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Is chemistry considered a difficult major?

I'm really interested in going into cosmetic chemistry but first I have to get my bachelor's in chemistry. I've heard that it is a difficult major and I just want to make sure. In no way will anyone's answer change my mind about what I want to be but I just want to make sure. #chemistry

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Adam’s Answer

Half the battle is figuring out what you want to pursue career wise which is great that is outlined already! Obtaining an undergraduate degree in chemistry at most universities can be challenging, more so due to the studying demands and quick understanding of concepts. If you have a niche for chemistry it makes the process a lot more tolerable as the classes within the curriculum can be demanding. However, with that said, obtaining a Bachelors in Chemistry is manageable and certainly doable for anyone aspiring to be a chemist in any field.

Here are some approaches to ensure a successful undergrad experience for achieving a Chemistry Degree:
1) Maintain the responsibility of studying accordingly (Generally 2-3 hours daily)
2) Attending classes religiously (Professors like to pull exam questions from lecture notes)
3) Attend office hours with the professor/TAs to better understand concepts or reasonings you may be struggling with
4) Find study groups with fellow classmates
5) Go over older exam questions as these can be recycled or evolved upon
6) Break large tasks down to smaller ones (Just like the course concepts, break down problems into smaller ones to master and rebuild from)
7) Use Flashcards for symbols, formulas, vocabulary, equations, etc. to help with your memory
8) Review and study material before class (helps better understand lectures and questions that you can ask the professor actively)
9) Hands on experiences (utilizing Chem Lab class by conducting experiments to help visualize the reasonings of reactions and problems)

Outside the classroom, look at obtaining internships or contracted part time jobs (3-6 months usually) as a lab technician. Generally these only require a HS Diploma or Associates in Chemistry and would be a good way to gain experience while you obtain your Bachelors. Another route would be to find undergraduate research opportunities within the chemistry department at the University. This unique experience helps expose you to different lab techniques and concepts that can translate later into your 1st job out of school.

Regarding Cosmetics industry, see if the university you attend offers classes specific too that field or has electives regarding preservatives, food science, fragrance chemistry, color/pigmentation chemistry, or liquid solution based activities to gain an edge on topics and problems you'll run into within cosmetics as well.
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Sandra W.’s Answer

Hi Marie,
Congratulations on knowing what you want to do! That's usually the hardest part of the process. Chemistry is quite a challenging major. There is a lot of information that you will learn and the complexity increases as you go further in your chemistry education. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of planning as well, to keep up with the assignments​. It takes commitment and discipline but the sense of accomplishment is amazing knowing you succeed in achieving the first step pushing you closer to your career goal. All the best!

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Gaurav’s Answer

Hi, That is a great question. I often hear from Chemistry students that it is hard to understand. In my opinion, if you are focused and willing to go extra mile to make a career in various branches of Chemistry, it is actually fun. Personally, it is not difficult to master and understand. First step first, you should really understand the core concepts. Everything about Applied Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Do not try to memorize things rather than focusing on what constitutes what. How do we arrive at correct balanced Chemical reactions etc. Last but not the least, experiment as much as you can but take all the precautions and be aware of the facts that experiments can sometimes go wrong but on the positive note, you will learn from those experiments.
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