At Lake Forest College, the study of chemistry is approached as an apprenticeship: hands-on, research-laden, and faculty-driven. Students learn to think like chemists, opening doors to careers in labs and research or paths that lead to graduate school and other specialized fields. 

Our students aren’t simply shown how to use a lab instrument once. Instead, they become proficient in the operation and utilization of specialized lab equipment. All courses have labs where students use instruments to solve research problems. Using the latest technologies and techniques, students make new discoveries and push the limits on today’s important chemistry questions.

Lake Forest has an American Chemical Society (ACS) approved academic program and an award-winning chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society, better known as SAACS.

Access to specialized instruments

Our students learn how to use and operate the specialized equipment professional labs across the country use; at larger institutions, departments may be more protective of the equipment and thus limit undergraduate access to it. At Lake Forest College, we know that being familiar with your field means knowing every moving part. That’s why we allow and encourage our students to use the high-level scientific instruments that they will find in labs beyond our gates, giving them an edge after graduation.  

Hands-on learning experience

Our students are immersed in the study of chemistry from the beginning of their undergraduate courses. Our department's objective is to set students up for success after graduation. Whether students aim to find placement in a career directly after graduation or move on to continue their studies in medical school, law school, or various graduate programs, we support student learning by providing hands-on experience in the lab and various research opportunities. 

Research opportunities

We offer a variety of research opportunities that bolster student success by familiarizing them with research and professional settings. Experiential learning can be completed through the Richter Scholars program, an internship, summer research, and the final thesis project. Students can also leverage alumni connections to help guide their career trajectory after graduation. 

I don’t believe my career would have followed the same trajectory were it not for the education I received at Lake Forest College.

Related Programs

Contact Us

Dawn Wiser
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Chair of Chemistry
Lillard Science Center 381

Connie Hollingsworth
Department Assistant
Lillard Science Center 101