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Choosing the Best School for an Organic Chemistry Degree

written by: Sarah Arnette•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/4/2010

The best school for organic chemistry depends upon your specific needs and desires in a college. These suggestions as to what to look for in a college will help you to find the right school for you.

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    Importance of College Selection

    Everyone wants to go to college with their friends. There are very few people who feel comfortable attending a college without their friends or at least people they know. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. By attending a school with your friends, you feel more comfortable in the new surroundings and less lonely away from your family. This can help you to focus on school. However, this school may not be the best school for your major. Majors like organic chemistry often require specialized schools and finding the best school for organic chemistry is a better investment than attending school with your friends.

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    Organic Chemistry

    Organic chemistry is a specialty of chemistry. It is a mixture of biology and chemistry and requires specialized training. When looking for a college for this specialized field, it is important to look at only the best schools offering organic chemistry courses.

    For example, attending one college, which does not offer these courses, with the thought of transferring colleges after completing general education requirements, may cause individuals to have to take an additional year of college - which they did not anticipate. This can be frustrating, as well as difficult to explain to a job or college interviewer. Transferring to other colleges can cause you to lose some of the credits already earned, and you are still faced with the fear and uncertainty of starting over in a new school.

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    What to Look For In A College

    When looking for a school for organic chemistry, it is important to look at the class sizes. The larger the class size, the less individualized attention you receive. A smaller class size gives one the needed attention, and helps them to succeed in their studies in organic chemistry.

    Knowledgeable instructors are very important when looking at a college as well. The instructors should have experience working in the field, and hold advanced degrees in organic chemistry or related studies. This ensures students that they are receiving the most up-to-date information. Instructors should use relevant information and training techniques to relay the information, and look for more input and class participation than students repeating the information in order to pass the class. Critical thinking should be stressed.

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    Picking Between Colleges

    There may be a tie when choosing the best school for organic chemistry. When this happens, here are other factors to consider. One is the location of a particular college. If the college is near your home, it may be possible to live at home, thus saving thousands of dollars in tuition and costs. If neither school is close to your home, consider the cities that they are in, and evaluate the chances of finding a job in organic chemistry in those cities. Another thing to look at is the price of the college. Sometimes the best college is out of reach, but other good colleges are within your financial abilities to attend.

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    The Best Colleges for Studying Organic Chemistry

    Here is a short list of some of the best colleges a person majoring in organic chemistry can attend. Harvard University is the top of the pack. This school, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an Ivy League school and the number one college for organic chemistry in the nation. The University of California at Berkeley is the second best college for organic chemistry. Scripps Research University is third with Stanford University following in fourth position. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the number five college for this particular major.

    Now that you have enough facts to make an informed decision, good luck in choosing a school that offers a degree in organic chemistry.