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Lewis College of Science and Letters


We offer an interdisciplinary learning environment bridging rigorous theory and practical problem solving under close mentorship by faculty performing cutting-edge research in catalysis, pharmaceuticals, therapeutics, materials, and sustainable energy.

More in Chemistry

The chemistry program at Illinois Tech provides a rigorous education in the fundamental areas of chemical theory and chemical experimentation. It roots you in the discipline and provides a firm foundation, along with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to pursue many career paths. Its flexible curriculum offers specializations beyond the traditional fields of chemistry.

Career Pathways

As our chemistry alumnus and textbook author Theodore L. Brown (B.S. 1950) has written, chemistry is the central science. Chemistry connects the physical sciences with life sciences and applied sciences. By studying chemistry at Illinois Tech, you will gain scientific knowledge and develop skills that open doors to a wide range of careers with growing employment, including (but not limited to):

Chemists detect pollutants, study how chemicals interact in different settings, develop new ways to break down and recycle used batteries and plastics, and design new chemicals that are better for the environment. Chemists design more efficient and reliable catalysts and batteries. Our B.S. with a concentration in Environmental Chemistry can prepare you for a career in this area. You may also consider a dual degree in Chemistry (B.S.) and Sustainability Analytics and Management (M.S.), which can be earned in a total of five years.

Chemists design new flavors and ensure that food is safe. Illinois Tech is part of the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), a one-of-a-kind applied food science research consortium comprising Illinois Tech, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the food industry. This uniquely positions us to offer a dual degree in Chemistry (B.S.) and Food Safety and Technology (M.S.), which can be earned in a total of five years.

Chemists apply analytical techniques to determine what things are made of and where they could come from. This helps solve crimes and track down counterfeiters. Our B.S. with a concentration in Forensic Chemistry can prepare you for a career in this area.

A degree in chemistry is a strong foundation for professional degrees in pharmacy and medicine. Our programs specifically supporting this career path include the B.S. with a concentration in Medicinal Chemistry, the dual degree in Chemistry (B.S.) and Biology for the Health Professions (M.S.), pre-health and pre-medicine programs, and dual enrollment in Chicago pharmacy schools.

A combination of degrees in chemistry and law can lead to career opportunities in environmental law, patent law, intellectual property management, or as in-house counsel for the chemical industry. Illinois Tech is one of the few tech-focused universities with a law school. Through our Honors Law program, you can earn a B.S. from Illinois Tech and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law in six instead of seven years.

Chemists design new materials to maintain and improve our standard of living in a sustainable way. New materials can capture carbon dioxide, extract lithium for batteries, separate radioactive isotopes, create phosphors for night vision goggles, make light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and catalyze industrial reactions more reliably and with less energy. Moreover, our M.A.S. in Materials Chemistry can prepare you for a career in this area.

Chemists design drugs as new treatments for diseases. Our B.S. with a concentration in Medicinal Chemistry can help you prepare for a career in this area.

Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry with Three Concentration Options!

Our signature chemistry major program has now been expanded with three attractive areas of concentration: environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, and medicinal chemistry. These programs will prepare you for specialized career paths, including competitive graduate programs and in-demand jobs in these fields.

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Introducing the MS in Sensor Science and Technology

Introducing the MS in Sensor Science and Technology

New as of fall 2022, the MS in Sensor Science and Technology prepares students for careers developing smart scientific and technology innovations to address health and environmental issues.

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Summer Scholars Program

Chemistry Scholars Summer Program

The Chemistry Scholars summer program offers accomplished high school and community college students the opportunity to engage in hands-on chemistry research. Application deadline: March 31.

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Three students gather around a computer in a chemistry lab

Chemistry, Careers, and You

This new summer residential program will provide hands-on teaching lab experiences in the modern chemical sciences, as well as mentoring and career exploration with alumni, faculty, and professionals in research, industry, education, medicine, and other health professions.


Combined Degree Programs

Learn about the ways a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Illinois Tech can be combined with accelerated graduate or professional degrees for unique career preparation.

A degree in chemistry can lead to a career in health care. Lean more about the B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry, the Chemistry (B.S.)/Biology for the Health Professions (M.S.), Illinois Tech’s pre-health and pre-medicine programs, and dual enrollment in Chicago pharmacy schools.

Earn an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a graduate degree in food safety in as few as five years with Illinois Tech’s Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Master of Food Safety and Technology Accelerated Master’s Program.

Illinois Tech is one of the few tech-focused universities with a law school. A combination of degrees in chemistry and law can lead to careers opportunities in environmental law, patent law, intellectual property management, or as in-house counsel for the chemical industry. Learn more about Illinois Tech’s Honors Law program.

Chemistry undergraduates interested in career options within the field of chemical engineering may wish to pursue Illinois Tech’s accelerated Chemistry (B.S.)/Chemical Engineering (M.A.S.), offered in partnership with Armour College of Engineering.

Complementing our new bachelor's degree program in environmental chemistry, we also offer the accelerated the Chemistry (B.S.)/Sustainability Analytics and Management (M.S.) in partnership with Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business. 

Featured Faculty

The faculty of the Department of Chemistry are dedicated to wide-ranging research in fields including biochemistry, computational chemistry, environmental chemistry, forensic chemistry, materials chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and more.

Yuanbing Mao
Department of Chemistry Chair Professor of Chemistry
Katherine Leight
Associate Chair, Department of Chemistry Senior Lecturer of Chemistry Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator
David Minh
Robert E. Frey, Jr. Endowed Chair in Chemistry Associate Professor of Chemistry Associate Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computation (CISC)
Adam Hock
Associate Professor of Chemistry Graduate Admissions Coordinator Chemist, Catalysis Group, Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Rong Wang
Professor of Chemistry Graduate Director Director, International Center for Sensor Science and Engineering
Sameh Elsaidi
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Hyun Soon Chong
Professor of Chemistry
Braja Mandal
Professor of Chemistry
M Ishaque Khan
Professor of Chemistry Director, Materials Chemistry Program
Mona Mohamed
Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Assistant Professor of Chemistry Sameh Elsaidi

Running a vehicle on water—not gas—sounds like an idea pulled straight from fiction. A breakthrough discovery by a team of scientists from Illinois Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute...

“The chemistry curriculum at Illinois Tech is outstanding. The lower-level courses lay a solid foundation, and the upper-level courses offer instruction that’s challenging and promotes independent thinking. Illinois Tech also does an excellent job of offering research opportunities to undergraduates; I was fortunate enough to participate in my first research project as a sophomore. At a larger university, I don't think I would have had such an amazing opportunity that early in my undergraduate career. That research experience and the advanced coursework at Illinois Tech prepared me well for my graduate studies at Stanford.”

Chris Kalnmals (CHEM ’13)

Chris Kalnmals

“Illinois Tech chemistry has provided me with a great foundation for how chemistry and chemical structures play a major role in the human body in the field of pharmacology. The demanding curriculum at Illinois Tech gave me the skills and confidence to face the challenges of an accelerated Pharm D program.”

Nick Shattuck (CHEM ’13)

Nick Shattuck

“The education I received as an Illinois Tech chemistry major directly helped me with my coursework, especially in topics such as biochemistry and pharmacology. Knowing the chemistry behind the reactions we learned may not be essential to a clinician, but it gives me a better understanding of what is happening in the body, it taught me how to think analytically, and it gives me insight into why certain medical decisions are made.”

Kamil Bober (CHEM ’12)

Kamil Bober

“The smaller class sizes in the chemistry department give you plenty of opportunity to get to know your professors, ask questions, and inquire about internal and external opportunities. You get an awesome introduction to medicinal chemistry as an undergrad. A specific course that comes to mind is CHEM 456, which is computational biochemistry and drug design. Not only is this course’s curriculum unique to Illinois Tech medicinal chemistry, but you will learn to apply modern computational techniques in structural biology. The research opportunities within the chemistry department are awesome. Once you have some organic chemistry under your belt, don’t be afraid to reach out to professors and ask to be a part of their research!”

David Cooper (B.S. Medicinal Chemistry, 3rd Year)

David Cooper

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Office Location

Department of Chemistry
Robert A. Pritzker Science Center
3101 South Dearborn Street, Room 136
Chicago, IL 60616