Lab supervisor Matt Autry and faculty assistant Ruowen Pei record a general chemistry lab.

Undergraduate Program

Make an impact with Chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry at Washington University has a tradition of excellence, combining deep commitments to fundamental research and classroom teaching. As a chemist, you can help solve the complicated problems facing our world, including issues in energy, education, health, security, and defense. We provide you with the foundation to pursue careers in scientific research and discovery, education, medicine, engineering, and more.

Exploring Options

Our students study the major disciplines in chemistry (organic, physical, inorganic, analytical, biological) with the required lecture and laboratory courses. The most valuable experience our students are afforded is the opportunity to perform research in world-class facilities with internationally recognized chemists. Undergraduates can play a substantial role in these research areas: materials chemistry, laser spectroscopy, drug discovery, mass spectrometry, proteomics and metabolomics, synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry, nuclear chemistry, biochemistry, and many others.

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Our Graduate Program

Thinking about pursuing a graduate degree in Chemistry? Faculty and current students talk about the strengths of the department and Washington University.

WashU chemists develop groundbreaking test to track crucial edits to RNA

WashU chemists develop groundbreaking test to track crucial edits to RNA

The team’s new technique could help scientists worldwide identify novel targets for cancer therapies.

Student Opportunities

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates have many opportunities to get involved in undergraduate research. Our faculty has a wide range of research interests and expertise, and also actively collaborates with researchers in other departments. You can work with a faculty member or other scientist on a project of mutual interest, and as you grow as a scientist you will become more independent in your research project, developing your own project goals and the means with which to reach them.

Undergraduate Research Info

Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL)

Students in this program are placed into a study group that meets for two hours on Saturday or Sunday throughout the semester. Group members work through a problem set designed to require a collaborative effort, help develop critical thinking skills, and hone advanced problem-solving abilities. These groups are facilitated by a trained undergraduate peer leader, who guides and encourages the group through the learning process.

Explore PLTL

Departmental Honors

Options for honors in Chemistry include Latin Honors and Department Honors.

Honors Details

Washington University Chemistry Tournament (WUCT)

WUCT was founded in 2015 by a group of WashU students dedicated to creating more opportunities for high school students to enjoy and explore the field of chemistry. The group organizes an annual chemistry competition with hundreds of participants.

Discover WUCT

Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE)

Students interested in chemistry or a chemistry-related field and looking to connect with others of similar interests may choose to join this chemistry professional fraternity.

Learn about AXE

Careers in Chemistry

You’ll find chemists in a variety of industries: semiconductor, energy storage, pharmaceutical, solar cell, petrochemical, nanomaterials, personal care products, coatings, plastics, food products, to name a few. Chemists are involved in making public policies, patent and intellectual property law, and educating the future generations of scientists.

Careers in Chemistry

Transfer Credit

Students taking Organic Chemistry at another institution during the summer should take both the lecture and the associated lab.  Stand-alone organic labs will not be offered at Washington University in academic year 2021-2022 or in future years.

Learn more about transfer credit

I have been interested in chemistry since high school, but my classes and research experience at WashU have helped me to figure out what areas of chemistry I want to pursue in grad school. I’ve always felt comfortable asking for help and guidance from faculty in the chemistry department, and the community here has been a really important part of my experience at WashU.

―Emily MorganClass of 2019, Mirica Lab

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If you have any questions about studying chemistry, contact us anytime to set up an appointment.

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