The Department of Chemistry offers both B.S. and B.A. degrees in chemistry. As a chemistry major, you’ll develop in-depth knowledge and analytical skills through foundational and advanced courses in organic, analytical, physical and inorganic chemistry in addition to extensive laboratory and undergraduate research experience. You can design your studies to fit your academic interests by choosing among 10 options to broaden your knowledge and skills, enhance career preparation and amplify opportunities for employment in areas such as electronics, biotechnology, high school teaching, environmental science as well as graduate study and professional programs in chemistry, medicine and healthcare. As a chemistry major, you are required to add one option, which includes 9-10 courses in applied areas. You will take a common core of about 25 courses in chemistry, chemistry laboratory, physics and mathematics in addition to a chosen option in the B.S. degree program. Track 1 chemistry options (Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Biochemistry) are approved through the American Chemical Society and lead to ACS certified degrees in Chemistry.
Careers in research
Chemistry students gain an extensive and well-rounded education through in-depth coursework, undergraduate laboratory research experiences to develop technical and professional skills, and outstanding advising and mentorship. Many graduates of the chemistry department have been accepted to top-tier graduate programs in chemistry and applied areas at, for example, UC Berkeley, University of Southern California, UCLA, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin- Madison, University of Texas-Austin, University of Michigan, and the University of Colorado.
Our broad range of options will help you tailor your education to meet your career objectives and interests. For example, students graduating with a B.S. in chemistry with an option in Forensic Science have graduated with M.S. degrees from programs at University of California Davis, UCLA, Pace University, the George Washington University and are now employed in forensic science labs around the nation.
Explore the B.S. Degree
The B.S. degree Track 1 is suitable for students intending to pursue a graduate degree in chemistry or a closely related area. It provides the most rigorous and complete chemistry, physics, and mathematics background and the most extensive laboratory experience.
Track 1 chemistry options (Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Biochemistry) are approved through the American Chemical Society and lead to ACS certified degrees in Chemistry. ACS approved programs ensure “a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.”
Track Two for the B.S. degree consists of a core of chemistry courses plus a combination of 8 to 11 courses (30 to 36 credits) that defines the option. This track does not lead to a degree certified by the ACS.
These options are structured to provide a chemistry major with a second area of expertise. This multi-disciplinary approach is designed to enhance preparation and opportunities for employment in areas such as electronics, polymers, or biotechnology (materials science, chemical engineering, or biochemistry option), for careers in environmental science (environmental chemistry option), for graduate study in applied areas or professional schools (pre-medicine or business option), or for teaching in high schools (chemistry education option). The coursework for track two students provides a strong foundation for continuing education in graduate school in chemistry or related areas.