The Chemistry Department of Lucknow University came into existence in 1927. The first Head of the Department was Prof. P. S. McMahon, FNI who was also one of the founder members of the Indian Science Congress. The department has been lucky in having on its roll a distinguished staff, to name a few, Prof. S. H. Zaheer, Prof. G. S. Siddhu (who later rose to the chair of Director General, CSIR), Prof. A. C. Chatterjee, Prof. S. N. Shukla, Prof. M. P. Khare and many more. This is the largest department of the science faculty with a strength of about 2500 Post Graduate and Under Graduate students, apart from about 85 research scholars. It imparts teaching both to the Biology as well as the Mathematics group students. It forms a subject combination with every subject in the science faculty.
A post-graduate institution is judged not only by maintenance of high teaching standards, but also by its focus on research activity. Though plagued by problems of infrastructure the Department has consistently endeavored to raise its standards.
In 2001, the Department was conferred the DST-FIST grant. This grant was used to procure the Perkin Elmer FTIR instrument which is for the use of the faculty members as well as other researchers who need them. A well equipped Wi-Fi LAN setup has been generated to be utilized by the Faculty, Research Scholars and Post Graduate Students of the Department In 2003 the department has been sanctioned a grant of Rs. 10 lakhs under the UGC X plan. Also, recently Department had successfully completed the DST-PURSE program in which 300 MHz NMR spectrometer and FT-IR spectrometer was purchased. Additionally, in the Centre of Excellence Program funded by UP State government Department had purchased UV-Vis. Spectrophotometer, Fluorescence Spectrophotometer, Ultrasonic Interferometer and Ultracryostat circulatory chiller. It is a matter of pleasure to state that all the equipments are running smoothly.