Chemistry and Biochemistry / Undergraduate Study

Chemistry BS

The Chemistry major is for students who intend to pursue a career in chemistry.

Learning Outcomes

The Chemistry major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated broad mastery of fundamental chemical knowledge, in-depth problem solving, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, and in research
  • Use of computers in data acquisition and processing
  • Use of software tools for exploration and investigation of chemistry principles and models
  • Understanding of the role of chemistry in addressing contemporary societal and global issues
  • Performance of basic laboratory techniques, description of working principles, and knowledge of how to operate modern chemical instrumentation
  • Use of chemical information to search chemical safety databases
  • Conduct experimental work and handle all chemicals in a safe manner following OSHA-approved regulations and procedures
  • Work effectively in groups and teams of diverse peers to solve scientific problems
  • Search and access current and prior research
  • Communication of chemical knowledge and experimental results through written reports and oral presentations

Chemistry Concentration

Preparation for the Major

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 20A (or 20AH), 20B (or 20BH), 20L, 30A, 30AL, 30B, 30BL, 30C, 30CL; Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33B; Physics 1A, 1B, and 1C (or 1AH, 1BH, and 1CH), 4BL.

The Major

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 110A, either 110B or C113B, 113A, 114 (or 114H), either 136 or 144, 153A, 153L, 171, 172, and two other upper-division or graduate courses in the department, including at least one additional laboratory course from 136, 144, 154, C174, 184, 185.

Physical Chemistry Concentration

The physical chemistry concentration is designed primarily for students who are interested in attending graduate school in physical chemistry/physics or related areas.

Preparation for the Major

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 20A (or 20AH), 20B (or 20BH), 20L, 30A, 30AL, 30B, 30BL; Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B; Physics 1A, 1B, and 1C (or 1AH, 1BH, and 1CH), 4BL.

The Major

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 110A, 110B, 113A, C113B, 114 (or 114H), 153A, 171, 172; one additional upper-division chemistry, electrical engineering, or physics laboratory course; and three elective upper-division or graduate courses approved by the physical chemistry adviser. Refer to the Undergraduate Advising Office website for a list of approved electives.

By the junior year, students are strongly encouraged to join a research group within the physical chemistry division to obtain firsthand experience with state-of-the-art physical chemistry research.