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Does a general chemistry major allow someone to go into creation of medicine such as pharmaceuticals?

I am wanting to go into the field of chemistry, starting by majoring in general chemistry. I know that I will be able to do some chemical research, but I would like to know if I could possibly go into creating medicine. #medicine #college-major #chemistry #pharmaceuticals

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Adam’s Answer

A bachelors in chemistry is a great start to pursuing a career in medicine/pharmaceuticals. The general curriculum at most colleges encompass the principles of chemistry such as (reactions, stoichiometry, molecular phases), Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, Instrumental analysis and biochemistry classes with associated labs. Chemistry majors also take mathematics courses up through integrals of functions (usually Calculus level II at most universities). The caveat with obtaining only a Bachelors in Chemistry is the limiting moderately paid job opportunities available. Generally, a recent grad in chemistry can obtain a pharmaceutical job within QC as lab technicians or quality specialists on production floors to aid other tenured chemists with laboratory testing that gets trafficked in from manufacturing in-process checks. However, depending on an individuals ambition and tenacity, chemists can devise strategies to work their way up into higher leveled analytical work or cross-over into engineering as process engineers.

In regards to drug creation, that falls within the realm of product development scientists where higher education beyond undergraduate work is preferred but not limited to exclusively. Extensive work experience (10-15 years) in roles that involve development can be satisfactory experience if one just has a bachelors in chemistry or equivalent fields of study. The conventional way to working with drug product on the lab scale is through obtaining a PhD in chemistry with a focus in Organics. A holistic route would be obtaining a bachelors and intentionally curating your career in roles/companies that would provide equivalent experience and exposure to drug development. This can be in other industries working with powder and liquid chemicals such as nutraceuticals (supplements, dietary foods, infant formulas), personal care (cosmetics, fragrances), or household chemical (cleaning products and aerosols).

Other non-pharma industries use similar process strategies and mitigation attempts to solve in development and manufacturing. The key is to be a sponge in every setting and absorb the techniques used to discover, identify, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, handle, etc. products, processes, and materials. Sometimes not everyone has the capacity to continue an education beyond a bachelors due to financial constraints, life happenings, or just plain burnt out from schooling. Nonetheless, a bachelors in Chemistry can still open many doors to provide an advantage to your end goal(s). Good company's will generally provide a portion of tuition reimbursement (up to 50% of semester credit costs at an accredited university) to help further your education if deemed necessary. That way you can maintain your career trajectory without taking a pause for graduate work.
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Michael’s Answer

You'll need an Organic Chemistry degree, and an advanced degree MS and/or PhD to go into drug discovery

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Catrina’s Answer

Absolutely! A chemistry major is an ideal option for your career interest. You should look for a program that is certified by the ACS (American Chemistry Society) if possible. This way, you can earn certification in Chemistry when you graduate. For your career interest, you will definitely need to look for schools that have opportunities for you to do research and lab work with a professor. VERY important and beneficial when applying to graduate school. You can check out explorehealthcareers.org. It may have some information for you as well.

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Olaolu. O.’s Answer

Chemistry is definitely is a great step toward achieving your goals for a degree in pharmacy or medicine. Chemistry creates that basic background knowledge which will be very helpful once you have decided on the professional degree to pursue. Prior to pharmacy school, I did struggle through chemistry but I aligned myself with other students that had a better knowledge of the subject; the knowledge that I gained from those student definitely helped me in pharmacy school. I would also suggest doing an internship that will allow you to utilize the skill you have earned; which create a better understanding of the subject (chemistry).

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Parixit’s Answer

Majoring in Chemistry will definitely take you there. You can do specialization in biochemistry/clinical trials/genomics to open up more opportunities in the field of drug discovery

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