Message from the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering: Following discussions with many individuals, and in collaborative consultation with the event-organizing group, I have decided to cancel the Saturday, October 6th public events associated with the Wicholas Symposium. The college is committed to the ideal of inclusive excellence and to providing and nurturing opportunity for all students, now and in the future. 

***ATTENTION!! CHEM 121/122/123 will become CHEM 161/162/163 beginning Fall 2018!!***

  • This will not effect any courses already completed at WWU. 
    • If you have completed any portion of General Chemistry as CHEM 121 or CHEM 122, you will be able to continue in CHEM 162 or CHEM 163.
    • If you have satisfied the prerequisites to enroll in CHEM 121, you will still be able to register for CHEM 161.
  • This will not effect your prerequisites for future courses at WWU. 
    • If you have satisfied your course prerequisite with CHEM 121, CHEM 122 or CHEM 123 and the course now requires CHEM 161, CHEM 162 or CHEM 163; you have still satisfied your course prerequisite.
  • This does not change current or previous equivalencies within WA state.
    • CHEM&121 at WA state community colleges is still not equivalent to CHEM 121 at WWU. 
    • CHEM&121 at WA state community colleges is not equivalent to CHEM 161 at WWU.

The Chemistry Department at Western offers courses for students who plan to major in Chemistry, Biochemistry and other physical, engineering and life sciences programs. The department offers M.S., B.S., and B.A. degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, approved by the American Chemical Society. Programs of study are designed to emphasize the fundamental principles of chemistry and their application to technological, societal, and industrial problems, to develop scientific reasoning, advanced hands-on laboratory skills, and to prepare students for success in graduate/professional programs, government, and industry.

Prof. Patrick Research with StudentsThe Department is recognized as having one of the strongest undergraduate-based research programs in the nation, supported by an average of $1 million in annual external grant funding.  Award-winning faculty work closely with students on a variety of important scientific challenges, ranging from medicinal chemistry to solar energy, protein engineering, the development of new aerospace and electronic materials, and many more.  Students are immersed in an environment emphasizing strong interdisciplinary scientific preparation and receive hands-on experience with advanced chemical and biochemical methods in state-of-the-art facilities.  The program draws top students from across the Washington and the country. 

Chemistry Department Building

Western consistently ranks among the top universities in the West. Located in Bellingham, WA, the campus overlooks Puget Sound and the beautiful San Juan Islands, and is adjacent to the majestic Mt. Baker and the North Cascades.


For more about the Department, see: History and Mission Statement


 WWU Sustainability

 The Chemistry Department Administrative Office Suite has achieved Platinum Status Sustainability Certification.

 For more information visit the WWU Sustainability website.



Department Distinctions:

  • Dr. Rob Berger has been named a 2017 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement
  • Dr. John Gilbertson awarded the 2017 Dreyfus Award.
  • Dr. Anthony-Cahill and some of our MS graduates!
  • Dr. John Antos named a 2016 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).
  • Tess Clinkingbeard received an Outstanding Poster Award from the Colloid & Surface Chemistry Division at the 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting.
  • Keenan Komoto and Viktor Laszlo celebrate computational division poster awards with Dr. Tim Kowalczyk at the 250th ACS national meeting.
  • An image of Clint
  • Chemistry MS student Christian Erickson and fellow team members win $10,000 at a business plan competition for their transparent solar window.


Find us on Facebook