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Medicinal Plant Chemistry

Learn with Minot State
As a medicinal plant chemistry major at Minot State, you’ll be part of the only program in the state and one of only two four-year medicinal plant chemistry programs in the nation. While pursuing coursework in chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus and completing a capstone research project, you'll earn over 600 hours of laboratory experience while focusing on the extraction, separation, and analysis of compounds and chemicals from plant material. You will learn the theory, skills, and techniques necessary to work in the medicinal cannabis, hops, botanical supplements, and food science industries. Hands-on laboratory experiences will prepare you for extraction, quality assurance, and quality control roles.

Consider a medicinal plant chemistry profession
According to Forbes magazine, the legal medicinal cannabis industry is projected to grow from $52 million in 2017 to $2.5 billion by 2027. Qualified lab analysts can currently find positions paying up to $70,000 right out of university. As of September 2018, medicinal cannabis is legal in 31 states and D.C., and many states require the product to be used in its extracted form. Other botanical products, such as essential oils, are extracted using processes and techniques similar to those used for cannabis.

As craft brewing continues to grow, many hops suppliers have discontinued doing analysis of outside samples in order to focus on internal demands. As brewmasters increasingly use hops extracts in their recipes, the market for workers skilled in extraction and analysis is expected to grow in this industry.

Skilled professionals are, and will continue to be, needed to perform extraction, purification, and analysis of products originating from plants.

Career opportunities with a medicinal plant chemistry major include:

  • Extraction, purification, and analysis of compounds from plants:
    • Medicinal cannabis
    • Hops extracts for craft brewing
    • Essential oils
    • Herbal extracts
  • Quality control/quality assurance
    • Ensure safety and purity of commercial products (food, beverages, pharmaceuticals)
  • Forensic chemistry
    • Drug testing

Contact Us:       1-800-777-0750 ext. 3350

Be inspired . . . earn our medicinal plant chemistry degree

Our facilities
As a chemistry major, you and Minot State faculty have access to a variety of instruments for use in classroom and research projects, including:
  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometer
  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • Electrophoresis system
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer (ICPAES)
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance instrument

Know before you go
While our unique major provides many opportunities and learning experiences, there are a few things our program does not include:

  • Nothing will be grown. Commercially available hops, teas, coffee beans, etc., will be used in lab settings.
  • While discussions of physiological effects may be occasionally included in lectures, we do not focus on the effects of plant compounds on the body.
  • An easy degree. This program is just as, and maybe more, rigorous than other traditional chemistry majors at colleges and universities across the country.
One of a kind degree
Our major is one of only two four-year medicinal plant programs in the nation. At Minot State, you will focus on the extraction and analysis of botanical products. As the medicinal plant industry continues to grow at rapid rates, qualified workers and professional technicians are needed.
Employment outlook
According to ZipRecruiter, job postings for the U.S. medical cannabis industry increased by 445% in 2017. A report from New Frontier Data projects that by 2020 the legal cannabis market will create more than a 250,000 jobs in states where medicinal marijuana is currently legal.

Program options (Catalog Links)

  • Courses in bold are new classes specific to this major and will not be found in our current catalog; they will be included in our Fall 2019 catalog. Information on general education requirements can be found at
          Required Chemistry Courses (42 credits)
          CHEM 121       General Chemistry I                                            
          CHEM 122       General Chemistry II                                        
          CHEM 230       Quantitative Analysis                                  
          CHEM 341       Organic Chemistry I                                         
          CHEM 342       Organic Chemistry II                                        
          CHEM 430       Instrumental Analysis                                     
          CHEM 442       Medicinal Chemistry (w/ new lab)            
          CHEM 481       Biochemistry I                                                    
          CHEM 436       Methods of Analysis and QC of Medicinal Plant Products
          Required Support Courses (41 credits) 
          BIOL 150         Introduction to Cellular Biology                  
          BIOL 154         Introduction to Botany                                  
          BIOL 481         Plant Biochemistry                                         
          PHYS 221        General Physics I                                              
          PHYS 222        General Physics II                                             
          MATH 165        Calculus I                                                             
          MATH 166        Calculus II                                                            
          MATH 210        Elementary Statistics                                      
          SCI 120            Plant Products Seminar 1                             
          SCI 220            Plant Products Seminar 2                             
          SCI 240            Research Methods                                          
          SCI 480            Seminar                                                               
          Remaining General Education (24-26 credits) 
          Electives (13-16 credits)                                    
          Total Credits  120

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Minot State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.