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Undergraduate Program

BS Major Requirements

The BS program is designed primarily for students who anticipate professional careers in chemistry and related science. The program provides the range of knowledge, skills, and experience required for work as a professional chemist or for entry into graduate studies in chemistry.

The fundamental work is completed by the end of the third year, leaving the senior year free for graduate-level coursework and a full year of independent research with one of the department’s faculty.

Our BS program includes a biochemistry course and meets all of the requirements for an American Chemical Society (ACS) approved degree.

While the required courses leading to a BS in chemistry may be scheduled with some flexibility (e.g., the mathematics and physics courses), the following program of studies are suggested:

Students should speak with a chemistry advisor to tailor their programs specifically to their career goals.

BS Degree Requirements

Student are required to take at least 55 credit-hours in chemistry, and at least 85 credit-hours overall.

General and Organic Chemistry Sequences (16-21 credits)

General Standard Sequence

  • CHM 131: Chemical Concepts I (or equivalent AP credit)
  • CHM 132: Chemical Concepts II
  • CHM 203: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 204: Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM 207: Organic Chemistry Lab I (1 credit)
  • CHM 210: Honors Organic Chemistry Lab II (2 credits)

Freshman Organic Sequence

  • CHM 131: Chemical Concepts I (or equivalent AP credit)
  • CHM 171: Freshman Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 172: Freshman Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM 173: Freshman Organic Chemistry Lab I (1 credit)
  • CHM 210: Honors Organic Chemistry Lab II (2 credits)

Theory Courses (20 credits)

  • CHM 211: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM 251: Physical Chemistry I
  • CHM 252: Physical Chemistry II
  • CHM 262/BIO 250: Biochemistry

Upper-Level Chemistry Courses (12 credits)

  • CHM 231: Chemical Instrumentation
  • CHM 232: Molecular Spectroscopy
  • CHM 234: Advanced Laboratory Techniques*
  • *CHM 234 may be replaced by CHM 244W (ANSEL) or an Approved Laboratory Course in another science department.

Senior Research (8 credits)

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

All chemistry majors are required to complete two upper-level writing courses ("W" courses). At least one of these courses must be a chemistry department course selected from the following:

  • CHM 210W: Organic Chemistry Lab Lecture
  • CHM 231W: Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory
  • CHM 232W: Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory
  • CHM 234W: Advanced Laboratory Techniques
  • CHM 393W: Senior Research Project

Student may select another course from above or a writing course from another department to fulfill the second writing course requirement.

Mathematics Coursework (16-20 credits)

One of the following sequences:

  • MTH 141, MTH 142, and MTH 143 (Calculus I, II, and III)
  • MTH 161 and MTH 162 (Calculus IA and IIA)

Plus one of the following courses:

  • MTH 165: Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
  • MTH 163: Ordinary Differential Equations

Plus one of the following courses:

  • MTH 164: Multidimensional Calculus
  • STT 201: Introduction to Probability
  • STT 211: Applied Statistics for Social Sciences I
  • STT 212: Applied Statistics for The Biological And Physical Sciences ICSC
  • CSC 161: Intro to Programming
  • CSC 171: Intro to Computer Science
  • Any 200-level mathematics course

Physics Coursework (8 credits)

One of the following sequences:

  • PHY 113–114 Sequence (General Physics I & II)
  • PHY 121–123 Sequence (Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism) recommended*
  • PHY 141–142 the Honors Sequence of Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism

*We recommend students take the PHY 121–123 series. The sequence begins in the spring with PHY 121.

Eight credit hours of Senior Research are required for a BS degree. BS students must prepare a senior research thesis, and have the thesis read and approved by the research advisor and a second faculty member in chemistry.

At least four credits of a 400-level chemistry course may be taken anytime during the junior or senior year.

Additional Suggestions

Students who are interested in pursuing pre-med and allied health professions are advised to contact a health professions advisor at URhealthprofessions@rochester.edu.

Students who are interested in pursuing a double major or double degree are advised to consult the College website, which outlines the course overlap rules and additional credit requirements.