The mission of the Department of Chemistry is to conduct world-class, groundbreaking research in the chemical sciences while offering the highest quality of education to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates. The department's leadership in research includes the traditional areas of physical, analytical, inorganic, and organic chemistry, and has rapidly evolved to encompass environmental chemistry, chemical biology, biophysical chemistry, soft and hard materials chemistry, and nanotechnology. The Department of Chemistry prides itself on its highly interactive, diverse, and collegial scientific environment. Our emphasis on collaboration connects us to colleagues across campus, around the country, and throughout the world.

The undergraduate chemistry major leads to a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree awarded by the College of Letters & Science. The curriculum provides excellent preparation in chemistry, along with a wide breadth of liberal arts coursework. At the same time, the program provides significant opportunities for students to participate in scientific inquiry, within both laboratory courses and research laboratories. Students from other colleges within the university may pursue the chemistry major as an additional major. When pursuing a chemistry major, the undergraduate student must meet university general education requirements and breadth requirements of their own college, along with the specific requirements for the chemistry major.

The chemistry major provides students with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to be successful in a wide variety of careers in the chemical industries (e.g., consumer and agricultural products, materials, energy, petroleum, paper, food, etc.), as well as environmental, pharmaceutical, and other health-related sciences. Students are also well-prepared for graduate-level work in chemistry, chemical physics, biochemistry, biophysics, materials chemistry, and other related fields.  Students who excel in undergraduate chemistry coursework are often able to obtain funding for their graduate work through teaching or research assistantships and fellowships. Combined with a master's program in secondary education, the major qualifies the student to teach chemistry in secondary schools. Chemistry majors have also been successful in a variety of professional programs where they have studied medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, business, or law.

Students may declare the chemistry major after they have completed General Chemistry (CHEM 104, CHEM 109, or CHEM 116). Transfer students may declare in their first semester at UW-Madison, if they have transfer credit for one of these courses. Students should schedule an appointment with the undergraduate chemistry advisor to declare and develop a course plan toward graduation. To better inform their decision, undecided students who are exploring chemistry along with other majors are encouraged to take an additional chemistry course or two beyond General Chemistry before declaring. Any student interested in chemistry is welcome to schedule an appointment with the advisor to further explore the major.

Students are advised to declare the major no later than the end of their second year. There are many advantages to declaring the chemistry major early, including access to chemistry advising, access to scholarships only available to chemistry majors, and access to announcements for chemistry majors. Students who have declared the major become a part of our chemistry community, enabling them to better connect with faculty, staff, and other chemistry majors.


University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree requirements.


Mathematics Complete two courses of 3+ credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level in MATH, COMP SCI, or STAT subjects. A maximum of one course in each of COMP SCI and STAT subjects counts toward this requirement.
Foreign Language Complete the third unit of a foreign language.
L&S Breadth Complete:
• 12 credits of Humanities, which must include at least 6 credits of Literature; and
• 12 credits of Social Science; and
• 12 credits of Natural Science, which must include 6 credits of Biological Science and 6 credits of Physical Science.
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework Complete at least 108 credits.
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced Coursework Complete at least 60 credits at the Intermediate or Advanced level.
Major Declare and complete at least one major.
Total Credits Complete at least 120 credits.
UW-Madison Experience Complete both:
• 30 credits in residence, overall, and
• 30 credits in residence after the 86th credit.
Quality of Work • 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
• 2.000 in Intermediate/Advanced level coursework at UW–Madison


Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements. They do not need to complete the L&S Degree Requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

Math & Physics

Mathematics (1 course)4-5
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
Topics in Calculus II
First Introductory Course (1 course)
General Physics
General Physics
A Modern Introduction to Physics
Second Introductory Course (1 course)
General Physics
General Physics
A Modern Introduction to Physics
Total Credits14-15

