The chemistry advisor serves as advisor to all chemistry undergraduate majors. Information about all Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry programs may be obtained by  contacting  the Chemistry Department at (309) 298-1538, or by checking the  undergraduate catalog .

The following are curriculum guides for our undergraduate programs:

  1. Math placement is determined during orientation. Required classes are listed below. Some students may need to take more math to meet the prerequisites for the required courses. If student places into math lower than 133, please expect extra semesters or hours to make up math credit. SEE ADVISOR.
  2. Take Chemistry 100 before 201 (if lacking high school chemistry or lacking a strong math background.)
  3. English 180 and 280 may be taken in either Fall or Spring Semester of the 1st (180) or 2nd year (280).
  4. All first year students, (or transfer students) who bring in 12 or fewer hours would have to take and pass TWO FYE classes (one each of the first two semesters), and students who come with 13-24 hours would have to take and pass ONE FYE class in their first semester at WIU.
  5. One class must be taken from the Fine Arts (Area 2) of the Humanities General Education Requirement.

This major requires a minor. See advisor for complementary minors.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master's Degree in Chemistry

The Integrated Baccalaureate and Master's degree program (IBMP) in  Chemistry  provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduate  Chemistry /Biochemistry/ Forensic  Chemistry  majors to complete both the BS in Chemistry  or BS in Forensic Chemistry  and MS degree program in Chemistry  in five years. In addition to earning both degrees a year early, the integrated programs may include additional opportunities to participate in a variety of experiential educational activities such as a master's project or thesis.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicant should apply to the School of Graduate Studies for admission to an integrated degree program in Chemistry.
  • Applicant must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and a major GPA of 3.25 or higher.
  • Applicant should request three letters of recommendation from faculty.
  • Applicant should submit a statement of purpose and career goals.
  • Official transcripts will be obtained from Sherman Hall by Graduate Office staff.

Degree Requirements

The program offers interested and serious students two plans:

  1. Thesis plan emphasizing research and
  2. Applied Chemistry plan

The course work of a given plan will be determined through careful advising of directed electives. All students will complete the necessary coursework to have a strong understanding in all the fundamental areas of chemistry. Both plans will require the minimum 120 credit hours of the regular BS in Chemistry program.

The Thesis plan will include significant portions of research work carried out by the students under the guidance of chemistry faculty mentors. This work will culminate in the completion of a master’s thesis in the last semester of the program. The thesis should demonstrate the student’s mastery of the basic areas of chemistry as well as the completion of a significant research project. The Applied Chemistry plan will require an internship whereby the student will spend a minimum of one semester at a cooperating industrial or government laboratory.

Students will be required to complete 120 semester hours (sh) for the bachelor’s degree. Nine of these hours may be taken as "bridge" courses which will also count toward the 32 semester hours required for the master’s degree. Courses taken for "bridge" credit will require students to complete extra projects and demonstrate a higher level of understanding of class materials. A student must be a senior and accepted into the integrated program before "bridge" courses may be taken.

Career Opportunities

There are varieties of opportunities available, including jobs in academia and industry, as well as opportunities in pursuing PHD studies at various institutions nationwide.

  • There are varieties of opportunities available, including jobs in academia and industry, as well as opportunities in pursuing PHD studies at various institutions nationwide.

    Up to 9 sh. of the following Bridge undergraduate/graduate courses can be counted toward the 32 credit hour requirements:

  • Chem 401G (4) Inorganic Chemistry, plus one of these biochemistry courses:

    • Chem 416G (1) Chemical Literature
    • Chem 421G (4)
    • Chem 422G (4)
    • Chem 442G (5) Instrumental Analysis
    • Chem 452G (3) Forensic Toxicology

  • For admissions process and general program info, contact:

    School of Graduate Studies
    Western Illinois University,
    1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455

    Phone: (309) 298-1806

  • For specific program questions, contact:

    Dr. Rose McConnell, Chair
    Department of Chemistry
    Western Illinois University
    1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455

    Phone: (309) 298-1538


The Chairman of the Graduate Committee serves as advisor to beginning graduate students. Information about the graduate program may be obtained by contacting the department or by checking the graduate catalog. The department offers graduate training at the M.S. level in all areas of chemistry and biochemistry.