Faculty of Arts & Science
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Chemistry at Queen's


Chernoff Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 

Undergraduate Chair: Ralph Whitney
Graduate Coordinator: Nick Mosey

As one of the top chemistry teaching and research departments in Canada, we offer a stimulating learning environment for undergraduate and graduate students.  Queen’s Chemistry programs have rich practical laboratory components, where you will put into practice key concepts learned from your lectures. In upper years, you can specialize in one or more of the fundamental branches of chemistry – analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and theoretical – or explore new applications such as environmental, materials, biological, computational, or polymer chemistry.

Chemistry is concerned with the composition and structure of matter, and the changes which it undergoes. Professional chemists play major roles in such diverse and important areas as the design and synthesis of pharmaceuticals and polymers, the development of alternative energy sources, and the protection of the environment. Other chemistry graduates use their knowledge and problem-solving skills in demanding careers such as teaching, medicine, business or politics. Chemistry is frequently called the central science because it provides a basis for studies in many other disciplines ranging from biology to materials science.

Introductory courses in chemistry provide insight into the nature of substances and the fundamental qualitative and quantitative principles by which their reactions may be described and understood. The Department of Chemistry offers one first-year Chemistry course, CHEM-112, for all science degree programs. Enthusiastic faculty members teach both of these courses, and the lectures are supported by regular laboratory and tutorial sessions. Second year courses introduce students to important chemistry concepts including structure and bonding, reaction mechanisms, spectroscopic techniques, methods of analysis, materials, solutions and surface chemistry. Upper year courses specialize in one of the fundamental branches of chemistry -- analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and theoretical -- or explore applications such as environmental, materials, biological, computational or polymer chemistry. All of the programs have rich practical laboratory components where students put into practice key concepts learned from the lectures.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science (Honours) - BScH

Specialization in Environmental Chemistry
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline.

Major in Chemistry
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Minor in Chemistry
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Bachelor of Science - BSc or Bachelor of Arts - BA

General in Chemistry
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

Graduate Degree Options

Chemistry - PhD
Chemistry - MSc
Chemistry - MASc

First Year Courses

  • CHEM 112/6.0
  • MATH 121/6.0 or MATH 120/6.0
  • PHYS 106/6.0 or PHYS 104/6.0 or PHYS117/6.0 
  • MATH 112/3.0 or MATH 111/6.0

What it takes to get into Chemistry in your second year >

Click here for the complete list of Courses in Arts and Science

High School Requirements for Admission

Arts Concentrations: 4U Calculus and Vectors, Advanced Functions and Chemistry or recognized equivalents required; 4U Physics or recognized equivalent strongly recommended.

Science Concentrations: 4U Calculus and Vectors, Advanced Functions and Chemistry or recognized equivalents required; 4U Physics or recognized equivalent strongly recommended.

Accreditation by the Canadian Society of Chemistry (CSC)

The Chemistry Major and Chemistry Specialization Plans are fully accredited by the Canadian Society of Chemistry. Students completing these plans will be eligible for membership in the Chemical Institute of Canada and for membership in the various provincial professional chemical associations.

Job and Career Opportunities for Chemistry Grads

Chemistry places a strong emphasis on an understanding of the structures and properties of atoms and molecules, and on using this understanding to interpret and predict the behaviour of matter. Many of the concepts of physics and the methods of mathematics are basic to chemistry. Chemistry is, in turn, of fundamental importance to many other subjects including astrophysics, biological sciences, environmental science, materials science, and medical sciences.

Some of our Chemistry grads work in the following industries:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Botany
  • Complementary Medicine
  • Conservation
  • Dentistry
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Epidemiology & Community Health
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Forensic Science
  • Forestry
  • Genetics
  • Journalism
  • Management (Business & Health Administration)
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Research
  • Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Patent Law
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Photography
  • Physiology
  • Public Health
  • Textile Industry
  • Toxicology
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Zoology

Career paths for Chemistry grads handout from Career Services

Chemistry Electives Open to Non-Chemistry Students

CHEM 112/6.0
A survey of modern chemistry: molecular structure, bonding, phases of matter, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, equilibrium, kinetics, polymers, organic and biochemistry.  Using information technology, laboratories and formulation of problem-solving strategies, students will develop an appreciation for the relevance of chemistry to the solution of modern-day societal challenges.

Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Our faculty are recognized nationally and internationally through numerous awards including 4 Canada Research Chairs, 7 Chemical Institute of Canada Awardees, 5 Fellows of the Chemical Institute of Canada, 3 Discovery Accelerator Awardees, 1 Killam Research Fellow, etc. Full details on awards held by faculty members.

Research is performed in the areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, polymer, and theoretical chemistry. Research in these areas ranges from the most fundamental to very applied. Many groups are also engaged in interdisciplinary research efforts. Many faculty interact with industry, and commercialize products, providing students opportunities to network with industry representatives and get involved in patenting processes.

The Department of Chemistry offers a competitive minimum stipend of $22,500 per year, with the opportunity to increase this amount through numerous institutional, provincial and national scholarships and awards.

Most students register for graduate programs beginning in September; although, admission in January or May is possible upon request. Canadian citizens, Landed Immigrants and Permanent Residents may apply at any time throughout the year. However, entrance awards are adjudicated in March, so students are encouraged to complete their applications by March 1st. The Department of Chemistry offers M.Sc., M.A.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees.

Details and admission requirements >

Chemistry Research at Queen's

Research in Chemistry at Queen’s is focused in alternative, multidisciplinary areas rather than traditional organic/inorganic/physical divisions. Research is going on in Biological-Medicinal, Materials, Computational-Theoretical and Environmental-Analytical chemistry. The faculty boasts 3 Canada Research Chairs, 3 Queen’s National Scholars, 4 recipients of the Premier’s Research Excellence award, and 5 fellows of the Chemical Institute of Canada facilities.

The Chemistry Department is located in Chernoff Hall,a brand new, $40 million, state-of-the-art building. The NMR facility has 8 high field instruments, including a 600 MHz spectrometer and several with solids capability. A mass spec facility with 4 mass spectrometers is on site, as is an X-ray diffractometer, and a CFI-funded facility for materials characterization.

Specific areas of research in Chemistry @ Queen's >


Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

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