Chemistry & Biochemistry

About Us

Chemistry occupies a unique position within the modern sciences. Ultimately, most of the phenomena in the biological, geological, physical, environmental and medical sciences can be expressed in terms of the chemical and physical behavior of atoms and molecules. Because of chemistry’s key role, majors in chemistry and biochemistry are well prepared to pursue careers in a wide variety of disciplines.

Considering Chemistry & Biochemistry?

Students majoring in chemistry have the opportunity to engage in research projects with the department’s faculty and to gain experience with computational chemistry; modern instrumental techniques including gas and liquid chromatography; ultra-violet, visible, infra-red, Raman, fluorescence and atomic absorption spectrophotometry; nuclear magnetic resonance; and x-ray diffraction. Upon graduation, our students are knowledgeable, experienced and independent laboratory workers.

General Admissions Requirements

  • If you’re considering a major in Chemistry and Biochemistry, you should complete a high school chemistry course and mathematics courses through precalculus.
  • If you’re transferring from other institutions, please consult with the department chair to plan your Eastern program of study.
  • Chemistry courses must be taken in proper sequence and with certain prerequisites satisfied. To graduate within four years, you must take CHEM 151, CHEM 152, and CHEM 153 during your freshman year. The physics and mathematics supporting courses must also be started without delay. You should complete the required calculus and physics courses before your junior year in order to have prerequisites for upper division chemistry courses. Completion of a computer programming course is recommended before taking CHEM 431.

Academic Policy

Due to the cumulative nature of chemistry courses, we strongly recommend that you receive a grade of at least 2.0 in all prerequisite chemistry courses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please work with your General Academic Advisor until you are approaching junior status (90+ credits) and are major ready.  

Here are some general instructions for declaring your major in the chemistry department.

  1. Fill out the top portion of the Major Declaration Form
  2. Select the appropriate boxes under Major (first-time declaration, changing majors etc.)
  3. Use the drop-down menu to select the Major option you wish to declare (drop-down menus may not work in Firefox)
  4. Add a minor if desired/required
  5. Print the form
  6. Stop by department office, SCI 226, to be assigned a departmental advisor
  7. Make an appointment with your advisor to obtain a major declaration signature
  8. Sign the bottom
  9. Return the signed major declaration form to SCI 226 for processing*

*Please note the department office does not receive a notification when you declare your major in records and registration. Bypassing returning the form to SCI 226 means you may miss out on important department notifications and information, such as scholarship, job, and internship announcements.

Visit our Contact Us page.

The department has tutors available for General Chemistry courses in Science Building 156 up to 12 hours per week, excluding summer quarter. The schedule will be posted online, outside Science Building 156, Science Building 223 and around the department during the second week of the quarter, after the schedule is finalized. Contact the Department Secretary at 509.359.2447 with any questions. The PLUS program also has additional tutoring opportunities.

Spring 2019

  • Monday: 7:30-8:50 a.m., 10-11 a.m., and noon to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 7:30-8:50 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 7:30-8:50 a.m. and 10 a.m. to noon
  • Thursday: 7:30-8:50 a.m. and 10-11 a.m.
  • Friday: 7:30-8:50 a.m. and 10-11 a.m.

If you are a prospective Forensic Science student or parent, make sure to visit the Forensic Science degree page.

Check the transfer guide on EagleNet for course equivalencies.  You may also contact the Center for Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR) at 509.359.2345  for help from an Academic Advisor.

If you are already a student on campus, have had chemistry courses, and are interested in being a TA for Chemistry Labs please contact Fred Joslin in Science Building 209. He can also be reached at 509.359.2809 or

Fill out the online form provided by Records & Registration.

First, visit the Records & Registration website for more information about your registration hold. You may contact the Department Secretary at 509.359.2447 for pre-requisite or advising holds.  You may need to fill out a form in the office, Science Building 226.  You may need to speak to the professor teaching the class or the department chair, depending on the reason for the hold. Call if you need more information or have questions.

Currently, tentative quarterly schedules are available up to two quarters in advance. They are posted in the hallway outside Science Building 226. Please call the office if you have any questions at 509.359.2447.

Scholarship Opportunities

This is a program for Juniors and Seniors majoring in Sciences.

For more information, contact Dr. Joanna Joyner Matos.

This scholarship is for upper division and graduate students majoring in sciences who intend to pursue a career in forensic science.

Learn More

This program is for Washington residents and students that are high school seniors, or a college freshman or sophomore at the time of application.

Learn More

The EWU Robert Noyce Scholarship is for students earning a BS or BA in a STEM field and a BEA in their last two years of the program. $10,000 is available for the first year and $16,000 is available for the second.

The goal of the project is to recruit highly qualified and diverse STEM students to teach in regional high needs schools for their classroom experience. The grant personnel will work closely with students and their mentor teachers to achieve these goals.

Learn More

In addition to these Chemistry scholarships, please fill out the general EWU Scholarship Application. EWU awards over $5.5 million in scholarships to nearly 1,500 students each school year. There are scholarships based on major, hometown, community service and more.

Careers in Chemistry & Biochemistry

Earning a degree, minor, or endorsement from Eastern Washington University leads to many career opportunities: