The department was established in the year 1976 with the founding of the University at which time the number of faculty members was four. The first B.Sc. students graduated in 1980 and since it’s inception there have been more than one thousand four hundred B.Sc. graduates. A graduate program was initiated in 1982 from which between 10-15 M.Sc. students graduate per year.
Currently there are 29 faculty members specialized in the different fields of chemistry, 20 of whom are full professors, 7 Lectures, 1 teaching assistants, there are also 7 technicians, 1 glass blower, 2 secretaries and a building officer, serving some 509 students.
The objectives of the B.Sc. program is to provide the community with well trained expertise at a moderately advanced level, to achieve this, students are provided with good grounding in the traditional areas of chemistry, namely organic, physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry. To facilitate these aims, the department possesses 14 well equipped teaching laboratories containing all the equipment necessary to meet the requirements of a good university training.
The aims of the graduate program are to provide students with advanced knowledge in all areas of chemistry. Students undertake a research project in which they are trained to research, propose and carry out experiments, write and criticize their work in the English language. In order to achieve these objectives students have access to 12 research laboratories containing such advanced equipment as nuclear magnetic resonance and gas chromatography/mass, spectrophotometers, a photon counting instrument, a laser laboratory for photochemical research, a modern infrared, visible ultraviolet spectrophotometers, atomic absorption flame photometers, fluorometer, polarimeters, inductively coupled plasma, impedance and electrochemical instruments.
In order to comply and cope with the current safety regulations concerning chemical activities in the teaching and research laboratories, a four-story building was designed and the construction work was completely finished in Summer (1994). The total working area of the building is about (4000) m2, in addition to the basement which accommodate the Glass blowing workshop, the cold room, the Departmental Store-room and some major equipment.
The department is active in it’s services to the community providing consultations to chemical companies and analytical services to both governmental and private sectors. The department, in collaboration with the Jordanian Chemical Society, offers seminars to high school chemistry teachers, other services are provided through consultations and the Community Services Center in the University.
Many co-operation agreements exist between the department and international institutions including the European Economic Community (EEC), with which there has been an agreement for over ten years, the German Overseas Academic Support Service (DAAD), the Fulbright and the Alexander von Humboldt organizations continue to offer support to departmental staff.
With the well trained highly experiences staff the department possesses, it is hoped that a comprehensive Ph.D. program can be offered in the very near future.