Spelman College to Establish the First-Ever Cosmetic Chemistry Program at an HBCU

Spelman College, a historically Black women’s college in Atlanta, Georgia, has announced it will offer a concentration in cosmetic chemistry for students majoring in chemistry as well as a minor in cosmetic science for students in other majors. When the program officially launches in Fall 2024, it will be the first of its kind at a historically Black college or university.

Initially, Spelman College launched an online certificate program in cosmetic science last year. Since January 2023, the certificate’s applicant pool has grown from 150 to 750 students, suggesting the need for a more expansive offering.

The new concentration and minor aim to promote careers, enhance technical knowledge, and increase the representation of Black women in the beauty industry. The program’s curriculum will focus on the molecular sciences related to product development, as well as an understanding of the origin and function of cosmetic product ingredients.

“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 Leyte Winfield, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and division chair for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Spelman College. “I am equally excited that this endeavor positions us to offer a culturally relevant perspective that is needed in the conversation on Black hair and skin care and the development of cosmetics.”

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