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Undergraduate Program

BA Major Requirements

The BA program encourages a wide range of elective courses and is particularly suitable for students with interdisciplinary scientific interests in the health professions, biology, physics, geological sciences, engineering, or education. BA students may elect advanced courses in chemistry, including independent research, and can create a curriculum best suited to their individual interests.

Students should speak with a chemistry advisor to tailor their programs specifically to their career goals. Particular electives that are not included in the chemistry curriculum may be required for some graduate programs.  Students normally declare their major sometime in their sophomore year. 

While the required courses leading to a BA in chemistry may be scheduled with some flexibility, the following programs of study are suggested:

BA Degree Requirements

Students are required to take at least 39 credit-hours in chemistry, and at least 59 credit-hours overall. We require students to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) in the major, excluding allied field courses.

General Chemistry (4 credits)

  • CHEM 131: Chemical Concepts I (or equivalent AP credit)

Organic Chemistry (9 credits)

  • CHEM 171: First-year Organic Chem. I or CHEM 203: Organic Chem. I
  • CHEM 172: First-year Organic Chem. II or CHEM 204: Organic Chem. II
  • CHEM 173: First-year Organic Chem. Lab II or CHEM 207: Organic Chem. Lab II (1 credit)

Theory (12 credits)

Three of the following theory courses:

  • CHEM 132: Chemical Concepts II
  • CHEM 211: Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 251: Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 252: Physical Chemistry II

Laboratory (6-8 credits)

Two of the following laboratory courses:

  • CHEM 210W: Organic Chemistry Lab II (2 credits)
  • CHEM 231W: Chemical Instrumentation (4 credits)
  • CHEM 232: Molecular Spectroscopy (4 credits)
  • CHEM 234: Advanced Laboratory Techniques (4 credits)
  • CHEM 244W: ANSEL (Advanced Nuclear Science Education Laboratory) (4 credits)

Upper-Level Courses (8 credits)

Complete two additional 200-level (or higher) chemistry courses or other science courses approved by the Undergraduate Studies Committee. See approved courses.

No credits can be from independent research.

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:

  • CHEM 210W: Organic Chemistry Lab II (2 credits)
  • CHEM 231W: Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory (4 credits)
  • CHEM 232W: Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory (4 credits)
  • CHEM 234W: Advanced Laboratory Techniques (4 credits)

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

Mathematics Coursework (12-16 credits)

One of the following math sequences:

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

Plus one of the following:

  • MATH 165: Linear Algebra With Differential Equations
  • MATH 163: Ordinary Differential Equations I
  • CSC 161: Intro to Programming
  • CSC 171: Intro to Computer Science
  • STAT 201: Introduction to Probability
  • STAT 211: Applied Statistics for Social Sciences I
  • STAT 212: Applied Statistics for The Biological And Physical Sciences I

Physics Coursework (8 credits)

One of the following course sequences:

  • PHYS 113–114 Sequence (General Physics I & II)
  • PHYS 121–122 Sequence (Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism)
  • Honors Sequence of Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism, PHYS 141–142

Additional Suggestions

BA candidates considering employment in chemical professions or graduate work in chemistry should include the following courses in their curriculum: CHEM 210W, 211, 231W, 232, 251, and 252.

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.