“A student taking the BS Chemistry-Pharmacy program would benefit a job market that is already very competitive.” Michael Bowsher, BS 2003, MS 2007; Research Chemist at Bristol Myers-Squibb Pharmaceuticals

"The pharmacy option would be beneficial to students seeking careers as pharmacists in research or private practice - which has continued to provide opportunities for qualified graduates.” Michael Curtis, MS 2001; Research Chemist at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Pharmacy.Western Illinois University’s Bachelor in Science in Chemistry with the Pharmacy option is a focused degree in chemistry that emphasizes the chemical nature, effect, action, and metabolism of drugs.

Designed to better prepare students interested in careers in pharmacy for either Pharm. D. or Ph.D. programs in pharmacology, those choosing not to pursue a career as a pharmacist generally find employment working in as a pharmacologist in pharmaceutical industry labs, government/health department labs, or in a pharmacy or hospital laboratory setting.

The Pharmacy option greatly aids those individuals seeking careers in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. Companies hiring chemists include, but are not limited to, pharmaceuticals, food and nutritional supplement industries, and the emerging biotechnology industry. Most studies predict a shortage of chemists of all types, making job markets excellent for many years to come.

Possible Careers

  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy Technician/Assistant
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Sales & Marketing
  • Forensic Pharmacology

Why Choose Pharmacy at WIU?

The program is unique as no other pharmacy options to B.S. Chemistry or B.S. Biology degrees are identified either on the web or through the American Chemical Society or the American Institute for Biological Sciences).

The Department of Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in the areas of chemistry and biochemistry.

Western Illinois University has established an articulation agreement with the University of Illinois Chicago-College of Pharmacy for implementation of guaranteed admission of WIU students into the Doctorate of Pharmacy program at the UIC College of Pharmacy. The Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s degree in Chemistry at Western Illinois University provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduate chemistry majors to complete both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in chemistry in a single five year period.

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.

Major: Yes

Minor: Yes

Graduate Degree: Yes

Campus: Macomb

Study Opportunities:

  • Honors
  • Teacher Certification

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