Chemists study the atomic and molecular structure of physical matter and analyze how it changes. More specifically, they investigate how basic atomic and molecular components are combined and can be manipulated to produce useful or improved products. They also develop methods to measure atomic and molecular properties and their interactions, enabling insight into a range of processes from mining to clinical diagnostics. Chemistry majors develop a solid foundation in general chemistry and mathematics followed by course work in organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. The curriculum is rounded out by courses in the liberal and communications arts. 

Chemistry majors are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. Ample opportunities exist for undergraduate students to become involved in ground-breaking research in the laboratories of individual faculty members. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment in faculty laboratories and the Central Instrument Facility including NMR, FTIR, UV/Vis, fluorescence, and mass spectrometers, vacuum lines, x-ray diffractometers and many more. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged for any student considering a career in chemistry and many students complete supervised research for academic credit.

Learning Outcomes

Chemistry students will:

  • Organize, critically evaluate, and present chemical information coherently through oral and written discourse
  • Upon obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, demonstrate contemporary skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level positions in chemical industry and allied fields, or for admission to a graduate or professional school
  • Demonstrate original research skills, namely the ability to plan investigations allowing them to resolve research questions, conduct such theoretical and/or laboratory experimentation, solve problems arising in such situations and interpret and communicate results

Potential Occupations

Chemists are employed in a vast array of professional fields in private industry, government, and education. Chemists work in research and development, analysis and testing, consulting, industrial quality control and assurance, environmental resource management, and forensics. Principal employers are petrochemical firms, biotechnology firms, consumer chemical firms, environmental testing laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural companies, governmental regulatory agencies, governmental and educational research laboratories, and manufacturing firms. Many chemists are also engaged in startup companies. Chemistry is also an excellent major for those preparing for careers in veterinary medicine and the health professions. Students whose career goals involve teaching at the secondary school level have the opportunity to complete the teacher licensure program through the School of Education.

Many possible occupations for chemists include, but are not limited to: agricultural chemist, air and water quality analyst, biochemical technician, chemical sales and marketing representative, clinical chemist, consultant, educator, forensic analyst, laboratory technician/bench chemist, materials analyst, patent examiner, pharmaceutical chemist, polymer technician, technical writer, and toxicologist.

Concentrations

Effective Fall 2020

Chemistry majors must achieve a minimum grade of C (2.000) in all the listed courses required for the major in chemistry.

Freshman
AUCCCredits
CHEM 192Introductory Seminar in Chemistry 1
CHEM 232Foundations of Analytical Chemistry Lab 2
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B4
Select one group from the following: 8-9
Group A  
Foundations of Modern Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A 
Foundations of Modern Chemistry Laboratory (GT-SC1)3A 
Foundations of Analytical Chemistry  
Group B  
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A 
General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)3A 
General Chemistry II  
General Chemistry Lab II  
Arts and Humanities3B6
Social and Behavioral Sciences3C3
Elective 3
 Total Credits 30-31
Sophomore
 
CHEM 263Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry 4
CHEM 264Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory 1
PH 141Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A5
PH 142Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)3A5
Select one group from the following: 5-8
Group A  
Foundations of Organic Chemistry  
Foundations of Organic Chemistry Laboratory  
Group B  
Modern Organic Chemistry I  
Modern Organic Chemistry II  
Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory  
Select one group from the following: 8
Group A  
Applied Mathematics for Chemists I  
Applied Mathematics for Chemists II  
Group B  
Calculus for Physical Scientists II (GT-MA1)1B 
Calculus for Physical Scientists III  
 Total Credits 28-31
Junior
 
CHEM 321 or BC 351Foundations of Chemical Biology
Principles of Biochemistry
 4
CHEM 322Foundations of Chemical Biology Laboratory 1
CHEM 371Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry 4
CHEM 372Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry Lab4A1
In-depth Chemistry Courses (see list below)4B9-12
Advanced Writing23
Diversity and Global Awareness3E3
Historical Perspectives3D3
 Total Credits 28-31
Senior
 
Select one course from the following: 2
Seminar4C 
Senior Thesis4C 
Advanced Electives (see list below) 17
Electives2 11-12
 Total Credits 30-31
 Program Total Credits: 120

In-depth Chemistry Course List (9-12 credits)

Code Title AUCC Credits
CHEM 320 Chemistry of Addictions 3
CHEM 338 Environmental Chemistry 3
CHEM 431 Instrumental Analysis 4B 4
CHEM 433 Clinical Chemistry 3
CHEM 440 Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory 4B 2
CHEM 445 Synthetic Organic Chemistry 4B 3
CHEM 461 Inorganic Chemistry 4B 3
CHEM 462 Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory 2
CHEM 476 Physical Chemistry II 4B 3
CHEM 477 Physical Chemistry Laboratory II 1
CHEM 498 Research 1-3

Advanced Electives List (17 credits)

