Chemistry Major

Department Advanced Placement Policy

Knowledge and experience gained in high school AP courses provide an excellent background for our Discovery Chemistry Core. Beginning with the class of 2018, students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam will earn credit for CHEM 181 Atoms & Molecules and can start the Discovery Chemistry sequence with CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry 1. Students will forfeit their AP credit if they opt to take CHEM 181 Atoms & Molecules. Students are invited to contact the department chair to discuss this option.


Required courses:
Atoms & Molecules (with integrated lab)
Organic Chemistry 1 (with integrated lab)
Organic Chemistry 2 (with integrated lab)
Equilibrium & Reactivity (with integrated lab)
Instrumental Chemistry/Analytical Methods (with integrated lab)
Quantum Mechanics & Spectroscopy (with integrated lab)
Select two of the following:
Chemical Thermodynamics
Inorganic Chemistry
One non-research 300 or above chemistry elective
Required Physics course:
Introductory Physics 1: Mechanics, Fluids and Waves
Select one of the following Calculus options:
Calculus 1 with Fundamentals
and Calculus 2 with Fundamentals
Calculus 1
and Calculus 2
Calculus 2

Chemistry majors are required to successfully complete nine chemistry courses with six required labs as described below. Chemistry majors also must take the first semester of physics with lab (PHYS 115 Introductory Physics 1: Mechanics, Fluids and Waves) and Calculus through MATH 134 Calculus 2 with Fundamentals or MATH 136 Calculus 2, normally by the end of the second year.

All chemistry majors must begin with the Discovery Chemistry Core, which includes CHEM 181 Atoms & Molecules, CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry 1, CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry 2, and CHEM 231 Equilibrium & Reactivity. Each of these courses includes lab and they are typically taken in the order listed above during the first and second year. Students in the major normally continue with CHEM 300 Instrumental Chemistry/Analytical Methods followed by CHEM 335 Quantum Mechanics & Spectroscopy. CHEM 300 Instrumental Chemistry/Analytical Methods, which introduces experimental and instrumental methods essential to modern chemistry, is considered a gateway course to the upper level of the curriculum. Each course integrates lecture and lab. Majors complete their chemistry curriculum with two advanced courses, chosen from Biochemistry (CHEM 301 Biochemistry or BIOL 301 Biochemistry 1), CHEM 336 Chemical Thermodynamics, and CHEM 351 Inorganic Chemistry, and with one other non-research CHEM elective at the 300-level.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Certification

Students wishing to receive ACS certification for their degree must complete:

CHEM 181Atoms & Molecules
CHEM 221Organic Chemistry 1
CHEM 222Organic Chemistry 2
CHEM 231Equilibrium & Reactivity
CHEM 300Instrumental Chemistry/Analytical Methods
CHEM/BIOL 301Biochemistry
CHEM 335Quantum Mechanics & Spectroscopy
CHEM 336Chemical Thermodynamics
CHEM 351Inorganic Chemistry
One non-research CHEM elective at the 300-level.
Select one lab from the following:
Biochemistry 1 Lab
Biochemistry 2 Lab
Inorganic Chem Lab
Two semesters of 400-level research along with a comprehensive research report.
Two introductory Physics courses:
Introductory Physics 1: Mechanics, Fluids and Waves
and Introductory Physics 2: Electromagnetism, Optics and Modern Physics