North Central College - Naperville, IL

Chemical Microscopy

Why choose chemical microscopy at North Central College?

Chemical microscopy involves the use of microscopes to solve chemical problems. Scientists use chemical microscopy to analyze forensic evidence and to solve problems in the pharmaceutical, environmental science, government and military fields, among others.

You’ll study for three years at North Central College and gain a solid liberal arts education. For your fourth year you’ll study and work alongside expert faculty at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences in nearby Westmont. You’ll finish with a bachelor’s degree in chemical microscopy and have the education and experience to give your career a distinct advantage.

You can also:

  • Participate in the first partnership resulting in a chemical microscopy degree from a four-year institution and Hooke College of Applied Sciences, a world leader in the study of chemical microscopy.
  • Learn techniques and applications using state-of-the-art microscopes and other instruments at Hooke College of Applied Sciences.
  • Be flexible: Your first three years of study at North Central will prepare you for a major in chemistry and you can wait until your junior year to choose to major in chemical microscopy.

To learn more about experiences and opportunities here at North Central College as a chemical microscopy major, click here.


Alicia Casacchia ’17
Students and alumna receive National Science Foundation Fellowship, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and Goldwater Honorable Mention.
North Central gains momentum in growth, reputation, value.
North Central College’s Science Center reached a construction milestone with the placement of a ceremonial final beam in Topping-Out Celebration March 14.



  • Research scientist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Trace evidence analyst
  • Pharmaceutical researcher
Chemical Microscopy and History double major

Marissa chose North Central because “the professors are so personable and helpful.” They also helped her select a major.

“At the group meeting for science majors I asked what major was best if I wanted to authenticate and conserve artwork. They directed me to a professor who had just established a major that would be perfect for what I wanted to do.”

As a result, Marissa is pursuing a degree in chemical microscopy—a North Central program that partners with nearby Hooke College of Applied Sciences. “The professors have really helped me navigate ways to pursue my dream.”

Outside her studies Marissa was involved in iLead, Pep Band, Concert Winds and Clarinet Choir to “meet more people and make...

Hooke College Instructor

Craig Schwandt is among the dozens of incredibly experienced chemical microscopy instructors at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. He’s an expert in studying minerals—he earned a doctorate in geology and worked for NASA for many years to help analyze and identify particles from meteorites.

“The biggest advantages of studying chemical microscopy here are the hands-on approach and the fact we have an incredibly small number of students compared to faculty and a large amount of equipment,” Craig says. In classes at Hooke, an instructor will often work with no more than two students at a time, and...