Program Description

Chemistry is the science of matter and its changes; the effort to understand the laws governing the behavior of atoms and molecules. Behind this dry definition is an enormous range of activities ranging from highly theoretical to immediately practical. Chemists study abstract theories in an effort to understand those fundamental laws. They then apply them in making new materials, eliminating pollution, fighting diseases, or detecting crime. Our chemistry graduates work in these areas and many others.


King’s major program consists of a sequence of courses taught by our highly qualified faculty that are designed to help the student understand the various branches of chemistry. Laboratory courses use state of the art equipment and teach the fundamentals of the scientific method; the creative questioning of nature and careful reasoning from the results. The Chemistry Department has a tradition of strong faculty-student interaction. Classes are deliberately small and each student receives personal attention.

The Department knows that the heart of science is the search for new knowledge. In order to share in this exciting adventure, each student is highly encouraged to elect a research project under the individual direction of a faculty member. This collaborative effort and hands-on experience are important factors in the success of our graduates.

The Department also believes that a scientist is also a member of society and must have a broadly based liberal education. Therefore, the chemistry major must select courses outside the major from the Core curriculum.

Most King’s chemistry graduates enter 1) graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry, or other chemically related areas; 2) employment in chemical research, development, forensic, or quality control laboratories; 3) teaching in secondary schools; 4) further study in medically related professions. However, a number have made careers in law, business, and other areas that are not traditionally associated with a degree in chemistry. The technical knowledge and the intellectual discipline a student develops in the chemistry program serve our graduates well, whatever their careers.

A substantial number of our graduates have gone on to careers as physicians or dentists. Chemistry majors intending to apply to medical or dental school should plan to take at least two semesters of biology (including laboratory) and consult the Health Professions Advisor early in their academic career.

The Department also has designed several Core courses for non-science majors, to broaden their understanding of science and how it applies to life in our complex society.

Chemistry majors wishing to complete major sequence requirements at another institution must complete them at a four-year institution and have permission from the Department Chairperson.

Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Secondary Education Certification (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry-Business (B.S.)
  • Chemical Engineering through the 3+2 Dual Degree Engineering Program with Notre Dame
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (B.S.)


  • Materials chemistry
  • Forensic chemistry

Select Compatible Minors

  • Forensic studies
  • Mathematics
  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • Criminal justice
  • Writing

Special Features

Many students have presented their work at national meetings or had their work published in international journals. The department has been ranked fifth in the nation in the percentage of its graduates who went on to earn a Ph.D. Over the past 15 years, more than 50% of our graduates have gone on to Ph.D. or M.D. programs at the most prestigious institutions. Graduates are certified by the American Chemical Society. The department is well equipped for teaching and undergraduate research. Students routinely use FTIR, UV-visible, NMR, and atomic absorption spectrometers; gas and liquid chromatographs; a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry system; thermal analysis equipment; SEM; and glovebox.