Chemistry and Biochemistry

BYU Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Hosts Site Visit for Potential Graduate Students

Posted: Apr 20, 2009

Ever wonder what Chemistry and Biochemistry site visits for potential graduate students are like at Brigham Young University? It’s like a chemist’s dream come true. Each spring the department invites students that have either been accepted or are waiting for acceptance to the school, and treats them to a weekend that includes a tour of campus, poster session, meeting with chemistry professors and a snow or campus activity. All accommodations and food are paid for and students are reimbursed up to $500 for travel expenses. Students have the opportunity to become familiar with BYU and its beautiful surroundings, including dinner at Spring Haven, near Springville.

The purpose of the site visit is for students to see BYU’s state-of-the-art research facilities first-hand, and get to know the wonderful professors. There are plenty of opportunities to talk with them and have questions answered. The visit helped Chris Woolstenhulme, a current graduate student, make the choice where to go for graduate school.
“I think the site visit really helped me in my decision to come to BYU.  I was able to meet and interact with both the faculty and students, and really get a feel for what graduate life would be like at BYU,” Woolstenhulme said.
One recent PhD graduate, Matt Heywood, was undecided on which university to attend for graduate school until he participated in several site visits, including one at BYU. Heywood not only liked the ongoing research possibilities at BYU, but the atmosphere. He said compared to other universities, BYU had newer, nicer facilities and better professors. Heywood said that though the professors expect a lot, they are still human and understand most of the students have a family or other responsibilities, which helps with the stress and pressure of school. Many varying areas of research are available at BYU, Heywood said, and students shouldn’t have a problem finding one that appeals to them.
“[Graduate students] get to work with someone who is big in the field. Give BYU a better look than your first impression, and attend a site visit because they really 'wine' and dine you,” Heywood said.
This wonderful opportunity happens once a year and is hosted by The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The site visit is by invitation only for those who have applied to the graduate programs. For juniors who are interested in attending, please contact Janet Fonoimoana (
By Cory Renshaw
Photos courtesy of BYU Chemistry Department