Chemistry Core Courses

General Chemistry (1 course)5
General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Chemical Principles I 1
Analytical Chemistry (1 course)4-5
Fundamentals of Analytical Science
Chemical Principles II
Fundamentals of Analytical Science
Inorganic Chemistry (1 course)4
Chemistry Across the Periodic Table
Organic Chemistry (3 courses) 28
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry II
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Physical Chemistry8-9
Part 1 (1 course)
Physical Chemistry
Biophysical Chemistry
Chemical Process Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics of Materials
Part 2 (1 course)
Physical Chemistry
Part 3 (2 courses)
Physical Chemistry Laboratory I
Physical Chemistry Laboratory II
Total Credits29-31

Advanced Chemistry and Laboratory

Advanced Non-laboratory Coursework5
Chemical Principles II (1 credit counts towards requirements) 3
Polymeric Materials
Aspects of Industrial Chemistry and Business Fundamentals
Senior Seminar
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Chemical Instrumentation (2 credits count towards requirement) 4
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Study Abroad in Advanced Chemistry
Biophysical Chemistry (1 credit counts towards requirement) 3
Advanced Topics in Chemistry
Spectrochemical Measurements
Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms
Materials Chemistry of Polymers
Introduction to Biochemistry
General Biochemistry I
General Biochemistry II
Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
Mechanisms of Action of Vitamins and Minerals
Chemical Engineering Materials
Polymer Science and Technology
Introduction to Colloid and Interface Science
Additional Laboratory Work3
Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Advanced Synthesis and Laboratory Techniques
Chemical Instrumentation (1 credit counts towards requirement) 4
Senior Honors Thesis
and Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Thesis
and Senior Thesis
Directed Study
Senior Honors Thesis
and Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Thesis
and Senior Thesis
Special Problems
Special Problems
Total Credits8

Residence and Quality of Work

Honors in the Major

Students may declare Honors in the Chemistry Major in consultation with the chemistry major advisor. To be admitted to the Honors Program in Chemistry, students must have declared a major in chemistry and achieved a 3.200 overall GPA. They must also have achieved a 3.200 GPA in all CHEM courses taken and courses accepted for the major.

Honors in the Chemistry Major Requirements

To earn Honors in the Major in Chemistry, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
  • Earn a 3.300 GPA for all CHEM courses and all major courses
  • Complete an additional 3 credits, for a total of 8 credits, of advanced non-laboratory work. This requirement is met by the same credits and courses that are accepted for "Advanced Non-laboratory Work" in the regular major.
  • Complete a two-semester Senior Honors Thesis in CHEM 681 Senior Honors Thesis and CHEM 682 Senior Honors Thesis, for a total of 6 credits.



Enrollment in CHEM 115 and CHEM 116 is by invitation only. Entering first-year students are invited to apply. Candidates are selected based on their high school record, placement test scores, and application responses.


CHEM 343 must be taken first, followed by CHEM 345. CHEM 344 may be taken concurrently with or after CHEM 345.


One credit from each of CHEM 116 and  CHEM 565 count toward the required 5 credits of Advanced Non-laboratory Coursework.


Only 2 of the 3 credits from CHEM 524 count towards Advanced Non-laboratory Coursework. The remaining 1 credit counts towards the Additional Laboratory Work requirement.

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Identify, formulate and solve integrative problems using appropriate information and approaches.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of basic chemical transformations, including the ability to predict chemical reactivity and properties.
  3. Recognize the relationship between structure, bonding and the properties of molecules and materials.
  4. Model chemical systems and experimental data using relevant quantitative, mathematical and computational methods.
  5. Design, conduct and analyze experiments safely and successfully.
  6. Locate, evaluate and use information in the chemical literature.
  7. Communicate chemical knowledge effectively through written reports, oral presentations and visual aids.
  8. Work collaboratively with others, both chemists and those from other disciplines, to solve problems and create new knowledge.
  9. Recognize how chemistry relates to contemporary issues in our society.
  10. Understand professional and ethical responsibility.

Sample Four-Year Plan

This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.

