BS in Chemistry

Chemistry majors can choose between completing the requirements for the general BS in Chemistry and the American Chemical Society (ACS) certified major in Chemistry. 

General Chemistry Major

The general BS in Chemistry is intended for those with an interest in chemistry whose career aspirations lie outside the realm of professional chemistry. This Chemistry major, though not certified by the American Chemical Society, gives the student a good preparation in chemistry while allowing for greater flexibility in choosing additional electives.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Thirteen courses and accompanying labs are required to complete the major.
  • Note that Bio 13 and 14 may not be counted as related field courses for the Chemistry major.
  • In addition to the course requirements below, chemistry majors with a pre-medical focus should also take Biology 13 and 14 with labs in their second or third year. 

Course Requirements

  • The following two Foundation courses and accompanying labs:
    1. Chem 1: Chemical Fundamentals w/ Lab (or Chem 11: General Chemistry or Chem 16: Chemistry of Materials)
    2. Chem 2: Chemical Principles w/ Lab (or Chem 12: General Chemistry)
       
  • The following four Core courses and accompanying labs:
    1. Chem 31: Physical Chemistry I and Chem 33: Physical Chemistry Lab
    2. Chem 42: Quantitative Analysis or Chem 43: Bioanalytical Chemistry
    3. Chem 51: Organic Chemistry I and Chem 53: Organic Chemistry I Lab
    4. Chem 52: Organic Chemistry II and Chem 54: Organic Chemistry II Lab
       
  • Four additional courses in intermediate or advanced chemistry, excluding Chemistry 34.*
     
  • The following four courses and accompanying labs outside of the department:
    1. Mathematics 32: Calculus I
    2. Mathematics 34: Calculus II
    3. Physics 1: Introduction to Physics I w/Lab or Physics 11: General Physics I w/Lab
    4. Physics 2: Introduction to Physics II w/Lab or Physics 12: General Physics II w/Lab

*Note: Two of the four additional chemistry courses may be substituted with intermediate or advanced related field courses. Only one course of undergraduate research, either Chem 82 (Research II) or Chem 199 (the second semester of Senior Thesis), may be counted toward the four additional courses in intermediate or advanced chemistry.

Suggested Course Sequence for Chemistry Majors

Chem UL = intermediate or upper-level chemistry course

Year Fall Spring
1 Chem 1 or 11
Math 32
Chem 2 or 12
Math 34
2 Chem 51/53 Phys 1 or 11 Chem 52/54 Phys 2 or 12
3 Chem 31/33 ChemUL Chem 42 ChemUL
4 ChemUL ChemUL

Alternate Course Sequence for Chemistry Majors

Chem UL = intermediate or upper-level chemistry course

Year Fall Spring
1 Math 32 Chem 1 or 16
Math 34
2 Chem 2
Phys 1 or 11
Chem 42
Phys 2 or 12
3 Chem 51/53 ChemUL Chem 52/54 ChemUL
4 Chem 31/33 ChemUL ChemUL

ACS-Certified Chemistry Major

The American Chemical Society (ACS) certified major is a research-focused major certified by the American Chemical Society, recommended for those whose career goals include employment as a professional chemist or graduate school in chemistry. Students earning this degree will receive certification from the ACS which, for those students proceeding directly from college to employment, often results in higher salaries than those for non-certified majors. In addition, graduate schools and fellowship selection committees may view certified majors more favorably than non-certified ones. Course requirements leading to a certified major include research experience, which offers the student an opportunity to work closely with members of the department's research faculty.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Sixteen courses and accompanying labs are required to complete the major.
  • In addition to the below required courses, ACS-Certified Chemistry Majors with a premedical focus should also take Biology 13 and 14 with labs.

Course Requirements

  • The following six Foundation courses and accompanying labs:
    1. Chem 1: Chemical Fundamentals w/Lab (or Chem 11: General Chemistry or Chem 16: Chemistry of Materials)
    2. Chem 2: Chemical Principles w/Lab (or Chem 12: General Chemistry)
    3. Physics 1: Introduction to Physics I w/Lab or Physics 11: General Physics I w/Lab
    4. Physics 2: Introduction to Physics II w/Lab or Physics 12: General Physics II w/Lab
    5. Mathematics 32: Calculus I
    6. Mathematics 34: Calculus II
       
  • The following seven Core courses and accompanying labs:
    1. Chem 31: Physical Chemistry I/Chem 33: Physical Chemistry Lab
    2. Chem 32: Physical Chemistry II/Chem 34: Physical Chemistry Lab
    3. Chem 42: Quantitative Analysis
    4. Chem 51: Organic Chemistry I/Chem 53: Organic Chemistry I Lab
    5. Chem 52: Organic Chemistry II/Chem 54: Organic Chemistry II Lab
    6. Chem 61: Inorganic Chemistry/Chem 63: Inorganic and Synthetic Chemistry Lab
    7. Chem 171: Biochemistry I
    8. One additional course in intermediate or advanced chemistry that has one of the following courses as a prerequisite: Chemistry 32, 42, 52, 61, or 171.
       
  • One of the following sets of Research courses:
    • Chem 81: Research I and Chem 82: Research II
    • Chem 195: Senior Thesis I and Chem 199: Senior Thesis II

Suggested Course Sequence for ACS-Certified Chemistry Majors

Chem UL = intermediate or upper-level chemistry course

Year Fall Spring
1 Chem 1 or 11
Math 32
Chem 2 or 12
Math 34
Phys 11
2 Chem 51/53 Phys 12 Chem 52/54 Chem 42
3 Chem 31/33 Chem 61/63 Chem 32/34 Chem 171
4 Chem UL Chem 81* Chem 82*

* Undergraduates are encouraged to pursue research (Chem 81/82) earlier if possible. These course sequences are intended to illustrate only one of the possible course sequences involving undergraduate research (Chem 81/82).