The focus of the Chemistry program is the study of the world of molecules, how they are created from atoms, how their chemical and physical properties are affected by their structures, and how they unite or assemble to form the kinds of matter that make up the physical world. Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an in-depth understanding of the structural properties and biochemical reactions that define all living systems. In fact, chemistry interfaces with the life sciences and with physics and mathematics. The range of applications of modern chemistry is broad, spanning many aspects of human activities such as the improvement of agriculture, the discovery of new drugs, and the creation of new materials by learning from nature how molecules are assembled and how they recognize one another. Chemistry drives the exciting field of nanotechnology that generates new materials for devising ever smaller electronic devices with enhanced computing or information storage characteristics; that invents novel materials for innovative applications in industry and everyday life; and that constructs novel photosensitive materials for solar energy conversion to electricity, to cite just a few examples

The Chemistry major builds on the Foundations of Science program and offers students the opportunity to pursue their interests in more specialized fields of chemistry such as biochemistry, organic and physical/biological chemistry, and materials sciences. The major offers elective courses that exploit the interdisciplinary areas of biochemistry, materials science, and biological and biophysical chemistry. The major in Chemistry prepares students for graduate work and rewarding careers in all phases of scientific life, from basic research to commercial product development.


18 courses, distributed as follows:

  • 6 Foundations of Science 1–6
  • 8 Required courses: Calculus with Applications; Multivariable Calculus; Organic Chem 1 and 2; Physical Chem: Thermodynamics and Kinetics; Physical Chem: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy; Physical Chem Lab; Inorganic Chem
  • 2 Electives
  • 1 Capstone Seminar
  • 1 Capstone Research