First Year
CHEM 109 or 10314-5300-level Chemistry course OR3-5
MATH 2215
CHEM 104 (if needed)2
Communications A (complete during first year)3MATH 2224
Foreign Language (if required)4Ethnic Studies3
 L&S Breadth3
 16 15
Second Year
CHEM 34333CHEM 3453
L&S Breadth3PHYSICS 2085
Communications B (consult with advisor about timing)43-4Research (optional)51-3
 L&S Breadth3
 15 15
Third Year
CHEM 32964Physical Chemistry Part I73-4
MATH 234 (recommended, but not required))4CHEM 3114
Research (optional)51-3Advanced Non-laboratory Coursework83
L&S Breadth3Research (optional)51-3
INTER-LS 210 (optional)1L&S Breadth3
 14 15
Fourth Year
CHEM 5623CHEM 5641
CHEM 5631Research or other Additional Lab Work101-3
Research or other Additional Lab Work91-3Advanced Non-laboratory Coursework (if needed)3
Advanced Non-laboratory Coursework3L&S Breadth3
L&S Breadth3L&S Breadth3
L&S Breadth3Elective113
 15 15
Total Credits 120

CHEM 103 General Chemistry I/CHEM 104 General Chemistry II is a two-semester sequence in General Chemistry. Students with a strong high school chemistry background (usually two years) and placement into at least first semester calculus are eligible for CHEM 109 Advanced General Chemistry. CHEM 109 is an advanced, fast-paced option that covers General Chemistry in one semester. CHEM 109 is offered only in the fall semesters and an honors level section is available. An additional option is the CHEM 115 Chemical Principles I/CHEM 116 Chemical Principles II sequence, which is a small honors sequence for exceptionally well-prepared students. Enrollment in this sequence is by invitation only, and the two courses cover both general and analytical chemistry.


 Students who took CHEM 109 in their first semester will not need CHEM 104. Instead, they may proceed to the next level of chemistry courses sooner by taking CHEM 311 Chemistry Across the Periodic Table or CHEM 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science or CHEM 343 Organic Chemistry I in the second semester of their first year. In this case, some subsequent chemistry courses may also be taken sooner than shown in this plan.


 Students must declare a major by the time they reach 86 credits. Students interested in chemistry may declare the major after completing general chemistry (CHEM 104, CHEM 109, or CHEM 116).


 Communications B can be satisfied later through a chemistry course, CHEM 346 Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory, if taken for 2 credits. CHEM 346 will also count towards additional lab work needed for the chemistry major.


 Research can be taken for credit by enrolling in CHEM 299 Directed Study (for students with less than 54 earned credits) or CHEM 699 Directed Study (for students with 54 or more earned credits). CHEM 299 does not satisfy additional lab credits required for the major, while CHEM 699 does. Alternatively, research may be conducted as a volunteer or for pay. Students must search for and be accepted into a research group before beginning research.


 According to L&S policy, students must complete at least 60 credits at the intermediate or advanced level.


 Options include CHEM 561 Physical Chemistry, CHEM 565 Biophysical Chemistry, and CBE 310 Chemical Process Thermodynamics (only for students also majoring in Chemical & Biological Engineering).


 Five advanced non-laboratory credits are required for the major. Please see the Requirements tab in the Guide for a list of courses that count towards this requirement.


 Three credits of additional lab work are required for the major. These credits can be satisfied by research (CHEM 699, for example) or by courses. Please see the Requirements tab in the Guide for a complete list of options. CHEM 346 is one option, and when taken for 2 credits also satisfies Comm-B. CHEM 346 is ONLY offered in FALL semester, with most students taking it in their fourth year. Students not planning to take CHEM 346 should plan to take their Comm-B earlier through one of their other required breadth courses.


 CHEM 524 Chemical Instrumentation and CHEM 512 Advanced Synthesis and Laboratory Techniques are options that are only offered in the spring semesters. CHEM 524 (3 credits) satisfies 1 additional lab work credit and 2 advanced non-laboratory credits.


Please refer to the Requirements tab in Guide for additional College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree requirements as well as Residence and Quality of Work requirements for the major.


The chemistry advisor provides advising for chemistry majors and prospective chemistry majors. Both appointments and drop-in hours are available. See Undergraduate Advising on the Department of Chemistry website for more details.

The Chemistry website also provides information about introductory chemistry courses and placement for continuing and new undergraduate students interested in taking a chemistry course. Students with enrollment and course access questions should visit the enrollment inquiries page. If further assistance is needed, students may visit the Undergraduate Chemistry Office (room 1351 Chemistry) during normal business hours, email, or call 608-263-2424.

