Natural Science Division | Pepperdine University | Seaver College
Dr. Davis with Pepperdine students in Santa Monica Mountains

Seaver College's Natural Science Division encourages our students to gain an understanding of the natural world by fostering scientific inquiry. We prepare our students for careers in their fields through a hands-on education occurring both on campus in classrooms and laboratories and out in the field in our surrounding environs.

Undergraduate Majors and Minors

Pepperdine Natural Science students

In this age of technology, the liberally educated individual must understand the nature of scientific thinking, its power, and its limitations. Our goal is to provide accurate theoretical and practical information and offer students the opportunity to observe and participate in scientific inquiry and problem solving.

Graduate Programs

Pepperdine Nutritional Science Certificate Program

Designed for post-baccalaureate Nutritional Science majors from both Seaver College and external applicants interested in becoming Registered Dietitians (RD). This program will offer field service volunteer experiences and associated professional/academic education in clinical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, public health and foodservice management.

Student Opportunities

Pepperdine students at Keck poster presentations

Through companion programs that explore service, ethics, and leadership, our students grow their skills and establish a greater purpose to their work.

Beyond Classes

Research with Faculty

Each faculty member partners with students in discovery research ranging from chemical analysis, organic chemistry synthesis, atmospheric/environmental chemistry, natural products discovery, medicinal chemistry, and making biodegradable plastics. Experiments are conducted year-round with extra emphasis in the summer. Research students often present their research at regional or national American Chemical Society meetings. Outstanding students who have completed a body of novel work write and defend an Honors Thesis earning the distinction on their transcript of "Honors in Chemistry." In the past five years, over 10 students have successfully defended their Honors Theses.

Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

A wide range of extra-curricular activities are available to students from serving as a teaching assistant, contributing to the General Chemistry tutoring staff, research assistant, and participating in our Chemistry Club, just to name a few. Students who have demonstrated excellence in their laboratory and classroom work are often selected as teaching assistants who work closely with the faculty and students together guiding students through teaching laboratory experiments. Other excellent students are often selected to be members of the elite General Chemistry Tutor staff, directly contributing to the education of the students enrolled in General Chemistry courses.

Chem Club (Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, SAACS)

We host an award-winning Student Affiliates Chapter of the American Chemical Society (Chem Club) where students can be leaders in the Pepperdine community and the community at large, bringing fun and educational science to the young and not-so-young. The Chem Club's activities span department and campus-wide events and include social activities, campus and community outreach, and science experiments beyond the curriculum. Whether it's hosting a chemistry outreach event at a local elementary school or making gallons of Oobleck to run across, the Chem Club members are community leaders sharing chemistry with others. National Chemistry Week in October each year has included a number of activities from Kitchen Chemistry to sharing a Periodic Table of Cupcakes to synthesizing fluorescent Quantum Dot nanoparticles. Making Dippin' Dots ice cream with liquid nitrogen has been a longstanding activity in partnerships with Colleges against Cancer, Earth Day, and other community projects. The Chem Club has received multiple awards from the American Chemical Society for its accomplishments on and off campus.

Stauffer Challenge Grant

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Next Steps for Graduates

Over the past five years, Pepperdine chemistry majors have been highly successful in securing employment or in completing advanced degrees in graduate and medical schools. For those directly entering the job market, just under 20 percent are employed in the chemical, biochemical, or engineering industries, and an additional 15 percent have taken their problem solving and data management skills into other fields.

The critical thinking and technical skills acquired during completion of a chemistry degree are desirable to a wide range of fields including:

agro-chemical synthesis hazardous waste management and disposal
chemical engineering laboratory support and management
chemical analysis oceanography
chemical safety petrochemical and polymer industries
computer and information technology pharmaceutical research
environmental monitoring radiology/MRI
geochemistry surface science and semiconductors

Visit the American Chemical Society for additional career options afforded by a chemistry degree.

Preparation for Medical School and Graduate School

Over 35 percent of our graduates have been admitted to health professional schools (MD and DO medical schools, dental and pharmacy school) while approximately 25 percent have been admitted to graduate school in chemistry, engineering, law, and education. Our graduates are accepted in to some of the finest institutions for advanced studies after graduation. Many of our former students have been awarded nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships in graduate school.

Recommended International Study

The experiences of a summer study program and overseas travel provide another dimension of a unique liberal arts education. For students in the Natural Science Division, we often recommend summer study abroad experiences for scheduling reasons.

Our international programs are designed to provide all students—regardless of major—the opportunity to study, live, and travel overseas without interrupting other studies or postponing a career. This offers students a unique opportunity to gain both an academic and a personal understanding of other cultures, institutions, and languages. Learn more and check out the Summer Special Interest Programs.

Visit International Programs

Secondary Teaching Credential

Students who plan to teach science in secondary schools should complete their chemistry degree and a California Teaching Credential.

Learn more about our teaching credential program


Student Spotlight

Pepperdine student Kimberly Gerling

Kimberly Gerling reflects on her Pepperdine mentor and her time as a chemistry major: "Dr. Fritsch has been a great person to talk to for academic advice and is willing to help with all the issues college has thrown at me. I don't think this type of mentorship would have been possible at any other school..."

Visit Grunion.org

Pepperdine student with grunion on beach

Seaver's Dr. Karen Martin is the executive director of Grunion.Org. Learn more about her work and research, explore the website, and join the group of scientists, community members, environmental organizations, surfers, and beach workers dedicated to a better understanding of the habits and habitats of beach-spawning grunion, Leuresthes tenuis.

Contact Our Division

Natural Sciences Division
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263-4321
P:(310) 506-4321 | F:(310) 506-4785

Division Office Location: RAC 106
Division Contact and Visit Request Form

Rodney Honeycutt
Chair & Professor of Biology

Stephanie Adler
Office Manager

Sunni De Lano
Director, NSCP-ISPP

Daphne Green
Lab Manager

Marissa Kaak
Assistant lab Manager

Patricia Scopinich
Administrative Assistant

Robert Telmar
Lead Client Technologies Analyst