environment and study sessions with people who are taking the same classes.
  • I am very impressed with how emphatic many of the professors are about the courses they teach - the excitement can be contagious and it gets you motivated to learn.
  • Small-sized classes helped me to interact with the instructor and my classmates.

Describe something you didn't anticipate or expect as an incoming freshman that has had a great positive impact on you:

  • As a freshman I could not have imagined how much research could influence both my academic and social life. Conducting research truly "sparked" an interest in me to learn and provide myself a motivation to make connections between to what I learn in the classroom to how that applies to my research. In terms of social life, my lab members are without a doubt my closest friends and provide me support like that of a family.
  • I did not think everyone would be so willing to help me succeed. My first impression of entering into a STEM major was that the professors would want to weed out the weak, instead they try to make sure you are on the right track.
  • I did not expect to form such close relationships with my professors, which has positively impacted me because it fosters a learning environment where I feel comfortable asking questions to further advance my understanding of the material.
  • The location, good-standing reputation/academic quality, and small class sizes were critical to my final college decision. What I did not know about Duquesne as an incoming freshman, however, was that it offers many opportunities, such as work-study positions, scholarships, activities, research/hands-on experiences, publications, etc.
  • I did not expect the chemistry department as well as its students to be so welcoming and willing to provide guidance and assistance if I needed it.

Describe something that has impressed you about participating in undergraduate research:

  • The undergraduate research program is an impressive program because it provides the greatest knowledge and insight to a future in the chemistry/biochemistry field as application of knowledge is one of the most valuable experiences one can have.
  • As an undergraduate researcher, I am always amazed by how much hands-on experience I have acquired with advanced instrumentation. At many large research universities, undergraduates aren't allowed to touch the instruments that I have the opportunity to operate on a daily basis.
  • I really appreciated how I was able to begin as early as my spring of freshman year because it gave me the time needed to adjust to college life and made me feel more accepted as a scientist for being allowed the responsibility of undergraduate research.
  • I did not expect to be trained and with half-million-dollar machines. I will now have in depth knowledge on how to run advanced instruments for characterization of compounds.
  • Duquesne has granted me an opportunity of a lifetime by allowing me to conduct research at such an early stage. This experience established my passion for synthetic chemistry and now I will be able to lead on my research project, constantly advancing my laboratory skills.
  • The opportunity to work independently on a project and the high expectations for undergraduate researchers are preparing me well for further education and a career in the field.

Describe something that has impressed you about the professors in the chemistry department:

  • Every professor that I have had in the chemistry department has demonstrated a level of personal investment in their students that has surpassed anything I could have expected coming to such a well-known research university. Not only do my professors know my name, but they also know my interests and goals, and are constantly working to help me achieve at the highest level.
  • The professors really take notice of all of their students and to know them, since the class sizes are fairly small. I have a very reserved presence in the classroom, but many of my professors tried to connect outside the classroom and got to know me better. This also helped me feel more comfortable going to them with any questions or concerns.
  • The professors in the chemistry department are very knowledgeable, helpful, supporting, passionate, kind and overall, exceptional. I am impressed by their enthusiasm and willingness to encourage students to work in their research laboratories, gain hands-on experience, and use modern (and expensive!) instrumentation. They are some of the most knowledgeable and skilled experts in their respective areas of study.
  • The professors of the program are committed to the success of their students. I have not met a department that is as interactive and approachable outside of the classroom as the chemistry/biochemistry department at Duquesne.
  • The professors will take the time out of their busy schedule to help you with any question you have even if it does not pertain to their class.

Describe why you chose the dual-degree program and how it will help you achieve your goals:

  • The dual-degree program will help me achieve a research job in the industry as this program supplies me with necessary research experience that is desired in the job industry.
  • I saw an amazing opportunity to further my education at the place that it all started. I already know the professors and the program, and how they are all high quality, so it made perfect sense.

Describe ways in which an advisor, mentor, or graduate student has had a large impact on you:

  • The mentors that I have had so far in my undergraduate career have helped me with research, professional skills, potential post-graduation plans, and scholarship opportunities. When I came to Duquesne, I had thought that I knew exactly what I wanted to do after graduation; however, my mentors have encouraged me to also consider other options that have, as a result, sparked my interest.
  • I was really nervous about making mistakes and asking the "wrong" questions when I first started undergraduate research, but both my mentor and graduate students have been exceedingly patient, welcoming, and helpful.
  • The support I have received from my research mentor and the graduate students in my lab has given me confidence in my ability to succeed and inspired me to want to pursue higher education in the field.
  • My mentor and his graduate students have given me the full support and patience that I have needed as an undergraduate researcher. They have boosted my confidence in my current research and my future research as an Analytical Chemistry graduate student.
  • My research mentor has provide opportunities for me in numerous cases throughout my undergraduate experiences. She has provided me with connections to some of her previous students that are in a career field of research that I wish to pursue and enabled me to obtain scholarships through my research accomplishments.
  • The grad student I work closely with said that he would take me under his wing when I first started, and he has been there for me every step of the way since I started. He's helped me grow professionally, socially, and most notably mentally - I cannot imagine having a better graduate student as a mentor.

Describe how and what clubs have had a positive impact on your academic success and adapting to college:

  • My involvement in the American Chemical Society here at Duquesne has connected me to a network of students and professors who are invested in developing skills for successful careers in chemistry. It has been so helpful to speak with upperclassmen who were in my shoes just a few years ago, learning from their mistakes and successes, and becoming inspired by their goals for the future!
  • The BSNES Multicultural STEM Group (MSG) was the first organization that I joined at Duquesne, and it is the only one that I've been in throughout my entire undergraduate career. It's Peer Mentoring Program really helped me adapt socially during that transition as a freshman where everything is new and daunting, especially as a minority student. MSG really gave me a communal place I felt safe, so much that I decided to have a leadership position every year as an upperclassman.
  • I chose Duquesne for two reasons: It has an excellent scientific research program and Catholic identity grounded in service. Having a strong faith community really helped me to adapt to college and grow in more than just my academics. I have truly enjoyed being involved with our campus Saint Vincent DePaul Society, which ministers to persons experiencing homelessness by bringing hot meals and necessities to the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. I have also found a home in my Catholic prayer group, Opus Novum, which has supplied me with a community of great friends who are also seeking to authentically pursue God amid the tumult of college life.
  • The BSNES Multicultural STEM Group opened my eyes to so many wonderful opportunities for career development through visiting career speakers, talks on CV/Resumes for STEM candidates, and various internships and summer research experiences. Not to mention the Peer Mentoring Program that hosts tutoring sessions.
  • My involvement in the American Chemical Society here at Duquesne has connected me to a network of students and professors who are invested in developing skills for successful careers in chemistry. It has been so helpful to speak with upperclassmen who were in my shoes just a few years ago, learning from their mistakes and successes, and becoming inspired by their goals for the future!

Describe connections that have occurred between lab/lecture courses and undergraduate research/internships:

  • Doing undergraduate research helped me to gain confidence in the laboratory setting and gave me a solid framework on how to think critically about scientific problems. Material I have learned in my lecture courses has been directly applicable to understanding my research project on a deeper level.
  • I was able to apply the skills that I developed in my freshman lab courses directly to my first internship at an analytical chemistry laboratory. Many of the techniques that I learned in lab I applied on a daily basis as a lab technician, which allowed me to advance quickly in my responsibilities.
  • Laboratories and lectures have helped me understand my research more in-depth by teaching me how to write reports, make solutions, and read scientific papers related to my research.