Quality Indicators / Accreditation

Our Mission

Consistent with the mission of the University and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Chemistry is dedicated to providing a broad spectrum of undergraduate students with the necessary understanding of chemical principles to become successful, contributing members of their social, professional and/or occupational communities.

Students entering chemistry come from diverse backgrounds and will apply their acquired chemical skills in equally diverse occupations. The Department of Chemistry addresses this diversity by focusing on individual student needs and goals through personal advising, small class sizes, individual instruction, hands-on experience with scientific instrumentation, and guided undergraduate research in analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic, physical, and interdisciplinary areas. The Chemistry Department faculty is itself diverse and exemplifies commitment to learning and contributing by engaging in scientific research, presenting and publishing as well as volunteering to improve the quality of living in the larger Topeka community.

Beginning courses are designed to give the student an awareness and understanding of scientific chemical principles and problems. Advanced courses are planned to meet the specialized needs of students interested in graduate work, employment in private or public laboratories, teaching, medicine and health related professional fields. In total, the program provides graduates with the appropriate knowledge and skill foundation in preparation for graduate study, professional schools, careers in education and chemical laboratories.


The Washburn Chemistry Department is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

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Advisory Board

The Washburn Forensic Chemical Science program was developed following the recommendations by a Forensic Chemical Science Advisory Board:

Dr. Stephen Angel, Professor, Washburn Chemistry Department

Dr. Gerald Bayens, Professor, Washburn Criminal Justice Department

Dr. Mike Finnegan, Forensic Anthropologist

Sgt. Miller, Topeka Police Crime Laboratory

Dr. Erik Mitchell, former County Coroner and founder of Frontier Forensics Midwest

Dr. Sue Salem, Lecturer Emeritus, Washburn Chemistry Department

Mike van Stratton, Director, KBI Laboratories