Chemistry explores the composition, structure and transformation of matter. Frequently called the central science, Chemistry 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. As society has become more aware of the seriousness of the environmental problems we face, we have realized that the solutions are not simple. By learning the scientic basis of environmental problems, and understanding the planning and policy involved, this specialization offers an understanding of environmental problems and the social, economic and cultural complexities that surround them. 

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.

Top 5 Reasons to study Chemistry:

  1. Chemistry opens very broad career options. 
  2. With extensive experimental training, Chemistry studies are very hands-on and fun.
  3. Queen's Chemistry Department is a very supportive and nurturing environment; our graduating class is small and close-knit.
  4. All major and specialization students conduct research in fourth year as part of their plan.
  5. Queen's Chemistry programs are accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.
Chernoff Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
Richard Oleschuk
Department Manager: 
Lindsay Lee
Administrative Assistant to Head and Manager: 
Laura Cybulski
Graduate Chair: 
David Zechel
Graduate Assistant: 
Michelle Boutilier
Undergraduate Chair: 
Diane Beauchemin
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Meredith Richards
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


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.


Alumni Career Statistics

  • 6% of alumni work in MUSEUMS, LIBRARIES & GALLERIES
  • 9% of alumni work in LAW
  • 9% of alumni work in GOVERNMENT
  • 36% of alumni work in EDUCATION

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.

A degree in Chemistry can take your career in many directions. Many students choose to continue their academic inquiry with a Master's. Our students are equipped with a strong foundation for careers in:

  • 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

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation.


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. Specifically two highlighted examples are:

CHEM 223: Organic Reactions

Mechanistically oriented study of organic reactions with emphasis on applications to synthesis. The laboratory affords experience in organic synthesis.

CHEM 313: Quantum Mechanics

Elementary principles and applications of wave mechanics with special reference to molecular orbitals and chemical bonding.


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

Chemistry (BScH)

OUAC Code:

QS (Kingston Campus)

QB (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)

QIS (The Castle)

See Full Admission Requirements

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, etc.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. The 2020-21 thresholds for Chemistry (both Major and Specialization) are: 1.9 Cumulative GPA, a PASS in MATH 121 (or equivalent), and a Minimum C- in CHEM 112 for

PENDING LIST or 2.7 Cumulative GPA, a PASS in MATH 121 (or equivalent), and a minimum C+ in CHEM 112 for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE. For Environmental Chemistry Specialization there is no AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE, but for PENDING LIST there is a required 1.9 cumulative GPA.

Information on Plan Selection


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 ( 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.


View research areas in Chemistry.

Our faculty are recognized nationally and internationally through numerous awards including 4 Canada Research Chairs, 3 Chemical Institute of Canada Awardees, 3 Fellows of the Chemical Institute of Canada, 3 Discovery Accelerator Awardees, 4 Killam Research Fellow, 9 Canadian Society for Chemistry Awardees, 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 $25,490 and $26,530 per year for M.sC and Ph.D students respectively (international students receive an additional $6,000) 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 >


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 4 Canada Research Chairs, 4 Queen’s National Scholars, 7 recipients of the Premier’s Research Excellence award, and 3 fellows of the Chemical Institute of Canada facilities.

The Chemistry Department is located in Chernoff Hall, a $40 million, state-of-the-art building. The NMR facility has 6 spectrometers, ranging from 300 to 700 MHz, including some with solids capability. A mass spectrometry 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 >