PUC’s department of chemistry serves students who have an interest in chemical sciences and those planning careers in various medical areas.

Fast Facts


The department provides courses suitable for pre-professional curricula including pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, pre-dental hygiene, pre-nursing, allied health, and teacher education.


A significant percent of our majors get accepted to graduate, medical, dental, pharmacy or optometry programs upon graduation.


Our department utilizes a variety of spectroscopic instruments in our laboratory curriculum.


Our students consistently perform at the national level or higher on MFT (Major Field Test) and ACS (American Chemical Society) standardized exams.


More than 40 students are employed in the Chemistry department each year as lab instructors, stockroom assistants, readers, computer specialists, secretaries, and tutors.


  • Quality control chemistry
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Forensic chemistry
  • Research chemistry
  • University & secondary education
  • Medicine
  • Marketing
  • Scientific information services
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Pharmacist
  • Patent Lawyer

Finding Her Stride

Dana Yoon

Strolling into the Campus Center during day-time, one might find Dana Yoon doing the off-duty work she loves: helping her lab students. Dana, a student instructor for chemistry labs, often meets students here, outside of her official working hours, to help them with their homework or just to see how they’re doing. “I really connected with my kids, inside and outside the chemistry lab,” she says. “I found my stride in the chemistry department.”

Dana’s professors have noticed, honoring her with the chemistry department’s Commendation Award and the Chemistry Major of the Year award. The biochemistry major has also volunteered with KidzReach and Homeless Ministries, and held leadership positions in the Korean Adventist Student Association. She’s following her own advice to others — to enjoy all the benefits of the college’s close community.

“The program has helped me reach higher than what would have been easy, and hold myself to higher standards.”

The Maxwell Scholar Program was a major factor in her decision to attend PUC. “The program has helped me reach higher than what would have been easy, and hold myself to higher standards,” reflects Dana. “It’s made me really believe that I am capable of moving on to professional school.” As she juggles the demands of work, school, and community activities that her “higher standards” call for, Dana says that taking a day off, to “give it to God,” has been key.

After completing her courses in winter 2013, Dana plans to travel and participate in a dental mission trip to Thailand before attending dental school in the fall. Until then, Dana wants to continue helping her lab students as much as she can. She is grateful for her PUC mentors and community, who, she says, “shaped me into the kind of person I want to be.”

Professor Pablo Hilario’s Travels

Hilario spent two years at Massachusetts General Hospital, part of the Harvard Medical School, doing post-doctoral research in cancer biology.

In 1999, a young Pablio Hilario said goodbye to his friends and family in the Philippines and moved to the United States in pursuit of educational achievement. Upon arrival in the states, Hilario began studies at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry.

As a graduate student,  worked as a general chemistry teacher’s aide. New to the American culture and accent, the task of teaching freshmen students posed a daunting undertaking for Hilario; however, it proved an enjoyable learning experience.

Hilario describes his first semester as a chemistry assistant as “really challenging.” He explains, “I was scared; I didn’t know how to deal with students,” a sentiment to which most beginning instructors can relate. Even more than his questions of how to teach, Hilario was concerned with the challenge of communicating effectively.

By the time second semester rolled around, Hilario had found a solution to his woes. His tactic? “I decided to befriend my students and talk with them about their experiences at school, at home, [and] at high school,” he shares.

As Hilario got to know his students more personally, they helped him build on the English skills he learned in school in the Philippines. He feels that relating to his students on a more personal level improved his teaching.

After graduation, Hilario spent two years at Massachusetts General Hospital, part of the Harvard Medical School, doing post-doctoral research in cancer biology—focusing specifically on mutagenesis, the study of the origins and development of mutations.

Hilario considers himself lucky to have had the opportunity to learn and work in conjunction with an Ivy League university. “They do top-notch research there—especially cancer research,” he says. Hilario credits his post-doctoral research experience with rounding him out as a scientist, as it exposed him to many molecular biology techniques.

Even with a Ph.D. and an impressive research background, Hilario is not done learning. Pacific Union College’s ambitious chemistry professor hopes to study Spanish, French, and art. The prospects of conducting research on the process of student learning, taking piano lessons, traveling, and participating in summer mission work also pique Hilario’s interest.