Chemistry is the study of molecules, how they are created from atoms, how their structures affect their chemical and physical properties, and how they unite or assemble to form the matter that makes up the physical and natural world. Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an in-depth understanding of all materials in the natural world and the structural properties and biochemical reactions that define living systems. Indeed, chemistry interfaces with the life sciences, physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

Modern chemistry’s range of applications is broad, spanning many aspects of human activities such as the improvement of agriculture, the utility of alternative and renewable energies, the discovery of new drugs and medical diagnostics, and the creation of new materials by learning how molecules are assembled and how they recognize one another. Chemistry is at the heart of sustainability — meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the earth to provide for future generations. It also drives the exciting field of nanotechnology, which generates new materials for devising ever smaller devices with enhanced computing or information storage characteristics, invents novel materials for innovative applications in industry and daily life, and 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 the traditional sub-disciplines of chemistry: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry. The major offers elective courses that explore the interdisciplinary areas of biochemistry, computational chemistry, chemical biology and materials science. A degree in Chemistry prepares students for graduate work and rewarding careers in all sectors of scientific life, from basic research to commercial product development. It also enables the pursuit of exciting careers in education, law, medicine, business and government. — Read more

Study Abroad

Study abroad for students majoring in chemistry typically occurs in the spring semester of the third year, during which the Program in Chemistry offers a special experience at an NYU global network site for students majoring in chemistry. The option for students majoring in Chemistry to enroll in a second semester abroad is competitive, granted by permission of the Program in Chemistry and the Dean of Science, and requires registration in the course Capstone Project in Chemistry 1 at the student’s chosen site. Students majoring in Chemistry must successfully complete the Foundations of Science sequence before going abroad.

Requirements for the Major

19.5 courses, distributed as follows:

  • 6 Foundations of Science 1–6
  • 9 Required courses:
    • Calculus with Applications: Science and Engineering
    • Multivariable Calculus: Science and Engineering;
    • Organic Chemistry 1
    • Organic Chemistry 2;
    • Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
    • Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
    • Physical Chemistry Laboratory: Thermodynamics and Kinetics (half course)
    • Physical Chemistry Laboratory: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy (half course)
    • Inorganic Chemistry
    • Analytical Chemistry;
  • 1 Biochemistry: Molecular Structure and Function or Biochemistry: Metabolism
  • 1 Chemistry Elective
  • .5 Research Seminar in Chemistry (half course)
  • 2 Capstone Project in Chemistry