Chemistry Major

67-69 units

Chemistry has been called the “central science” because an understanding of it is necessary for study in the fields of biology, astronomy, earth science, and physics. Chemistry is also fundamental to interdisciplinary fields such as biochemistry, ecology, medicine, pharmacology, and environmental toxicology. The department offers CHEM 101, which meets General Education requirements and educates the student not only in basic chemical principles, but also in how chemistry impacts the planet.

The core requirements of the chemistry major include a year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry (Quantitative Analysis and Instrumental Analysis), and physical chemistry. The remaining requirements give the student a foundation in related fields and provide breadth. In addition to classroom requirements, it is strongly recommended that students complete a special project during their junior or senior year. This may involve collaboration with one of the science faculty in a research project, an off-campus internship in industry, or a project in which the student pursues one of his/her own ideas.

The chemistry major is excellent preparation for graduate studies in chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental studies. Students who attend graduate school and obtain a master’s or doctoral degree may find employment at a university or in the private or government sectors. The chemistry major is also excellent for students planning to attend professional school in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, medical technology, forensic science, or pharmacology.

Examples of careers students pursue after graduation include entry-level positions as a research or laboratory technician, in governmental or industrial technical support, in management (when coupled with a major or minor in business management), or in teaching at the secondary level. It is highly recommended that students desiring employment immediately after graduation complete an internship in the private or government sector before graduation.

Note: Entry requirements differ among graduate schools and jobs. Students are responsible to research the requirements of graduate programs and professions in which they are interested.

Requirements

  • A student must complete all prerequisites for a BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course with a C- or better before taking the course (except as noted in the course description). 
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all biology, chemistry, biochemistry, math, and physics courses required for the major must be maintained.
  • A student must complete each BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course with a C- or higher for the course to meet a degree requirement in the Department of Biology and Chemistry.
Chemistry
BIOC 380Biochemistry I4
BIOL 496Writing 3: Ethics and the Sciences 13
CHEM 151General Chemistry I 2, 34
CHEM 152General Chemistry II 34
CHEM 251
CHEM 261
Organic Chemistry - Theory I
and Organic Chemistry - Lab
5
CHEM 252
CHEM 262
Organic Chemistry - Theory II
and Organic Chemistry - Lab
5
CHEM 300
CHEM 310
Quantitative Chemical Analysis - Theory
and Quantitative Chemical Analysis - Laboratory
4
CHEM 320
CHEM 330
Instrumental Analysis - Theory
and Instrumental Analysis - Lab
4
CHEM 401
CHEM 411
Physical Chemistry I
and Physical Chemistry I Lab
4
CHEM 402
CHEM 412
Physical Chemistry II
and Physical Chemistry II Lab
4
CHEM 461Inorganic Chemistry3
Select at least 6 units from the following:6
Biochemistry II
Physical Biochemistry
Chemical Science Internship 4
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Advanced Topics in Chemistry
Directed Research 4
Multivariable Calculus
Ordinary Differential Equations
Mathematics
MATH 165Calculus I 33
MATH 166Calculus II 33
MATH 167Sequences and Series1
Physics
Select one of the following:8-10
Physics for Life Sciences I
and Physics for Life Sciences II 2, 3
Physics for Science and Engineering I
and Physics for Science and Engineering II 2, 3
Total Units65-67