The Chemical Microscopy program provides students a hands-on experience using state-of-the art microscopes and techniques. Students learn how to apply the necessary skills and analytical judgment to a wide variety of microanalytical problems including: pharmaceutical contamination, forensic trace evidence, white powder identification to detect weapons of mass destruction, failure analysis of plastics and polymers, and cleanroom techniques including particle isolation and specialized sample preparation. By using light and electron microscopy along with infrared and Raman spectroscopy students learn how each of these microanalytical tools can be used to solve a wide variety of materials analysis and particle identification problems.
North Central College's 3+1 program in Chemical Microscopy prepares students for a career as a Chemical Microscopist. Students spend three years at North Central College, where they complete their liberal arts general education core along with prerequisite science and math courses. This is followed by 12 months of course work, research, practicums and internship at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences, Westmont, Illinois. The student then graduates from North Central College with a liberal arts degree in Chemical Microscopy. Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to the program at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences in the second term of the junior year. Student applicants are considered and evaluated solely by the faculty/staff at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. Student admission to the program at McCrone Associates' Hooke College of Applied Sciences is not guaranteed.
Students intending to major in Chemical Microscopy must apply for admission into the North Central College program at the end of their second year of study.