Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.
Chemistry at Queen's


Chernoff Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
N.M. Cann

Undergraduate Chair: Donal Macartney
Graduate Coordinator: Nick Mosey (Jan-June), G. Wu (July-Dec)

Chemistry is frequently called the central science because it provides a basis for studies in many other disciplines ranging from biology to materials science. As one of the top chemistry teaching and research departments in Canada, we offer a stimulating learning environment for undergraduate students. Queen’s Chemistry programs have rich practical laboratory components, where you will put into practice key concepts learned from your lectures. You can specialize in areas such as analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and theoretical chemistry – or explore new applications such as environmental, materials, biological, computational, or polymer chemistry. 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.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science (Honours) - BScH

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

Specialization in Environmental Chemistry
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the discipline. Administered by the School of Environmental Studies in partnership with the Department of Chemistry.

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 >


Alumni Profile

Not too long ago, Jenny Du ‘12 was a student at Queen’s, now she’s living the California lifestyle at a cool startup. As the Director of Extraction, Jenny works with a team at Apeel Sciences (www.apeeltech.com) to use natural plant extracts to formulate edible coatings that work to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce. The impact of such products lies in their potential to help reduce the staggering amount of fresh food that is wasted annually due to spoilage, and help to conserve the precious natural resources that go into growing, transporting, and storing fresh food.

Have Questions?

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

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