Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

Consistent with the mission of the University and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Chemistry is committed:

  • to provide a broad spectrum of undergraduate students with a supportive environment in which to develop the necessary understanding of chemical principles, and analytical and critical thinking skills,
  • to engage in scientific research,
  • to serve the scientific and local communities.

Students entering the Forensic Chemistry Program come from diverse backgrounds and may apply their acquired chemical skills in equally diverse occupations over the span of their career. The Department of Chemistry addresses this diversity by focusing on individual student interests and strengths through personal advising, small class sizes, individual instruction, hands-on experience with scientific instrumentation, intern appointments, and guided undergraduate forensic research. The Chemistry Department faculty is itself diverse and exemplifies commitment to learning and contributing by engaging in scientific research, collaborating with forensic scientists, 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 in Forensic Chemistry are planned to meet the specialized needs of students interested in careers in forensic laboratories, which may include graduate studies.

Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry

Course Number 

Course Title 

Credit Hours

CH 103  Introductory Forensic Chemistry  3
CH 151  Fundamentals of Chemistry I  5
CH 152  Fundamentals of Chemistry II  5
CH 202  Professional Forensic Chemistry Seminar  2
CH 203  Forensic Chemistry Laboratory  2
CH 320  Analytical Chemistry  3
CH 340  Organic Chemistry I  3

25% of the total minor hours must be taken in residence at Washburn University.

The Washburn Chemistry Department, located in Stoffer Science Hall, is well equipped with modern instrumentation for instructional laboratories and research.

Major instrumentation

  • Varian 400-MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer
  • Thermo ATR-Infrared (IR) Spectrometer
  • Thermo Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • GOW-MAC Gas Chromatograph (GC)
  • Finnigan LCQ Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer
  • Perkin Elmer Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) Spectrometer
  • Perkin Elmer Atomic Absorption (AA) Spectrometer
  • Varian Eclipse Fluorescence Spectrometer
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)
  • Fast Protein Liquid Chromatograph (FPLC)
  • Beckman Coulter Capillary Electrophoresis (CE)
  • Thermo NanoDrop Spectrophotometer
  • Leeds LCT fluorescence trace comparison microscope
  • TIDAS microscope spectrometer

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer


Atomic Absorption Spectrometer


High Performance Liquid Chromatography



Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer


Infrared Spectrometer


Mass Spectrometer


UV-Visible Spectrometer


For a complete description of the individual classes, go to the course catalog at:

Academic Catalog

On campus research opportunities

When Ian McClain first toured campus as a high school senior and saw the new Kansas Bureau of Investigation building on campus he knew he had to explore the opportunity to study using the state of the art equipment the professionals were using. As a senior, he's researching procedures that KBI scientists use to measure the THC content of marijuana, an impressive skill he can put on his resume.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation Lab

Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) Lab

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) lab is located on the Washburn campus (opened in November 2015).

From the Topeka Capital Journal:

"New KBI facility to benefit agency, Washburn" (October 30, 2015)

GET IN TOUCH WITH Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry
Stoffer Science Hall, Room 312
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.2270

back to top button