As a chemist, you will be involved in the quest for a greater understanding of chemical substances including their composition and properties and in the pursuit of creating new chemical compounds and improved products for use in a variety of applications.

What do chemists do?

Chemists conduct basic research to investigate the structure, composition and properties of matter and the interaction of chemical substances with each other. They also work on application oriented research for developing new products such as synthetic fibers, drugs, plastics, fertilizers, detergents and cosmetics. Chemists also create new and efficient processes for areas like oil refining and petrochemical processing to reduce energy use and pollution.

What does a typical day at work involve?

  • Checked Studying and analysing chemical compounds and making use of the results to develop and improve processes and products
  • Checked Preparing and presenting results, reports and reviews
  • Checked Recording and analysing data
  • Checked Working in coordination with other team members in a research laboratory
  • Checked Setting up laboratory equipment
  • Checked Supervising junior staff in the laboratory

What are the various specialisations in chemistry?

This specialisation deals with the quantitative and qualitative analysis of materials to understand their chemical composition, structure and properties.
Biochemistry is the study of chemical substances, processes and chemical interactions that occur in living organisms.
Inorganic chemistry is the study of atomic and molecular structure, bonding, properties and reactions of inorganic compounds.
Organic chemistry deals with the study of carbon compounds including their structure, properties, composition, mechanisms, and chemical reactions.
Polymer chemistry is the study of the synthesis, characterization and properties of macromolecules or polymers which are made of repeating chemical subunits known as monomers.
Materials chemistry involves the use of chemistry for the design and synthesis of new materials with customized properties for applications in various areas like energy storage, future electronics, molecular imaging, drug and cell delivery and in smart materials that sense and respond to the environment.
Physical chemistry is concerned with the interactions and transformations of materials and deals with the principles of physics underlying these chemical interactions in order to measure, correlate, and explain the quantitative aspects of reactions.

How to become a Chemist?

Step 1
Take Science stream with Chemistry, Physics, Maths

Studying Chemistry, Physics and Maths at the 10+2 level and securing a minimum score in these subjects would be a prerequisite for admission into a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

Note :

Studying biology will be an advantage because at the graduate level, you may have biology related chapters and concepts in your course.

Step 2
Take B.Sc. Chemistry

The common course offered at the UG level in this area is B.Sc. Chemistry. The duration of the course is usually 3 years.

Note :Integrated MSc

5 year Integrated M.Sc. programs (BSc.+MSc.) in chemistry are offered by many of the prominent universities in the country.

Step 3
Take M.Sc. Chemistry

After completing the UG degree, you can either go for an MSc. or an MS in Chemistry with specialisations of your choice. M.Sc. courses in India are of two years duration and MS degrees offered in various universities abroad are mostly of one year duration.

Note: Integrated PhD

There are Integrated PhD (5 year dual degree course of Master’s and PhD) programs available at various universities across the country.

Step 4
Go for doctoral level studies

After pursuing master’s, you can go for an MPhil/PhD in chemistry if your profile (including projects, research papers, and internships) and research proposal is excellent.

Chemistry Colleges

Name State District Type Website Course

Requirements for masters (MSc) in chemistry

Requirements for admission into a PG course in one of the top institutions to help you get an overall picture

India (For integrated PhD program in Chemical Science from Indian Institute of Science)

  • A minimum of first class in B.Sc. or an equivalent degree with Chemistry as one of the main subjects with Mathematics at the PUC or Plus 2 level.
  • JAM in Chemistry (CY) or Biological Sciences (BL) or Physics (PH)
  • Selection will be based on the performance in the interview
  • Valid GATE score / NET JRF is required

Foreign (For MS in Chemistry from Yale University)

  • A bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in chemistry
  • A personal statement of purpose
  • Unofficial transcripts for each prior college or university attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Language proficiency: Official scores of TOEFL or IELTS

To see the entrance exams, scholarships and UG admission details, click here

Skills Required

Written and oral communication skills

Chemists should possess good written and oral communication skills as they are supposed to write reports and present their research works to different audiences.

Problem solving ability

Chemists should have good problem solving skills as they may face many unexpected problems and issues in their experiments or work areas and they have to anticipate and formulate effective solutions to these problems.

Analytical skills

Chemists should be able to accurately analyse the data and interpret it to make proper inferences.

Mathematical skills

Chemists will be dealing with numerical calculations, algebraic functions etc and thus good mathematical skills and data handling skills are required.


Chemists should have perseverance as they might face situations where they should retry and rethink on a task or experiment.

Perceptual skills

Perceptual skills are important for chemists. They should be able to give attention to detail and accurately process the information coming from various sources.

Technical skills

Chemists have to use different technological devices in order to conduct their research and hence good technical skills are recommended.

Team work

Chemists must be able to work smoothly in teams of varied compositions


  • Checked Chemical Manufacturing
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