Chemistry, BS

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Specialized Curriculum)

Undergraduate Degree Programs in Chemistry

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Specialized Curriculum)

Specialized Curriculum

The typical program of courses required to satisfy this degree totals 128-134 hours; in no case will a program totaling less than 120 hours qualify for graduation. Graduation requires grade point averages of at least 2.0 overall and 2.0 in chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses. The Department of Chemistry will supply, upon request, a brochure showing recommended semester-by-semester programs for the completion of the curriculum.

Students in the specialized curriculum in Chemistry must include a course in Biochemistry in the Advanced Hours area or the Technical Elective area to be certified by the American Chemical Society as having met its specifications.

Departmental distinction: Students qualify for graduation with distinction by exhibiting superior performance in both course work and in senior thesis research. To be eligible, a student must have a UIUC coursework major grade point average of 3.25, must take CHEM 499 (normally for two semesters) and submit a senior thesis for evaluation, and must have their undergraduate research advisor submit to the department Head a letter of support attesting to the effort invested by the student. The minimum major GPAs for Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction are 3.25, 3.5, and 3.75, respectively. Final decisions on awarding Distinction honors will be made by the Head or designee.


General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours.

Core Chemistry 137
First Semester Success in Chemistry 2
Accelerated Chemistry I
Accelerated Chemistry Lab I
Accelerated Chemistry II
Accelerated Chemistry Lab II 3
Fundamental Organic Chem I
Structure and Synthesis
Inorganic Chemistry
Instrumental Chem Systems Lab
Instrumental Characterization
Fundamental Organic Chem II
Physical Chemistry I
Physical Chemistry II
Physical Principles Lab I
Advanced Chemistry11
Chemistry/Biochemistry courses numbered 300 or higher, which must include one from the following:
Inorganic Chemistry Lab
Organic Chemistry Lab
Physical Principles Lab II 4
Additional laboratory work:
Technqs Biochem & Biotech
Inorganic Chemistry Lab
Organic Chemistry Lab
Physical Principles Lab II
Solid State Structural Anlys 5
Additional chemistry/biochemistry courses to complete the 11-hour requirement in advanced chemistry
Calculus I
Calculus II
Calculus III
Physics: 110
University Physics: Mechanics
University Physics: Elec & Mag
Univ Physics: Quantum Physics
Technical Electives, including the following14
Required Mathematics:
Introductory Matrix Theory 6
Applied Linear Algebra
MATH 285 or equivalent
Strongly Recommended:
Senior Thesis (maximum of 10 hours)
Recommended: basic computer science
Other technical courses chosen from:14
Chemistry (300 or higher), biochemistry, chemical engineering (200 or higher)
Courses in life sciences (all courses at 200 or higher)
Mathematics or computer science above the basic level
Other courses in the physical and biological sciences and engineering including CHEM 199 7
Nontechnical Requirements 8Variable
General education:
Foreign language - three semesters of college study (or three years of high school study) in a single foreign language
Composition I
Advanced Composition 9
Humanities/Arts to satisfy the campus general education requirements
Social/Behavioral sciences to satisfy the campus general education requirements
Cultural Studies to satisfy the campus general education requirement 10
Free electives 1130

Hours given are those typical to meet requirement.


On and off-campus transfer students in the BS curriculum may substitute 1 additional hour of 200 level or higher Chemistry (including CHEM 297, CHEM 397, CHEM 496, CHEM 497, or CHEM 499) for CHEM 150.  This may not include CHEM 222 or CHEM 223 for students who took the CHEM 102, CHEM 103, CHEM 104 and CHEM 105 sequence instead of CHEM 202, CHEM 203, CHEM 204, and CHEM 205.


If necessary, CHEM 102 and CHEM 103, CHEM 104 and CHEM 105, CHEM 222, and CHEM 223 may be substituted for CHEM 202, CHEM 203, CHEM 204, and CHEM 205.  Warning: CHEM 222 and CHEM 223 are offered only in the fall semester.


The course chosen from CHEM 317, CHEM 437, or CHEM 447 cannot be used to satisfy the additional chemistry lab requirement.


Students who present less than 6 semester hours credit in a combination of CHEM 397, CHEM 497 and/or CHEM 499 for graduation must complete two additional courses chosen from the list.  Students who will present at least 6 semester hours credit in a combination of CHEM 397, CHEM 497 and/or CHEM 499 for graduation are required to complete only one laboratory course from the list.


Students contemplating transfer to the chemical engineering curriculum should choose MATH 415.


Three hours maximum credit in CHEM 199.  Additional courses in the sciences and engineering can be taken upon the approval of the chair of the chemistry department advising committee.  Most approved courses must have a strong technical prerequisite, such as one year of college-level math or science.


The requirements for the Campus General Education categories Natural Sciences and Technology and Quantitative Reasoning I and II are fulfilled through required coursework in the curriculum.


The courses taken to satisfy Advanced Composition requirement may also be used to partially satisfy one of the core chemistry, advanced chemistry, mathematics, physics, or technical electives requirements (if appropriate), or may be used to partially satisfy the free electives requirements.


The courses taken to satisfy Western and/or Non-Western Civilization requirements may also be used to satisfy nontechnical and/or free elective categories.


Restrictions: (1) Courses preparatory to or used to satisfy the minimum requirements specified in the above requirements may not be included as free electives. (2) No first-year foreign language course (e.g., 101, 102, or equivalent) may be included unless it is a different language than used to satisfy the foreign language nontechnical requirement.

for the degree of Bachelor of Science Major in Chemistry

Students graduating with the BS in Chemistry will have:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, chemical dynamics and the chemical and physical properties of substances.
  2. An exposure to the subfields of chemistry, such as analytical, organic, physical, materials, inorganic, as well as chemical biology.
  3. The ability to read, evaluate, interpret, and present (via oral and written communication) numerical, chemical and general scientific data, information and literature.
  4. The ability to carry out experiments, use appropriate experimental apparatus effectively, and demonstrate proper laboratory safety skills.

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Specialized Curriculum)

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department faculty: Chemistry Faculty

advising: SCS Academic Advising

overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

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