Majors & Minors
The Department of Chemistry prepares students for a variety of careers such as research, medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, pharmacology, medical technology, and teaching. The department offers six degree programs:
The Liberal Arts Bachelor of Science major is designed for students who desire a general education in chemistry as a background for careers in many such fields as polymer science, environmental analysis, industrial chemistry, materials science, and many fields related to the medical sciences. This consists of 36 chemistry units distributed among the major fields of chemistry and 23 special major requirement units, including 10 mathematics units and 10 physics units. This program requires an approved academic minor.
The Professional ACS (American Chemical Society) approved major is offered for those students who wish to pursue a more intensive program in chemistry. This major is particularly recommended for students who intend to go to graduate school or work in the chemical industry. This consists of 48 chemistry units, 10 mathematics units and 10 physics units. In addition, a 3-unit elective course selected from chemistry, physics or mathematics is required. This program does not require an academic minor.
The Biochemistry Bachelor of Science major is offered for those who wish to focus on the study of chemical reactions as pertaining to biological systems. This is a field of intense research with numerous medical, industrial and agricultural applications. One of the main goals of this track is to introduce students to fundamental biochemical concepts and laboratory techniques, and to help them bridge the gap between chemistry and biology while developing a working vocabulary of biochechemistry. This major requires 63 credits. This program does not require an academic minor.
The Honors Emphasis is designed for two groups of students: 1) Those seeking the most thorough possible training to prepare themselves for graduate school and a career in research; 2) Those seeking entry to competitive professional programs (e.g. medicine, veterinary school) and wishing to obtain a degree that recognizes their exceptional dedication and ability. In this broad-field major, students have the same course requirement as a professional ACS approved Chemistry degree, plus the unique requirement to complete a substantial research project (4 units of Chem 498) and write a thesis in their senior year (2 units of Chem 488). No minor is required but a minimum of 3.4 GPA is mandatory and this program also satisfies the requirements of the University Honors program.
Analytical/Instrumental Emphasis This track is particularly recommended for students who intend to go to graduate school or work in the chemical industry with a more intensive training in analytical/instrumental chemistry. It consists of 44 units of chemistry in addition to coursework in physics and mathematics. A minor in "Physics" or "Physical Science" is recommended.
The Chemistry (BSE) option is designed for prospective secondary school teachers. This program consists of 34 chemistry units and 23 special major requirement units, including 10 mathematics units and 10 physics units. In addition, a 3-unit writing course (Engl 372) is required. Finally, this program requires an approved academic minor and 40 units licensure courses, advised by an academic advisor in Education.
Chemistry students explore opportunities in their field through the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates, a student-run organization that sponsors activities such as chemical demonstrations at area elementary, middle, and high schools; seminars by scientists from industry and academia; tours of industrial research laboratories; and more.