About the major
Chemistry provides broad and comprehensive training in all areas of modern chemistry, including coursework in the major sub-disciplines of organic, inorganic, physical, biological and analytical chemistry. An education in this major sets a foundation not only for future chemists but also is a good basis for careers in areas such as materials science, medicine and other healthcare-related occupations, pharmacology, secondary school teaching, environmental science and patent law.
Focus Areas within the Major
Students majoring in chemistry have a number of options available to them to make their degree more specialized and build skills within the major.
Chemical Physics & Instrumentation emphasizes analytical techniques and physical methods of chemistry, with focus-area coursework that involves hands-on lab experience, a broad range of analytical instrumentation and theoretical work in thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. This is Chemistry, Focus Area 1
Materials Chemistry: Delve into the science of materials, catalysis, inorganic synthesis and electrochemistry. This coursework focuses on inorganic chemistry, chemical engineering and materials engineering. This is Chemistry, Focus Area 3
Molecular Theory and Simulation: Intended for students in computational chemistry and theoretical chemistry, this area offers coursework that focuses heavily on scientific computation, plus theoretical physical chemistry. This is Chemistry, Focus Area 2
Synthesis and Chemical Biology: Explore a range of options for study in advanced organic synthesis, chemical biology and pharmaceutical chemistry with courses that are highly interdisciplinary, drawing upon not only chemistry but biochemistry, pharmacy and molecular biology. This is Chemistry, Focus Area 4
Students may also opt for chemistry honors (Focus Area 6), to specialize in teaching (Focus Area 5) or for a B.A. or B.S.A. degree.
Courses Chemistry Majors Take
Get a sense for some of the courses that many of our majors take below. A more complete list for each catalog may be found when you search for your degree option by the year of entry or catalog.
Natural Sciences students declare a degree and a major after receiving passing grades in key courses. For chemistry, these are typically:
- Math: Differential and Integral Calculus (M 408C)/ Sequence, Series, and Multivariable Calculus (M 408D)
- General Chemistry: Principles of Chemistry I (CH 301); Principles of Chemistry II (CH 302)
Examples of Courses
Students take additional courses in chemistry and other disciplines, such as:
- Physical Chemistry
- Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Chemical Data Analysis