Spelman College, Cosmetic Chemistry, women in STEM

Spelman College First HBCU To Offer Cosmetic Chemistry Program, A Win For Women In STEM 

Spelman College will become the first HBCU to offer a cosmetic chemistry track for its STEM majors, in a move officials hope brings more diversity to the beauty industry.

Spelman College is making strides for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and women interested in STEM careers in the beauty industry.

The all-women’s school is the first HBCU to offer a cosmetic chemistry concentration. 

Spelman announced the news in a press release on March 6. The program will begin in the upcoming fall semester. What started as an online certification, will now have courses offered as part of a  concentration track for chemistry majors.

While noting an increased interest from students in the online program, the college also wants to help resolve a diversity need in the beauty industry. Only 2.5% of beauty brands are Black-owned, yet they continue to grow in a competitive market.

Spelman aims to create a pipeline for the next cohort of Black founders with this education in the sciences now available. 

“The program will be far-reaching and will support our students and faculty in making a difference in a field that caters to Black women as consumers, fueled by the scientific expertise in this area,” said Spelman Provost Dr. Pamela Scott-Johnson in the statement. “We are thrilled to continue this evolution of creating new academic offerings that address industry demands.”

“I am excited that we now offer a course of study that connects students’ Spelman experience to the beauty and personal care industry. The new major concentration and minor will ensure our students’ competitiveness for advanced study and careers in the field,” said Dr. Leyte Winfield, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and division chair for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics

This program looks to provide students with a specific cosmetic chemistry track will lead to more beauty and hair products with Black women at the forefront. It will focus on molecular sciences involved in product formulation. Cosmetic chemistry will be available as a concentration and minor. 

Spelman also announced a one-week Cosmetic Science Summer Law intensive. The June 2-8 program will offer seminars and panels with Black female product developers and researchers.

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