ATS 350Introduction to Weather and Climate2
ATS 351Introduction to Weather and Climate Lab1
ERHS 320Environmental Health--Water Quality3
ERHS 332Principles of Epidemiology3
ERHS 410Environmental Health-Air and Waste Management3
ERHS 446Environmental Toxicology3
ERHS 450Introduction to Radiation Biology3
Upper-Division regular courses (300-379; 400-479) from the following subject codes:
AA
AB
ANEQ
BC
BIOM
BMS
BSPM
BZ
CBE
CHEM
CS
CT
ESS
FTEC
FW
HES
HORT
LIFE
MATH
MIP
NR
NSCI
PH
PSY
SOCR
STAT

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:
TO PREPARE FOR FIRST SEMESTER:   The curriculum for the new American Chemical Society Certified Chemistry major assumes students enter college prepared to take calculus. Entering students who are not prepared to take calculus will need to fulfill pre‐calculus requirements in the first semester. CHEM 111 and CHEM 120 require Algebra II as a prerequisite (this prerequisite is met by having Algebra II by test credit, transfer credit, or placement out of MATH 117 and MATH 118 on Math Placement Exam). Earned grades of C (2.000) or better are required in all listed courses for the major in chemistry.

If organic chemistry Group A is selected Freshman and Sophomore years:

Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 120Foundations of Modern Chemistry (GT-SC2)X 3A4
CHEM 121Foundations of Modern Chemistry Laboratory (GT-SC1)X 3A1
CHEM 192Introductory Seminar in ChemistryX  1
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
Elective   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 231Foundations of Analytical ChemistryX  3
CHEM 232Foundations of Analytical Chemistry LabX  2
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)X 1A3
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)X 1B4
Arts and Humanities  3B3
CO 150 must be completed by the end of semester 2.    
 Total Credits   15
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 241Foundations of Organic ChemistryX  4
CHEM 242Foundations of Organic Chemistry LaboratoryX  1
PH 141Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)X 3A5
Select one course from the following:   4
Group A:    
Applied Mathematics for Chemists IXX  
Group B:    
Calculus for Physical Scientists II (GT-MA1)  1B 
 Total Credits   14
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 263Foundations of Inorganic ChemistryX  4
CHEM 264Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry LaboratoryX  1
PH 142Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1) X3A5
Select one course from the following:   4
Group A:    
Applied Mathematics for Chemists II X  
Group B:    
Calculus for Physical Scientists III    
 Total Credits   14
Junior
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 371Fundamentals of Physical ChemistryX  4
CHEM 372Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry LabX 4A1
In-depth Chemistry Courses (See list on Major Requirements page.)  4B6
Advanced Writing  23
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
 Total Credits   17
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 322Foundations of Chemical Biology LaboratoryX  1
Select one course from the following:X  4
Principles of Biochemistry    
Foundations of Chemical Biology    
In-depth Chemistry Courses (See list on Major Requirements page.)  4B6
Historical Perspectives  3D3
 Total Credits   14
Senior
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Advanced Electives (See list on Major Requirements page.)   10
Elective   6
 Total Credits   16
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   2
SeminarX 4C 
Senior ThesisX 4C 
Advanced Electives (See list on Major Requirements page.)X  7
ElectiveX  6
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study. X   
 Total Credits   15
 Program Total Credits:   120

If organic chemistry Group B is selected Freshman and Sophomore years:

Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)  3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)  3A1
CHEM 192Introductory Seminar in ChemistryX  1
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
Elective   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 113General Chemistry II   3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab II   1
CHEM 232Foundations of Analytical Chemistry LabX  2
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)X 1A3
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)X 1B4
Arts and Humanities  3B3
CO 150 must be completed by the end of semester 2.    
 Total Credits   16
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 263Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry   4
CHEM 264Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory   1
CHEM 341Modern Organic Chemistry I   3
PH 141Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)X 3A5
Select one course from the following:   4
Group A:    
Applied Mathematics for Chemists IXX  
Group B:    
Calculus for Physical Scientists II (GT-MA1)  1B 
 Total Credits   17
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 343Modern Organic Chemistry II   3
CHEM 344Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory   2
PH 142Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1) X3A5
Select one course from the following:   4
Group A:    
Applied Mathematics for Chemists II X  
Group B:    
Calculus for Physical Scientists III    
 Total Credits   14
Junior
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 371Fundamentals of Physical ChemistryX  4
CHEM 372Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry LabX 4A1
In-depth Chemistry Courses (See list on Major Requirements page.)  4B3
Advanced Writing  23
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
 Total Credits   14
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 322Foundations of Chemical Biology LaboratoryX  1
Select one course from the following:X  4
Principles of Biochemistry    
Foundations of Chemical Biology    
In-depth Chemistry Courses (See list on Major Requirements page.)  4B6
Historical Perspectives  3D3
 Total Credits   14
Senior
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Advanced Electives (See list on Major Requirements page.)   10
Elective   5
 Total Credits   15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   2
SeminarX 4C 
Senior ThesisX 4C 
Advanced Electives (See list on Major Requirements page.)X  7
ElectiveX  6
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study. X   
 Total Credits   15
 Program Total Credits:   120