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GSW chemistry program adds new concentrations in forensics and biochemistry

AMERICUS, GA (August 7, 2023) – Georgia Southwestern State University’s Department of Chemistry, Geology, & Physics will offer two new interdisciplinary concentrations – forensic chemistry and biochemistry – beginning Fall 2023. This will expand the offerings and possible career paths for students earning a Bachelor of Science in chemistry at GSW.

“We decided to reevaluate our current chemistry curriculum with the need for more chemists in the regional workforce,” stated Elizabeth Gurnack, Ph.D., professor of chemistry. “In addition to more opportunities for undergraduate research and internships, the new curriculum recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of the science and allows more flexibility for the student to make the degree more focused on their specific career goals.”

The forensics concentration, offered in conjunction with GSW’s online Criminal Justice program, will prepare students to understand the basics of criminal justice and evidence. A solid background in chemistry will provide a thorough and hands-on experience with the analytical chemistry required for forensic work with law enforcement agencies and labs. 

The biochemistry concentration, in conjunction with GSW’s Department of Biology, will provide an in-depth background in human biochemistry while maintaining a strong foundation in all areas of chemistry. This option is appropriate for students interested in medical school or biomedical research.

The existing chemistry curriculum will still be offered under the professional concentration, which is designed for students with a strong interest in chemistry. This option provides a background in organic and inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and physical chemistry.

“Georgia Southwestern is committed to meeting the needs of our regional workforce,” said President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “I am confident this new chemistry curriculum will ensure all GSW graduates have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in whatever profession they choose.” 

The new curriculum also expands the opportunities for research and internships.

Graduates with a B.S. in chemistry are prepared to work in pharmaceuticals, forensics, environmental science, science journalism and reporting, space and aeronautics, weather and meteorology, food science, patent law, government agencies and secondary education. GSW chemistry graduates also work in industries such as agriculture, brewing and the arts.

Prospective students interested in GSW’s chemistry program can learn more at or apply to GSW at