College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of matter at the molecular level. Professional chemists

  • make new compounds, like pharmaceuticals,
  • develop new ways to measure chemical reactions at the limits of space and time, and
  • create new theoretical frameworks to understand and predict molecular behavior.

Through classwork and hands-on laboratory learning, you’ll develop the skills to tackle a variety of technical problems in environments that range from aerospace to the local zoo. You’ll also have the opportunity to join research labs and take part in internships at various companies.

When you apply, you can choose to apply to either 

  • Chemistry (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry) or 
  • Chemistry BSLAS (Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences). 

The Chemistry BS degree is certified by the American Chemical Society. It is intended for people who intend to pursue a career in the chemical sciences. Our Chemistry BSLAS major has fewer technical requirements. It allows more flexibility to pursue other interests (frequently the health sciences). The Chemistry BSLAS major also offers a Secondary Education option for the teaching of Chemistry in high schools.

Career Options

  • Chemistry
  • Dentistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Government
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Research
  • Teaching

Post-Graduation Success1

80% employed or continuing education

46% employed after graduation

34% attending graduate school

$45,611 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: AbbVie, Cargill, Ingredion View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Calculus preferred (if available at high school)
  • Demonstrated understanding of and interest in the major

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

4.0 years to degree

92% first-year retention rate

67% four-year graduation rate

84% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $17,866
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $41,016


  • Tuition: $36,986
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $60,476


  • Tuition: $39,434
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $62,924