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About the Chemistry Program

Chemistry is a broad and diverse field that encompasses a wide range of topics, including the properties of atoms and molecules, the structure and behavior of matter, chemical reactions and their rates, and the synthesis and characterization of new materials. Chemistry is important in many aspects of our daily lives and is essential for understanding the world around us. It plays a crucial role in fields such as medicine, environmental science, forensic science, materials science, and food science, among others. At Western Oregon University (WOU), you can pursue B.S Degree Programs in Traditional Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, or Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology. 

By choosing to major in chemistry, students can make a positive impact on the world by contributing to the development of new drugs, materials, and technologies that can improve people’s lives. As a foundational subject, chemistry is closely connected to other scientific fields such as biology, forensic science, physics and environmental science.  Students who major in chemistry may have the opportunity to take interdisciplinary courses or pursue concentrations in forensic chemistry or medicinal chemistry & pharmacology. Overall, a chemistry degree can open the door to a wide range of job opportunities including research, teaching, pharmaceuticals, forensics, and environmental sciences. Students can also use this degree path as a launching point for other graduate and professional programs such a medical school and pharmacy programs. 

Why is the WOU Chemistry Program Special?

  • Small class sizes – At WOU, you will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members and have a more personalized educational experience. You will have opportunities to gain one-on-one help when you need it, work on research projects, and participate in internships.
  • Unique Interdisciplinary Opportunities: We encourage our students to gain a broad education and have specialized concentrations in Forensic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacology. Within our Forensic Concentration, students take fundamental coursework in forensics, criminal justice, psychology, and anthropology, in addition to their chemistry core courses. The Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacology Concentration combines coursework in chemistry and biology to prepare preprofessional majors for medical school, pharmacy programs and other professional pathways such as veterinary medicine, dentistry, and graduate school. We also have a Teacher Education in Chemistry pathway that combines education course work with chemistry, and prepares students for middle and high school teaching careers.
  • Hands-on Learning: You will have the opportunity to work directly with high scale laboratory equipment, conduct undergraduate research, or participate in internships with local area businesses and industry partners. Our graduates are well prepared to enter competitive job markets upon graduation and have high placement into professional and graduate programs.








Patricia Flatt, PhD
Department Chair
(503) 838-8644

Feier Hou, PhD
Associate Professor, Chemistry
(503) 838-8489