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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 as you focus on the extraction and analysis of botanical products.

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. As of July 2019, medicinal cannabis is legal in 33 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
Qualififed workers and professional technicians are needed. Career opportunities 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

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, agricultural and food scientists earn a median pay of $74,160 per year.

Offered: On campus

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

Be inspired . . . earn your 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:
  • Liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer (LC-MS)
  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometer
  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • Electrophoresis system
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer (ICP-AES)
  • 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:

  • Growing of plants. Locally grown industrial hemp and commercially available standards, cannabis extracts, 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.
Experienced faculty
Chemistry faculty members at Minot State are highly-qualified instructors and published researchers. They are eager to help you focus your undergraduate studies and research activities to meet your future education and career goals.
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.

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