Chemistry

Chemistry explores the composition, structure and transformation of matter. Frequently called the central science, it provides the basis for studies in many other disciplines ranging from biology to materials science, in addition to being a booming discipline of its own, of course.

Located in Chernoff Hall, Queen’s Department of Chemistry is regarded as one of the best in Canada for both teaching and research. Our aim is to offer a stimulating learning environment for undergraduate students, primarily through participating in engaging, practical laboratory work. In upper years, depending on your interests, you can specialize in one of the more fundamental branches of the discipline, such as analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, or theoretical chemistry. You can also choose to explore interdisciplinary 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 materials, the development of alternative energy sources, and the protection of the environment.

See our Major Map to learn more

Location: 
Chernoff Hall
Room number: 
200
Telephone: 
Department Head: 
Dr. Hans-Peter Loock
Undergraduate Chair: 
Anne Petitjean
Graduate Coordinator: 

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.

Internship option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

Chemistry - PhD
Chemistry - MSc
Chemistry - MASc

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.

Where could Chemistry students go after graduation?

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Art Conservation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Botany
  • Dentistry
  • Ecology
  • Education and teaching
  • Epidemiology and community health
  • Environmental research
  • Food science and technology
  • Forensic science
  • Genetics
  • Industrial processes
  • Journalism
  • Management (business and health administration)
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Materials science
  • Medical laboratories
  • Medicine
  • Natural resource management
  • Nutrition and dietetics
  • Patent Law
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Pharmacy
  • Public Health
  • Public or private research
  • Quality control
  • Safety assessment and design
  • Sustainability
  • Technician
  • Toxicology
  • Veterinary Medicine

Note: Some of these careers may require additional training.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

The first year course in Chemistry is a survey of modern chemistry covering molecular structure, bonding, phases of matter, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, equilibrium, kinetics, polymers, organic and biochemistry with extensive lab participation. Some popular upper year courses include Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry, Environmental and Green Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics.

Undergraduate Admission to Chemistry

Students apply to Queen’s Science (QS) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities' Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include English 4U, Calculus and Vectors 4U, Advanced Functions 4U and two of Chemistry 4U, Biology 4U or 4U Physics. Visit queensu.ca/admission for additional information regarding requirements and admission to 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.

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 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 >