Majoring and Minoring

For complete information about majoring and minoring, see the online catalog.

The major requires 43 credits in chemistry plus courses in mathematics and physics. Students who score well on AP exams in chemistry, mathematics, and/or physics may be able to place out of some of the introductory coursework. Major requirements include:

  • A year of general chemistry with lab and discussions: Chem 110 and 120  
  • A year of organic chemistry with lab and conferences: Chem 210 and 220
  • A year of physical chemistry: Chem 310 (Thermodynamics/Kinetics) and Chem 320 (Statistical Mechanics/Quantum Chemistry)
  • A year of advanced laboratories: Chem 365 (Physical Chemistry laboratory) and Chem 366 (Inorganic Chemistry laboratory)
  • Advanced Inorganic Chemistry: Chem 420
  • Chemistry Seminar: Chem 405
  • Four semester credits of advanced classes. Courses that students can select from include: Aquatic Chemistry, Structural Biochemistry, Metabolic Biochemistry, Nanomaterials Chemistry, Analytical Spectroscopy, Medicinal Organic Chemistry, Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy, and Experimental Methods in the Physical Sciences
  • Mathematics through Math 132 (Calculus II)
  • A year of general physics with laboratory (usually Physics 141 and 142)

Chemistry is an ever-changing discipline that seeks to explain the molecular logic of the world around us. The chemistry major prepares students to be independent critical thinkers, and the courses for the major are organized as follows:

  • During the first year, most students take General Chemistry to learn fundamental concepts of the discipline.
  • The second year is devoted to Organic Chemistry, which focuses on carbon-containing compounds, including those of biochemical importance.
  • In the third year, Chemistry majors take several courses that interface chemistry with physics (Physical Chemistry) and biology (Biochemistry).
  • The fourth year focuses on the chemistry of metals (Inorganic Chemistry). We encourage our majors to pursue a research project during or after their third year.

Chemistry majors can graduate with a degree certified by the American Chemical Society after taking the appropriate electives.