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 General Chemistry and General Chemistry Lab ( CHEM 171 & 171L, CHEM 172 & 172L, and CHEM 173 & 173L) 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

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. Please note: Major ready students have completed CHEM 172 & 172L with a C or above
  2. Fill out the top portion of the Major Declaration Form
  3. Select the appropriate boxes under Major (first-time declaration, changing majors etc.)
  4. Use the drop-down menu to select the Major option you wish to declare (drop-down menus may not work in Firefox)
  5. Add a minor if desired/required
  6. Print the form
  7. Email Maggie Cox at or stop by department office, SCI 154, to be assigned a departmental advisor
  8. Make an appointment with your advisor to obtain a major declaration signature
  9. Sign the bottom
  10. Return the signed major declaration form to Maggie Cox @ or SCI 154 for processing*

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

The department has tutors available for General Chemistry courses in Science Building 171 up to 12 hours per week, excluding summer quarter. The schedule will be posted online, outside Science Building 171, Science Building 223, and around the Science building during the second week of the quarter after the schedule is finalized. Contact the Department Secretary at or 509.359.2447 with any questions. The PLUS program also has additional tutoring opportunities.

Summer – no tutors available

Fall schedule – available around October 1

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

Tentative quarterly schedules are available up to two quarters in advance. You may also contact the department secretary at or 509.359.2447 with questions.

Check the transfer guide on EagleNET for course equivalencies.  You may also contact the Center for Academic Advising & Retention (CAAR) at 509.359.2345 or 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

This process has now moved online!  Please see the Professor with whom you wish to complete research.  They will begin the registration process.  Additional questions can be sent to


First, visit the Records & Registration website for more information about your registration hold. You may contact the department secretary for more information about Chemistry specific pre-requisite holds.  Advisor holds require you meet with your general or major advisor.

You may need additional permission from the course Professor or Department chair, depending on the reason for the hold.

Please include your name, email, and Student ID number or Net ID number when sending email requests.

Scholarship Opportunities

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

Scholarship Requirements

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

Scholarship Requirements

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.

Scholarship Requirements

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:






Eastern Stories

October News & Kudos

October 2020 Papers Published Tony Masiello published his research: “Analysis of several high-resolution infrared bands of perdeutero-spiropentane,...