Department of Chemistry


"Promoting Chemical Sciences … Enhancing Sustainable Development"

Kenyatta University is one of the best places in Kenya as well as in East African Region for Chemistry Reaching and Research. Our main aim is to the world for better and sustainably through the excellence of our teaching and research. We are one of the oldest Departments in KU that prides in the high quality of Alumni……….. As a department, we look forward welcoming students interested in pursuing studies in Chemistry. I take this early opportunity to wish each and every student a great time as we partner up with our collaborators in producing graduates with hands-on-experience at the end of their studies

"I did not know that everything is at least made up of a carbon, hydrogen or some element until I joined the Department of Chemistry, Kenyatta University. I like the Department as it gives room for creativity and innovation among students. The environment around allows me to think business other than science only. It’s a great adventure."  

                                                                            - Ahlam Abdulkhalek, 4th Year Industrial Chemistry & Management student

Internal Links
The Department of Chemistry is one of the eight departments in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences (SPAS) and offers units supporting programs in the Schools of Education, Agriculture and Enterprise Development, Engineering and Technology, and Health sciences. The teaching programs in the Department are multidisciplinary in nature, and a student gets an opportunity to take units in other departments, including Biochemistry, Botany, Business, Mathematics, Physics, Plant & Microbial Sciences and Zoology.

External Links
The Department has active international links with: Nagasaki UniversityIowa State University and Louisiana State University Department of Chemistry, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK; Universität Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany Department of Natural Products Chemistry, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Novartis institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, USA. National links include:  KEMRIKEFRIKARI, KEBS and ILRI, ICIPE, UON, JKUAT, among others



To be a dynamic centre of excellence for teaching, research and application of chemical sciences for sustainable development.


To provide quality education in chemical sciences and technology, and generate scientific knowledge through diverse innovative research in fundamental, applied and multi-disciplinary areas for the benefit of the society.


Study Programs

Undergraduate Studies
The Department currently offers the following three 4-year Bachelor of Science degree programmes.
1) B.Sc.
2) B.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry with Management)
3) B.Sc. (Analytical Chemistry with Management).

B.Sc. (Chemistry Major) is offered under (i) full-time (ii) institution-based, or (iii) open learning modes of study. B.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry with Management) and B.Sc. (Analytical Chemistry with Management) programmes are offered only under full-time mode of study. B.Sc. (Chemistry) programme is being developed targeting chemistry major.

Graduate Studies
The Department currently offers the following two masters 2-year degree programmes:
1) M.Sc. (Applied Analytical Chemistry)
2) M.Sc. (Chemistry).
In M.Sc. (Chemistry) programme a student may specialize in either Organic, Inorganic, Theoretical or Physical Chemistry. The programmes are offered under full-time and institution-based modes of study. The new programmes under developed include:
1) M.Sc. (Natural Products & Bio-prospecting)
2) M.Sc. Environmental Chemistry)
3) M.Sc. (Industrial Chemistry)

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programme is offered in all branches of chemistry.

Students’ Destinations

Students taking chemistry programs get placement opportunities in top research institutions, and university laboratories throughout Kenya, East Africa, South Africa, Canada, the U.S.A and Europe. Upon graduation with the Bachelors and postgraduate degrees, there are opportunities in areas of quality control, analysis, research, production, marketing, environment issues and education, among others. Such opportunities are available in Agro-chemical, Pharmaceutical, Food, Paint and Manufacturing industries; Government institutions such as Government chemists, Kenya Bureau of Standards; Research institutions (local and international) such as KEMRI, KETRI, KEFRI, KARI, ICIPE, ICRAF, ILRI; and teaching positions in High Schools, Colleges, Polytechnics and Universities. A number of graduates have established their own businesses, creating employment for others.


Research Activities

Major interdisciplinary research areas: natural products and bio-prospecting; nutritional studies on micronutrients and their bioavailability from foods; environmental pollution studies; bioanalytical and computational studies

Research in the Department covers the basic chemistry disciplines, including organic, inorganic, physical/theoretical, and analytical chemistry. Beyond these traditional boundaries, the department excels in a number of interdisciplinary areas including geothermal energy, nutraceuticals, natural products, chemical ecology and environmental pollution among other others. These are often carried out in collaboration with our internal/external collaborators. This is reflected in the number of postgraduate students registered in the department (currently over 150 students) and increasing number of publications from the staff per year. 

Teaching and Research Facilities

The Department has equipped laboratories and adequate facilities for teaching and research.  The Department acquired a 400 Hz NMR through the Kenyatta University Foundation in the US and is in the process of installing it. Other major instruments include LC-MS donated by Novartis Biomedical Research Institute (NBRI), USA, GC, UV-Vis, AAS and FTIR are in use. Further, to facilitate the learning process, seminars, conferences and workshops are held in which various topics and issues of current scientific interest are discussed.

>>View Ongoing Research, Confererences and Publications


Academic Staff and Areas of Specialization

The department has 27 academic staff members who are actively involved in teaching and research in the following areas of specialization:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Industrial Chemistr
  • Computational Chemistry

View Academic Staff Members




Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2016 08:22

Prof. Sauda Swaleh
Dept. of Chemistry
"Promoting Chemical Sciences … Enhancing Sustainable Development"
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