Welcome to the Department of Chemistry

We have a new program called ScISet. It’s designed to help you start your college career off on the right foot. Check it out here!

We are proud of all of the graduates of our program! We know many of you have travelled a long journey to graduation, and we celebrate you all. Here’s a partial list of where our graduates have gone: Where are they now?

Here are some fascinating news stories about chemistry (past and present):

  • The 48th International Chemistry Olympiad took place in June 2016 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The U.S. team earned a gold, two silvers, and a bronze medal. Read more from the American Chemical Society.
  • The discovery of the elements was often a difficult path, as illustrated in this story about the discovery of Francium.
  • Advances in microscopy require a mix of chemistry, biology, and physics, as demonstrated in the work of the 2014 Chemistry Nobel prize winners.
  • Light shows up again in the 2014 Physics Nobel prize.
  • In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded “for mechanistic studies of DNA repair”, again combining chemistry and biology.

Also, July 20th is the 47th anniversary of the moon landing. For pictures and more information, check out NASA’s page at http://www.nasa.gov/.


STEM University


Chemistry is one of the fundamental sciences for many areas of study. It provides exciting opportunities to investigate the interface between the real, observable world around us and the abstract realm of ideas. Combining experimental observations with theoretical deductions challenges the chemist to find a new understanding of our universe with a well-defined, ever-growing system of concepts. The order, symmetry and unity of the universe become clearer through the study of chemistry, which correlates scientific discovery with knowledge.

The mission of the Department of Chemistry is to provide an atmosphere of mentorship for the purpose of educating and producing well-rounded individuals who are socially, spiritually, and academically mature.

Career Opportunities

A chemistry major provides excellent preparation for students who wish to prepare for careers as biochemists, chemical engineers, chemists, dentists, medical technologists, pharmacists, physicians, and science teachers. Inasmuch as many of these careers require further study at the graduate or professional school level, the chemistry programs are designed to provide a broad and strong background in chemistry.

If you’re interested in finding internships or scholarships, check out these options.

Programs Offered

Biochemistry (BS) Suggested 4-Year Track
Chemistry (BA) Suggested 4-Year Track
Chemistry (BS) Suggested 4-Year Track
Chemistry Minor

Pre-Professional programs

Students should choose their majors based on their principal abilities and interests, because most professional schools accept individuals on the basis of merit rather than on their choice of major. Those who plan to enter professional schools should consult with their academic adviser in addition to the appropriate pre-professional program coordinator, listed below.

An overall GPA of at least 3.0 is required for admission to most professional programs, although some require a GPA significantly above 3.0.

Students should work closely with their pre-professional coordinator to ensure that they are meeting all of the requirements and recommendations within their chosen field. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the professional schools they wish to attend and consult their bulletins for information concerning specific courses and tests required for admission. Credit earned by Advanced Placement or CLEP may not be accepted.

Listed below are program coordinators, and required courses, for pre-professional programs most frequently chosen by students at WAU:

Pre-Chiropractic,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD
Pre-Dental Hygiene,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Pre-Dentistry,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Pre-Medicine,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Sample 4 Year Plan (Summer)
Sample 4 Year Plan (No Summer)
Pre-Occupational Therapy,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Pre-Optometry,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD
Pre-Pharmacy,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Nellie McKenzie, PharmD
Pre-Physician Assistant,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Pre-Physical Therapy,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses
Pre-Public Health,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD
Pre-Veterinary Medicine,Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhDprerequisite courses

Course Descriptions

Read the Department of Chemistry section in the Academic bulletin.

For more information about the department, please see below:

Programmatic Admission Information

Progression requirements

Statement of Student Responsibility

For news and stories, please see below:

If you’re a pre-medicine student, you might find the Rice Premed Student Guide helpful; it contains a lot of important information for students on the pre-medicine track. Also, on their webpage you can find a link to a free MCAT study calendar.

Department Information

For program information, contact:

Dr. Sam Perez
Phone: 301-891-4465
Fax: 301-576-0167
E-mail: sperez@wau.edu
Room S102A, Science Building