All schools & programs > College of Liberal Arts and Sciences >

Department of Chemistry

Visit their website » Print...

Why study chemistry?

Because understanding the atomic and molecular nature of matter informs us about ourselves and our universe, and creating and finding applications for new and modified forms of matter helps to conserve and enhance our world.

Chemistry course work educates students to become professional chemists or to do graduate work in chemistry. It also provides the basic chemistry background for students entering such fields as biochemistry, biological sciences, dentistry, engineering, environmental science, geology, medicine, pharmacy, physics, and secondary-level science education. Courses in chemistry provide general knowledge and appreciation of chemistry and its impact on society.

Advanced Placement

Students who have taken the Advanced Placement Examination in chemistry should have the results forwarded to the Office of Admissions. Students who score 5 need not take CHEM 184 and CHEM 188 and receive 10 hours of credit. With departmental permission, those who score 3 or 4 receive credit for CHEM 184. Credit for CHEM 188 also may be given to those who pass a special examination. Students who score at least 50 on the College Level Examination Program general chemistry examination receive 5 hours of credit in CHEM 125.

Courses for Nonmajors

Students taking chemistry as preparatory study for another field should consult the courses listed for that field in this catalog. CHEM 124 and CHEM 125 are introductory courses for the nonscience major who wants to study the general principles, methods, role, and significance of chemistry in the modern world, for prenursing students, and for students who plan to take no additional courses in chemistry. Premedical students and chemistry or other science majors should not take CHEM 124 or CHEM 125. CHEM 124 is lecture only. CHEM 125 includes a laboratory. Engineering students who need only one semester of chemistry should take CHEM 150. CHEM 184 is an introductory course for students who plan to take more than one year of college chemistry, including chemical engineering, premedical, prepharmacy, and predental students and students in biological sciences who must take organic chemistry. Students should continue with CHEM 188 in the same academic year that they take CHEM 184.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.