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Chemistry is the study of the composition of matter and the changes it undergoes. It is mainly concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms and the energy involved in those processes. Thousands of applications of chemistry are found in everyday life. As a physical science, chemistry requires a solid background in mathematics and physics. To succeed in the field of chemistry, one must have good computer and communication skills and be able to employ their curiosity, calculation skills, and commitment to their studies. Chemistry majors can pursue careers in traditional chemistry fields such as biochemistry, organic, analytical, inorganic, and physical chemistry, as well as in medicine, engineering, environmental science, and forensic science.


The goal of Chemistry education is to provide students with tools to solve problems: critical thinking skills associated with categorizing, reading and understanding written problems, and identifying important vs. irrelevant information as well as the ability to define problems clearly, develop testable hypotheses, design and execute appropriate experiments, analyze data, and draw appropriate conclusions.

Why This Program

The chemistry program is designed primarily to prepare you to transition to a four-year institution to finish a bachelor’s degree. It will expose you to the fundamentals of chemistry and help you understand what is needed prior to attending upper division courses.

This program provides a presentation of the world of chemistry as it impacts society and individuals with an emphasis on the connection of chemistry with everyday life, as well as the impact of scientific discoveries in the field of chemistry upon human thought, behavior, and technological progress.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Understand and predict chemical reactions
  • Balance chemical equations
  • Understand and employ good lab procedures
  • Explain chemical processes that affect our everyday lives

Additional Opportunities

Many chemical properties are best understood after participating in laboratory work, which is included with most chemistry classes. Beyond that, CWI participates in a number of programs that allow students to participate in research in the field of chemistry or biochemistry, expanding their understanding of chemistry and how it affects our lives.

Respectful Community

The College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

College of Western Idaho INBRE students showcase work examining the physiological effect of social media on people.

Faculty who teach General Education courses recognized for exemplary teaching, creativity, excellence, delivery, and service.

College of Western Idaho is excited to offer paid summer research opportunities for students through the Idaho INBRE Research Program.

Visiting Scientist, Dr. Carolyn Hovde Bohach, to present, "A Scientific Journey: Cattle, The Silent Resevoir of E. coli", Nov. 29. 

Recruits learn valuable skills during Basic Fire School, hosted annually at the College.

College of Western Idaho student, Jacob Tenorio, makes history during the Pacific Northwest LSAMP Conference.