Chemistry majors interested in getting involved in research should explore the undergraduate research pages on the chemistry website. Students needing additional information may contact the undergraduate research director by email.


The Requirements page provides the minimum requirements necessary for completing the chemistry major. This section provides additional advisory information about course selection and sequencing.

  • In addition to MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2, it is highly recommended that majors also take MATH 234 Calculus--Functions of Several Variables and MATH 320 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations. The extra math is especially helpful to students when they take the required physical chemistry courses.
  • PHYSICS 207 / PHYSICS 208 is the preferred physics sequence for most chemistry majors, while PHYSICS 201 / PHYSICS 202 is recommended for engineering students. PHYSICS 247 / PHYSICS 248 is intended for students considering a major in physics, astronomy-physics, or AMEP (applied mathematics, engineering, and physics).
  • Chemistry majors are strongly encouraged to take either CHEM 329 or CHEM 116 (as opposed to CHEM 327) to satisfy their analytical chemistry requirement, because research is an integral part of these two courses. Both CHEM 329 and CHEM 116 come with honors credit, but students do not need to be part of an honors program to enroll.
  • Most chemistry majors take CHEM 561 or CHEM 565 for Physical Chemistry Part 1. Students also majoring in chemical and biological engineering take CBE 310 instead. M S & E 330 is recommended only for students also majoring in materials science and engineering.
  • It is recommended that CHEM 563 be taken after Physical Chemistry Part I and that CHEM 564 be taken after CHEM 562. Especially strong students needing to complete physical chemistry in two semesters may take CHEM 563 concurrently with CHEM 561 (or CHEM 565) and CHEM 564 concurrently with CHEM 562.

Career Services

The chemistry major prepares graduates for a wide variety of careers in the chemical and related industries (e.g., consumer and agricultural products,  materials, energy, petroleum, paper, and food), as well as environmental, pharmaceutical, and other health-related sciences. Combined with a master's program in secondary education, the major qualifies the student to teach chemistry in secondary schools. The major prepares students for graduate-level work in chemistry, chemical physics, biochemistry, biophysics, materials chemistry, and other related fields. Students who excel in undergraduate chemistry coursework are able to obtain funding for graduate studies in chemistry and related sciences through teaching or research assistantships and fellowships. Some chemistry major graduates go on to professional schools to study medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, business, or law.

Students are encouraged to begin their career planning early and to take advantage of the numerous resources offered by SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science (see below). Information about careers, internships, resumes, cover letters, job search strategies, interviewing, and graduate school preparation are all available through SuccessWorks. Students can also register for Handshake, an online resource for students to make connections with potential employers. Current career, research, and internship opportunities of specific interest to chemistry students can be found on the Career Services pages of the chemistry website.

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


Berry, John
Bertram, Timothy
Blackwell, Helen (associate chair for graduate program)
Boros, Eszter
Boydston, Andrew
Brunold, Thomas
Burstyn, Judith
Cavagnero, Silvia
Choi, Kyoung-Shin
Coon, Joshua
Ediger, Mark
Fredrickson, Daniel (associate chair for research)
Garand, Etienne
Gellman, Samuel
Goldsmith, Randall
Hamers, Robert
Hermans, Ive
Huang, Xuhui
Jin, Song
Landis, Clark (chair)
McMahon, Robert
Nathanson, Gilbert
Schmidt, Jordan (associate chair for undergraduate program)
Schomaker, Jennifer
Schwartz, David
Smith, Lloyd
Stahl, Shannon
Weix, Daniel
Widicus Weaver, Susanna
Yethiraj, Arun
Yoon, Tehshik
Zanni, Martin

Assistant Professors

Buller, Andrew
Martell, Jeffrey
Pazicni, Samuel
Soley, Micheline
Stowe, Ryan
Todd, Zoe
Wang, Tina
Wickens, Zachary
Yang, Yang

