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The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

This major has approved GE modification(s). See below for information on how to apply these modification(s).

  • CHEM 401 is an approved major course substitution for Upper-Division Natural Sciences
  • CHEM 401 is also an approved GE Writing Intensive substitution.
  • CHEM 420 and CHEM 483 together are an approved GE Capstone substitution.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must complete the GE Written Communication (A2) requirement before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 70-72 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Lower-Division Requirements: 36 units

Chemistry Requirement: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science and engineering programs. Topics include atoms, molecules and ions, reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, bonding, chemical energy, gases, and solution chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001816)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics include kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, coordination chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
A study of the fundamental principles of organic chemistry: the chemistry of carbon compounds. Lecture topics include structure, bonding, nomenclature, physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, basic spectroscopy, and basic chemical reactions and their mechanisms. Laboratory topics include the discussion and application of organic laboratory techniques, reactions, and an introduction to organic synthesis. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)

Mathematics Requirement: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 118 and MATH 119 (or high school equivalent); a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam must be achieved by those who claim high school equivalence.
Limits and continuity. The derivative and applications to related rates, maxma and minima, and curve sketching. Transcendental functions. An introduction to the definite integral and area. 4 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005506)
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
The definite integral and applications to area, volume, work, differential equations, etc. Sequences and series, vectors and analytic geometry in 2 and 3-space, polar coordinates, and parametric equations. 4 hours discussion. (005507)
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
Vector functions and space curves. Functions of several variables, partial derivatives, and multiple integrals. Vector calculus line integrals, surface integrals, divergence/curl, Green's Theorem, Divergence Theorem, and Stokes' Theorem. 4 hours discussion. (005508)

Physics Requirement: 12 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 121 (second semester of calculus) or equivalent.
Vectors, kinematics, particle dynamics, friction, work, energy, power, momentum, dynamics and statics of rigid bodies, oscillations, gravitation, fluids. Calculus used. A grade of C- or higher is required before progressing to either PHYS 204B or PHYS 204C. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (007401)
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.
Charge and matter, electric field, Gauss' law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, current and resistance, magnetic field, Ampere's law, Faraday's law of induction, magnetic properties of matter, electromagnetic oscillations and waves. Calculus used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007402)
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.
Temperature, first and second law of thermodynamics, and kinetic theory. Waves in elastic media, standing waves and resonance, and sound. Ray and wave optics, reflection, refraction, lenses, mirrors, diffraction, and polarization. Selected topics in modern physics. Calculus used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007403)

Upper-Division Requirements: 34-36 units

12 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or higher.
Precision and accuracy in measurements, interpretation of data by statistical analysis, and development of good quantitative techniques. Analysis by gravimetry, titrimetry, potentiometry, chromatography, and spectrometry. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001847)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370M, MATH 220; PHYS 202A & PHYS 202B or PHYS 204A, PHYS 204B, & PHYS 204C.
An introduction to quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, classical and statistical thermodynamics, and dynamics and chemical kinetics. 3 hours discussion. (001882)
Prerequisites: CHEM 331.
A continuation of CHEM 331. 3 hours discussion. (001883)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370, MATH 220; PHYS 202A & PHYS 202B or PHYS 204A, PHYS 204B, & PHYS 204C.
Emphasis on description and theory of inorganic substances: atomic structure; ionic and covalent bonding; acid-base concepts of inorganic substances; structure, bonding, thermodynamics, and reaction mechanisms of transition metal complexes; organometallic chemistry and catalysis; and bioinorganic chemistry. 3 hours lecture. (001887)
Prerequisites: CHEM 270 with a grade of C- or higher.
A continuation of CHEM 270. Topics include properties and reactions of ethers, conjugated systems, aromatic compounds, aldehydes and ketones, amines, carboxylic acids and derivatives, and biologically relevant molecules. 3 hours discussion. (001852)
Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of CHEM 370.
An in-depth laboratory experience in organic chemistry for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Students are introduced to and become competent in modern laboratory techniques, including handling air-sensitive reagents and column chromatography. Students also get hands-on experience with advanced instrumentation. Completes the two-semester organic lab sequence for chemistry majors. 6 hours laboratory. (001853)
Prerequisites: CHEM 331 (may be taken concurrently), CHEM 361 (may be taken concurrently), CHEM 370M.
Integrated application of concepts and techniques in analytical, inorganic, and physical chemistry with supervised studies in individual literature searches, including the use of Chemical Abstracts, Patent Indexes, and other reference compilations. 6 hours laboratory. (001885)
Prerequisites: CHEM 331, CHEM 361, CHEM 381.
A continuation of CHEM 381. 6 hours laboratory. (001886)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, CHEM 320, CHEM 370; either CHEM 331, CHEM 361, or CHEM 451.
This course helps students improve their skills in written communication and oral communication of chemical and biochemical information. The course centers on one particular topic within chemistry and biochemistry (chosen by the instructor) and students are asked to prepare short papers, long papers, and oral presentations focused on that topic. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (021609)
Prerequisite: CHEM 332.
Theory and procedures used in separations and instrumental analysis. Emphasis on rational design of instrumental conditions based on experiment goals. Topics include atomic and molecular spectroscopies, separation methods, and electroanalytical chemistry. 3 hours discussion. (001892)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
A general study of the chemistry of biomolecules. Conformation and function of enzymes and other proteins; metabolism, energy generation, and storage; brief discussion of important physiological processes. 3 hours discussion. (001900)
Prerequisites: CHEM 381, CHEM 382, CHEM 420.
A continuation of CHEM 382, with a specific emphasis on independent experimental design and use of instruments. Students design, carry out, and orally present their findings for 2-3 major projects. 6 hours laboratory. (001889)

