"The Chemistry Department at WIU and their dedicated faculty were able to teach me valuable skills and give me experiences that will help me achieve my goals in futhering my education and finding a job that I am passionate about."  Amanda Hagan, B.S. Chemistry, May 2016

Chemistry.Chemistry is the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter, especially of atomic and molecular systems. It is the basis of the technology for the large-scale production of chemicals and chemical materials that are useful to modern society. Our chemistry major prepares students to investigate, understand, and describe the physical world and its workings.

Our students frequently get jobs in state, regional, and national crime labs. Some of our chemistry students get positions in pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol Myers-Squibb or Glaxo-SmithKline. Some of our alumni have risen to top level positions in the chemical industry, such as the head of the research division at Eastman Chemical. Many of our alumni are now physicians, dentists, and pharmacists, as well.

Options in Chemistry include:

Possible Careers

  • Agricultural Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Education
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Information Specialists
  • Chemical Technology
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Pulp and Paper Chemistry
  • Science Writing
Why Choose Chemistry at WIU?

The Department of Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in the areas of chemistry and biochemistry. The ACS, with over 120,000 members, is the largest scientific society in the country. In addition to certification of undergraduate programs, it publishes many primary chemical journals such as Chemical Abstracts. Of the country's 2,000 undergraduate chemistry programs, fewer than 500 meet ACS certification requirements.

Most of our faculty either presently hold, or recently held, research grants funded by:

  • the National Science Foundation
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Research Corporation
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • NASA
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • and /or research contracts from pharmaceutical companies or biotech industries

Our students, meet, greet, and network with other students, and with chemistry professionals during the many state, regional, and national conferences they attend. In addition, the national American Chemical Society meeting hosts career fairs, where human resource people from chemical companies, have seminars on resume building, and how to act at an interview, all free to registered students.

Many chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies actually contact students registered for the national American Chemical Society meetings, ask them to send them resumes, and set up interviews to take place during the conference.

Our Students
  • get highly individualized advisement and mentorship from our faculty.
  • participate in departmental research grants and contracts; involve them as “doers and thinkers” in novel, cutting edge research.
  • become involved in research learn techniques and instrument use not normally accessible in a large instructional setting.
  • travel to state, regional, national, and international conferences via faculty research grant funding.
  • present their research data, mix with and meet chemists from across the US around the world.
  • have made 47 research presentations in the past few years at the national American Chemical Society or the national American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meetings in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego Washington DC, and San Francisco.
  • become published authors!
  • have been listed as coauthors with the chemistry faculty in over 100 referred journal articles during the past four years alone. Most of these have been in nationally or internationally known journals, such as the Journal of Organic Chemistry, the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Organic Letters, Applications in Biotechnology and Microbiology, Experimental Biology, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, and many, many more.
  • graduate our program with impressive resumes!
  • gain top flight careers!

At A Glance

Degrees Available:

  • B.S.
  • M.S.

Major: Yes
Minor: Yes
Campus: Macomb
Study Opportunities:

  • GradTrac
  • Honors
  • Teacher Certification

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