Affiliated Professors

Attie, Alan (Professor of Biochemistry)
Engle, Jonathan (Associate Professor of Medical Physics)
Feng, Dawei (Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering)
Forest, Katrina (Professor of Bacteriology)
Ge, Ying (Professor of Cell and Regenerative Biology)
Gilbert, Pupa (Professor of Physics)
Golden, Jennifer (Associate Professor of Pharmacy)
Gong, Sarah (Professor of Biomedical Engineering)
Gopalan, Padma (Professor of Materials Science and Engineering)
Hoskins, Aaron (Associate Professor of Biochemistry)
Li, Lingjun (Professor of Pharmacy)
Lynn, David (Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering)
Mecozzi, Sandro (Professor of Pharmacy)
Ping, Yuan (Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering)
Remucal, Christy (Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Rienstra, Chad (Professor of Biochemistry)
Schreier, Marcel (Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering)
Tang, Weiping (Professor of Pharmacy)
Van Lehn, Reid (Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering)
Weeks, Amy (Assistant Professor of Biochemistry)
Yesilkoy, Filiz (Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering)
Yu, Lian (Professor of Pharmacy)

Instructional Staff

Anzovino, Mary Beth (Associate Director of Organic Chemistry Labs)
Bain, Rachel (Senior Instructional Technology Specialist)
Block, Stephen (Associate Director General Chemistry Labs)
Bowman, Matthew (Senior Lecturer)
Buchberger, Amanda (Associate Director Analytical Labs)
Doolittle, Pamela (Distinguished Analytical Chemistry Lab Director)
Esselman, Brian (Distinguished Associate Director Organic Chemistry Labs)
Gustin, Léa (Associate Director General Chemistry Labs)
Hill, Nicholas (Distinguished Director Organic Chemistry Labs)
Hooker, Paul (Senior Lecturer)
Lamont, Liana (General Chemistry Instructional Coordinator)
Maynard, James (Teaching, Learning, & Technology Specialist)
McClain, Robert (Analytical Chemistry Lab Director)
Schueneman, Susan (Senior Teaching Specialist)
Trate, Jaclyn (Instructional Innovator)
Weaver, Jeremy (Instructor & Curriculum Coordinator)
Wendt, Mark (Physical Chemistry Lab Director)
Wilkinson, Chad (Distinguished General & Inorganic Chem Lab Director)
Zelewski, Linda (Senior Lecturer)
Zhou, Jia (Undergraduate Instructor & Resource Dev Specialist)

Chemistry Learning Center

Brown, Rebecca (Instructor)
Dang, Allice (Instructor)
Hughes, Christopher (Instructor)
Jetzer, Kelly (Instructor)
Killian, Michelle (Instructor)
Lee, Agnes (Instructor)
Ramey, Shea (Instructor)
Reitz, Tracey (Director)
Saloni, Julia (Instructor)
Toland, David (Instructor)
Zavala, Yashira (Instructor)

Student Services and Advising

Barta, Cheri (Director of Undergraduate Research)
Hamers, Jeanne (Undergraduate Chemistry Director)
McCullough, Katie (Academic Advising Manager)


There are many research opportunities for undergraduates in the Department of Chemistry. When conducting research, students will have the opportunity to work alongside world-class faculty, staff, and graduate students to gain hands-on research experiences that will supplement their liberal arts education and prepare students for future careers. We have researchers involved in all the core areas of chemistry: analytical, chemical biology, chemical education, inorganic, materials, organic, physical, and theoretical. Many of our researchers conduct research across disciplines, including medicine, pharmacy, biology, engineering, energy, environmental sciences, and physics. Although preference is given to chemistry majors in good academic standing, any student interested in conducting chemistry research can seek out opportunities in our department. Students have the option of volunteering in a research lab or conducting research for course credit by enrolling in CHEM 299 Directed Study, CHEM 699 Directed Study, CHEM 681/CHEM 682 Senior Honors Thesis, or CHEM 691/CHEM 692 Senior Thesis. Students can also gain research experiences through the elective courses CHEM 260 Entering Research I, CHEM 261 Entering Research II, and CHEM 346 Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory, as well as the required course CHEM 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science. In some cases, experienced undergraduates may be paid to conduct research. For additional information about undergraduate research, including how to get involved, please visit the department's Undergraduate Research page.