1-3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is for special topics offered for 1.0-3.0 units. Typically the topic is offered on a one-time-only basis and may vary from term to term and be different for different sections. See the Class Schedule for the specific topic being offered. (001872)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112, faculty permission.
This course is an independent study of special problems and is offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (001873)
Prerequisites: CHEM 451.
Advanced topics in biochemistry. Biosynthesis of lipids, steroids, amino acids, and nucleotides. Comprehensive study of the chemical role of DNA and RNA in replication, transcription, protein synthesis, and viral activity. 3 hours discussion. (001901)
Prerequisite: CHEM 451 (may be taken concurrently). Recommended: CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M.
Separation, identification, and/or analysis of biological materials by modern procedures, such as spectrophotometry, chromatography (gas, TLC, column, ion exchange), electrophoresis, enzymology, fluorimetry, and high-speed centrifugation. Fulfills laboratory requirement for certain biological science majors. Does not fulfill requirement for biochemistry major. 3 hours laboratory. (021067)
Prerequisites: CHEM 320, CHEM 370M.
Corequisite: CHEM 451.
Separation, identification, and/or analysis of biological materials by modern procedures, such as spectrophotometry, chromatography (gas, TLC, column, ion exchange), electrophoresis, enzymology, fluorimetry, and high-speed centrifugation. This course fulfills laboratory requirements for biochemistry majors. 1 hour lecture, 6 hours laboratory. (021068)
Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of CHEM 370.
A course whose objectives is to help students become experts at the structural determination of organic compounds using modern spectroscopic methods, including IR, UV-Vis, mass spectra, and 1D and 2D NMR techniques. 1 hour seminar. (001905)
Prerequisites: CHEM 332.
This course is an independent study offered for 1.0-2.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Original laboratory or library investigation under individual faculty supervision. 6 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 4.0 units. (001875)
Prerequisites: Open by invitation to chemistry majors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher; faculty permission.
A research project within chemistry or an interdisciplinary project which involves chemistry. Students will be involved with design, library, laboratory, and data analysis aspects of a research problem. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (001921)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, CHEM 320, CHEM 331, CHEM 332, CHEM 370M, MATH 220, PHYS 204A, PHYS 204B, PHYS 204C; faculty permission.
Open by invitation to chemistry majors who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Not open to students who have credit for CHEM 491 or CHEM 492. This is an "Honors in the Major" course. 9 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. ABC/no credit grading. (001927)

Electives Requirement:

To complete the total units required for the bachelor's degree, select additional elective courses from the total University offerings. You should consult with an advisor regarding the selection of courses which will provide breadth to your University experience and possibly apply to a supportive second major or minor.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Catalog Cycle:16