Student organizations

A number of student organizations are available for students interested in the chemical sciences.

  • Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE) is a national, co-ed, professional chemistry organization that was founded at UW–Madison in 1902. The UW-Madison chapter has an active membership of about 40 students, both graduate and undergraduate. The organization also has two houses, at 619 and 621 North Lake Street, which house nearly half of the members. The houses are the primary locations for events like tutoring, chapter dinners, meetings, and social events.
  • The UW–Madison student chapter of NOBCChE (National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers) seeks to encourage students of color to pursue graduate and professional degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, and other chemistry-related fields. Members participate in professional development through national conference presentations, networking, and community service activities.
  • SACNAS (the Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans) is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science.

ACS Certified Degree

The UW–Madison Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to certify the degrees of graduating students who have completed the curriculum and professional training recommended by ACS for chemistry bachelor's degree graduates. Certification indicates that the student has completed rigorous course work that provides them with the skills needed for a successful career in science.

Students graduating with the chemistry major from UW–Madison already meet most of the requirements for ACS certification. They can obtain the certification by electing to take specific courses that satisfy both the requirements of the major and the ACS guidelines. Additional requirements for certification are:

  • A course in biochemistry, satisfied by BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry or BIOCHEM 507 General Biochemistry I (3 credits)
  • At least 400 total laboratory hours, which can be satisfied by the combination of all the required core laboratory courses (in organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry) plus two to three laboratory credits from any combination of CHEM 346 Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory, CHEM 512 Advanced Synthesis and Laboratory Techniques, CHEM 524 Chemical Instrumentation (3 credit course, but only one credit is a lab credit), CHEM 681/CHEM 682 Senior Honors Thesis, or CHEM 691/ CHEM 692 Senior Thesis. The exact number of lab credits required from these courses depends on how the student has satisfied the core lab requirements. Please consult the Chemistry Major Advisor for more details.

The biochemistry course satisfies three of the five credits of advanced non-laboratory work required for the chemistry major, while two credits from CHEM 524 also count towards the advanced work. CHEM 346, CHEM 512, 1 credit of CHEM 524, CHEM 681/CHEM 682, and CHEM 691/CHEM 692 all count towards the three additional lab credits required for the major.

Note that neither CHEM 299 Directed Study nor CHEM 699 Directed Study can be used to satisfy the lab hours needed for ACS certification. However, CHEM 699 can be used to satisfy additional lab credits needed for the chemistry major.

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:

The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:


The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming; District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Academic Resources

A number of resources are available to students seeking assistance with their chemistry courses. Students are strongly encouraged to attend instructor and TA office hours or the Help Desk for the course.

The Chemistry Learning Center (CLC) supports students in introductory chemistry courses (CHEM 103, CHEM 104, and CHEM 108) and in some sections of organic chemistry. The center welcomes as many students as possible but unfortunately does not have sufficient resources to support all students seeking help. The center is funded to work with specific groups of students, such as first-generation low-income students, underrepresented students, students on academic probation, students with disabilities, students who have trouble understanding English, new transfer students, recently returning veterans, and students at-risk of failing the course. These are general guidelines and the center considers each student seeking assistance on a case-by-case basis, taking into account available program space. Program eligibility is usually determined by an interview with a staff member.

Further assistance may be sought from various tutoring services on campus, including the Greater University Tutoring Services (GUTS), University Housing Tutoring, and the College of Engineering Undergraduate Learning Center (ULC). Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE) is a co-ed professional chemistry fraternity that also offers tutoring. For students seeking more individualized tutoring, the Department of Chemistry maintains a list of private tutors available for hire. 


Through the generosity of alumni and other friends of the department, the Department of Chemistry is able to offer scholarships and summer research support. In 2022, the department awarded more than 40 scholarships totaling over $180,000.

Any student who is a chemistry major or is conducting research with a chemistry faculty member is eligible to apply for the scholarships. Awards are based on both merit and financial need. Students may apply for academic year scholarships and/or summer research support. Learn more about chemistry scholarships and how to apply.